Updated: Oct 11, 2020
This traditional Puerto Rican recipe will lift your spirits, and wake you up so the party doesn't stop! PUERTO RICAN "ASOPAO DE GANDULES" (PIGEON PEA STEW) WITH GREEN PLANTAIN PEARLS.
It doesn't get more comfort-food than this!
"Asopao" is a Spanish word that literally translates to "souped". It is a rice-based soup-y dish to which you can add your protein of choice. The most common vegan/vegetarian version is made with pigeon peas. Funny enough, it's one of the few traditional Puerto Rican recipes where the vegetarian version is quite common and frequently made.
It is typically served late at night during parties so as to avoid any guests to go home with a few too many drinks in their system. But it' also quite common on cool, rainy days.
PUERTO RICAN "ASOPAO DE GANDULES" (PIGEON PEA STEW) WITH GREEN PLANTAIN PEARLS
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
For the Stew:
3/4 cup short-grain rice
6 cups vegetable broth/stock or water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp powdered annatto seed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp oregano, fresh or dried
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cans (15oz each) of Green Pigeon Peas, drained
1/2 cup pimento stuffed green olives
1 Tbsp capers, rinsed
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 long coriander (recao) leaves, chopped
6 sweet chili peppers
1 cup pumpkin pieces (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Green Plantain Pearls:
2 large green plantains, peeled and processed in a food processor
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
HOW TO MAKE IT:
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
Add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent.
Add oregano, red bell peppers and sweet peppers, and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes.
Add rice, water or broth, and mix.
Add peas, olives, capers, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until rice is cooked.
Shape plantain mix (see ingredients above) into balls by scooping 1/2 TBSP of the mix for each pearl.
Add bay leaves, coriander (recao), and the annatto powder.
Add more water or broth as needed to keep it as a stew.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Add cilantro before serving.