Monday, July 16, 2012

Nicaraguan Taste + Gallo Pinto

In Nicaraguan traditional food Gallo Pinto is without doubt one of our signature dishes. It's one of the simplest recipes but you can tell when it's bad or it's good, a good Gallo Pinto should be colorful and moist, but most importantly tasting delicious.

Gallo Pinto is the heart of the Nicaraguan breakfast, made from leftovers, this dish goes in handy with dishes like Carne Asada, in Nicaragua we always add something extra to it, always seeking to make more flavors out of a simple and humble dish like Gallo Pinto, my grandmother adds meat leftovers and sauce from the day before when we make dishes like Carne Desmenuzada to give it more body and flavor. Through the country the Gallo Pinto recipe varies, depending whether you are in north part of Nicaragua or the south you'll probably spot many different things, but here I'll teach you the original recipe

serves 4

For this you will need

1 Onion

1 lb Red beans
1 lb Rice
3 Cloves of garlic
1 Green bell pepper

To cook

First of all, this is something you will like to do the day before you eat it, as it ensures that all the flavors get locked in the beans and the rice. The recipe is originally made from leftovers so if you want to get the real taste you'll have to wait to the next day, also because making it in one day can be very tricky!

 First put 2 liters of water in a medium pot,(keep another pan with 1 lt of water at a low heat because the beans might get dry), meanwhile the water boils get your beans in a bowl and wash them with water until the water is not dirty anymore, when the water starts to boil add the beans.

Let them boil at medium heat, cooking time depends on how hard are the beans, if they are fresh they will take from 30 to 60 mins to cook, so the fresher the better. Ensure to check constantly the beans, when they are starting to get bland and in the salt to taste, garlic and onion.

Peel the garlic cloves and with a knife make a cross in each one, that will release all the juices, and get more flavor,  peel and add half of the onion, and let it cook for 30 mins so all the ingredients do their job.
Once it's done let the beans cool, do not reheat them afterwards if you're not going to use the whole batch because beans are delicate and reheating the whole batch will spoil them, so after they are cooled refrigerate them until you use them.

For the rice recipe Click Here

Now for the real treat :

Now that you've have everything done it's time for the Gallo Pinto

In a frying pan add oil and the quarter of an onion you have left, the onion gives more flavor to the oil, we do the same with scrambled eggs to take away the odor of the egg and give some flavor.

When the onion is cooked more or less take it out, and add your beans with some of the stock keep stirring so they don't stick  and fry them for 5 mins and then with a spatula gently press the beans against the pan this will release more stock, but do not press them to much as they have to moist. After doing that add the rice mix well until the rice has absorb all the stock keep stirring for a few mins and it's done !!

So as I said we serve this with tortillas so for the tortilla recipe click here

Sorry if it's too messy, but my camera was dead and I just took the last photo when it was done, I'll try to make more so I can put out some photos to make your life easier :) I hope you enjoy the recipe.


  1. So if I made this dish a day ahead, I would be able to just reheat and eat it the next day?

    1. Yes you could, sorry for the late reply but I have been busy with school work.