Moro con coco is how we call this dish consisting of rice, beans and coconut. Three super foods together, for an extra nutritious and delicious meal, excellent for vegetarians, as it provides lots of protein, vitamins, energizing carbohydrates and good healthy fat from the coconut milk.
Traditionally, Moro con coco is served along with several other dishes like fried plantains or sweet potatoes, a green salad, some kind of meat or fish (this part I skip, of course) and avocado slices, yum! But I consider this to be a comfort food, so I it would be perfectly fine served on it’s own.
I have to admit that I’m currently not cooking as much Dominican food as I would like, mostly because I can’t seem to find all the necessary ingredients where I live now. That is why, if I’m having cravings for my homeland food, I have to get creative and come up with variations of the usual recipes, without sacrificing the overall taste/look/texture of the dish.
In the particular case of today’s recipe, I could not find the exact same type of beans that we use (Gandules), which in English are supposed to be called “pigeon peas”, but they are completely unknown in this part of the world. It’s funny that everyone I asked at the different stores I visit was offering me sweet peas or split peas, but see, what happens is that this “pigeon peas” are closer to beans than to peas themselves. So in the end, I decided to use Lima beans which are similar in taste (In my opinion), but bigger in size. Luckily the result was pretty good and it still tastes very original, so It’s definitely worth sharing.
Ingredients (serves 4):
1 Tbs. olive oil
1¼ cup long grain white rice
1 cup canned pigeon peas or lima beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup water
1 cup organic unsweetened coconut milk
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 big garlic clove, minced
1 green pepper (not bell pepper), washed, seeded and finely chopped
1 medium tomato, peeled and pureed (I used a blender)
2 Tbs. fresh chopped cilantro
1 Tbs. fresh chopped parsley and some extra to garnish
½ tsp. dried oregano
In a big saucepan, heat the oil and cook the onions until soft. Add the garlic, the oregano and green pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes more, until the grains start becoming translucent.
Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook until all the moisture has been absorbed and the rice feels tender, approximately 20 minutes.
Serve and garnish with fresh parsley.
Enjoy the taste of the Caribbean!