Nicaragua’s most famous dish is gallo pinto. You can find it on 90% of plates for any breakfast, lunch or dinner around the country. It’s a simple dish and very filling, though without much flavor. Needless to say, for most visitors to the country, gallo pinto gets old. Fast.
On the Caribbean coast the creole people also cook gallo pinto, but they call it by its English name: rice and beans. And they add one special ingredient that completely separates it from the typical Nica dish.
1 liter of coconut milk from two coconuts (here it is made by hand by wringing coconut meat shavings in water, then tossing out the “juiced” shavings)
2.5 lb rice
1 lb beans (red beans are the only ones you can find down here)
2 small bell peppers diced
2 onions diced
1 tablespoon of black pepper
Cook the beans until they are soft. Put the coconut milk on the fire in a nice-sized pot and add the cooked beans. Right at the point of boiling, add the bell pepper, black pepper and the onions. Stir and bring it to a boil. Add the rice and cook until the water has evaporated. Serves 10 – 12 people.
Everybody I know who has come to the Caribbean coast and tried creole rice and beans after spending time on the Pacific side has raved about the taste. More flavor. More fluffy. Mas rico. And I couldn’t agree more. Give this one a try and tell me what you think!
Recipe adapted from the book Bluefields Creole Kitchen: A Taste of the Caribbean