Moors and Christians Rice | Photo © CiberCuba Cocina
CiberCuba Cocina

Moors and Christians

Preparation time:
Moros y Cristianos, it is a typical rice from Cuba. The name of this dish is widely discussed popularly, because it is usually called Congrí, which according to Cuban gastronomy specialists is a mistake, since said nomenclature corresponds to the recipe that is made with red beans. On the other hand, the name “Moors and Christians” evokes a historical and cultural theme. Moros is the way the Spanish called the inhabitants of Arab towns. The Arabs dominated the territory now known as Spain for more than seven centuries. In this period they introduced cultural elements and foods including rice, a cereal that changed Spanish gastronomy and became one of the dishes that identifies it worldwide. Despite the centuries of domination, the native population of the peninsula, mostly of Christian belief, lived in continuous conflict with the Arabs. After many disputes, the Christians managed to expel the Moors and reconquer their territory. Hence the dish “Moros y Cristianos”, also known as “Moorish rice”, is a jewel of Cuban cuisine whose name alludes to the period of Arab domination in Spain.
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 2 cups black bean broth
  • 1 large white onion
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 pinch of ground oregano
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, preferably sunflower
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Wash the black beans, previously chosen, and put them in a pressure cooker with plenty of water. Place them over high heat until the pot comes to pressure, then lower them to medium heat and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. The grain should be tender, but should not open. Remove the broth and set it aside. Let the soft beans cool.

Raw white rice with sofrito / CiberCuba Cocina

Place the finely chopped onion and garlic, the peppers in very thin strips, the oregano and the oil in a pot. Sauté everything lightly until the onion turns golden brown. Add the rice and mix it with the sauce. Then add the beans, bay leaf and bean broth. Adjust the salt level to your liking and cover the pot.

Newly opened pressure cooker with Moros y Cristianos Rice / CiberCuba Cocina

Place over medium heat until the pot comes to pressure. Lower the heat and let cook for 10 minutes. Uncover the pot and check that the rice is dry. Stir it to break up the grains and to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Let it rest slightly covered.

Stir the Moro Rice so that it is shelled / CiberCuba Cocina

This basic Moro rice recipe can be made in a common casserole, but the times are doubled. In addition, it can be enriched if you add fried pork, empellitas or pork rinds. These elements give a very special flavor to the rice and incorporate other textures into the dish. But it is up to the chef's choice.

Moros y Cristianos rice with olive oil, pork empellitas and chives / CiberCuba Cocina

Enjoy this recipe. Enjoy your meal!!