Arroz con Gondules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

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Servs: 8   Prep:   Cook:

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  • add   1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • add   1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • add   6 whole leaves of recao (green spiked stemmed herb) is optional or you can substitute with parsley
  • add   ¼ lb. aji dulce (about 28 small, sweet chili peppers) (small Italian peppers, may be substituted)
  • add   2 cloves of garlic,
  • add   1 medium onion, chopped
  • add   1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • add   12 leafy stems of cilantro (or substitute flat leaf parsley)
  • add   Sofrito:
  • add   1 bay leaf
  • add   1 Tablespoon annatto seeds
  • add   ½ cup olive oil
  • add   Achiote:
  • add   A few stems of cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • add   Kosher salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • add   4 cups warm water
  • add   1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • add   1 cup alcaparrado (green olive, pimento & capers mix)
  • add   4 Tablespoons sofrito (see instruction notes)
  • add   1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • add   1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded & chopped
  • add   1 medium onion, peeled & chopped
  • add   4 Tablespoons achoite (see instruction notes) (Olive Oil may be used as a substitute)
  • add   2 cups white long grain rice, washed and drained
  • add   1 15 oz. can gandules (pigeon peas) with liquid


  1. Heat achoite in a heavy kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, bell pepper, cilantro and sofrito. Saute for 5 minutes. Add alcaparrado and tomato sauce. Stir in rice and peas with liquid. Add water, salt & pepper. Boil on moderate heat, uncovered, until water is absorbed (about 5-8 minutes). Give one good stir thru the rice, cover and simmer on lowest setting, for 30 minutes. Do not lift the cover. Turn off heat and let rice sit for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro.Note: Achoite is the "coloring.In a cast iron skillet, heat ½ cup of olive oil until very hot. Add 1 Tablespoon of annatto seeds and turn the heat to low to avoid splattering. Let the seeds cook with frequent stirring for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool and strain orange colored oil to a clean jar. Add 1 bay leaf. Store in refrigerator.Note: Sofrito is the "flavoringIn a food processor or blender, combine the ingredients. Puree until smooth, slowly drizzling in 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Yields about 11/2 cups of Sofrito, which can be stored for a few days in the refrigerator, or freeze in ice cube tray and then transfer frozen cubes to zip-lock bags. 1 cube is equivalent to 2 tablespoons.

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