Moros y Cristianos

Moros y Cristianos in my room in Helsinki, 2021.

Moros y Cristianos in my room in Helsinki, 2021.

Rice and beans is a global staple. Moros y Cristianos is a Cuban variation. The etymology tells us that this name translates to "Moors and Christian", referring to the black beans and the white rice respectively. It is different from most other rice and bean dishes, in that they are both cooked in the same pot.

The Wikipedia page gives us a few more details, and links to a recipe that I used as inspiration.

Fry a sofrito of onions, peppers, and garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add some tomato paste and cumin, fry for another few minutes while stirring. I squeezed in the juice of a small lime and poured in some more red wine vinegar, to give it a nice edge. The evaporation of the acidics gives some nice sharp wafts that you'd rather not sniff directly while hovering above the pan. Add rice, stir. Add black beans and their liquid, stir. I used a packet of pre-boiled beans, but you could obviously also soak and cook some dried beans.

Now add some water to the pot, enough to cook the rice. I sprinkled in oregano, and salted the dish at this point. You could use some stock instead (chicken stock, or whatever you fancy).

I simmered it for a while without lid, and then put on the lid to steam the rice as well. Serve when the rice is cooked through. Garnish with fresh cilantro.