Cuban cuisine is more varied than almost any other cuisine in the Caribbean. There are demographic reasons for this, because today’s Cuban population has African slaves, Spanish farmers and French, Haitian and Caribbean immigrants among its ancestors.
This dish with black beans and rice has an interesting title. Literally translated Moros y Cristianos means Moors and Christians. It is believed that the dish takes its name from the time when the Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula. The black beans represent the Moors and the white rice represents the Christians.
This tasty rice bean dish, a remnant of the Spanish occupation, is very popular in Cuba. There are as many variations of this recipe as there are Cuban chefs. Here is my quick and easy, but very tasty version.
For 8 portions of “Moros y Cristianos” you need:
- 200 to 250 g dried black beans
- 300g long grain or Basmati rice*
- 3 green peppers
- 2 onions
- 80g streaky smoked bacon
- Garlic to taste
- You have bay leaves, oregano, caraway, salt, pepper and olive oil in stock.
1) Rinse the black beans thoroughly. This is best done the day before. Soak the beans overnight, which shortens the cooking time.
2) The next day pour off the soaking water, put the beans on with fresh water and boil them on a mild heat for about an hour and a half until they are soft and still have bite. At the end let the boiling water boil down with the lid open to make the beans more aromatic.
3) Pick up some cooking water and put the beans aside.
4) Cut the bacon into cubes and leave it in a hot pan with olive oil.
5) Meanwhile peel the onions, clean the peppers and cut both into strips.
6) Peel and finely chop the garlic, then add to the bacon-olive oil mixture and season with bay leaves, oregano, caraway seeds, salt and pepper.
7) Let the vegetables stew softly without turning to colour (about 10 minutes).
8) Now add the beans and the washed rice, fill the retained cooking water of the beans with water to 0.5 liters and add it to the dish.
9) Bring to the boil, then let the rice swell over a very low heat for 30 minutes until soft.
Moros y Cristianos is an ideal side dish for all grilled or roasted meat or fish dishes. Of course you can also enjoy the dish “solo” as an almost vegetarian (the bacon!) main course.