The recipe based on rice and beans is a true classic of the whole Caribbean area, in which populations, sometimes originating from different countries, identify themselves. In Mexico, Brazil, Cuba and the smaller islands, there is always a simple recipe and multiple variations, more or less spicy, more or less rich in specific ingredients of one or another ethnic group, primarily European, then African, and Oriental.

A poor dish, with simple preparation, only rice and beans, and with the addition of a few seasonings available, however very complete in terms of nutrition, very tasty if correctly balanced with spices or sometimes with simple black pepper and a touch of spicy, as proposed by Chef Bonea.

Beaches, sun and white sand, are a classic that almost everyone has in their imagination thinking about the Caribbean where dishes based on fresh fish, tropical fruits are presented; but rice and beans is the true heart of the Caribbean, made by the thousands of people who work with effort and sweat in the fields and in the plantations of all those areas. When they return home they need to eat quickly, a meal hot in winter and cool in summer.

The coconut palm, very widespread, represents a figurative classic of these latitudes, many coasts of more or less large islands, up to the continental ones of Central and South America are full of these trees with their typical fruit from whose pulp is obtained the famous milk, which is useful for many aesthetic issues but equally useful if used in cooking, to give an exotic touch to every dish, even the simplest.

Certainly, not everyone would be ready to leave, to visit the internal areas, and perhaps to order, classic rice and beans, in not too touristy locations in the Cuban, Haitian, Mexican or Brazilian hinterland, but in this case a stay would be ensured; it teaches the truth of real life, and not of that served by pre-packaged meals, perhaps pre-cooked by some multinational company thousands of kilometers away. If you are unable to follow this suggestion, you can always try the do-it-yourself tasting in peace a classic dish of the Caribbean tradition, perhaps in front of a nice equally classic documentary with palm trees and white beaches, luckily fantasy has no limits.

Caribbean Rice and Beans

Category: rice
Origin: Caribbean Islands Drink to serve: Wadadli beer Difficulty: medium Preparation: 30 minutes

Ingredients for 2 servings

½ cup of basmati rice
¼ cup of coconut milk
2 tablespoons butter
½ liter of vegetable broth
1 small onion and 1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 hot red chili pepper
4 oz of black beans
1 pinch of black pepper

In nonstick 3-quart saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat until butter is melted. Add onion and garlic, cook about 2 minutes stirring frequently, until onion and garlic become tender. Stir in beans and cook about 6 minutes. Add rice stirring occasionally, until edges of kernels are translucent.

Stir coconut milk and cook about 2 minutes or until milk is absorbed. Reduce heat to medium. Stir 1 cup of the warm broth. Cook uncovered about 5 minutes stirring frequently until broth is absorbed. Repeat this operation until you finish the broth. Stirring frequently until rice is just tender and creamy and turn off the stove, add pepper and hot red chili.