Black Beans And Rice

This is a recipe for black beans and rice.

Black Beans and rice is a famous dish served throughout the Caribbean and Brazil. In Cuba, it is very popular, served in practically every restaurant; there, it is given the delightfully racist name “Moros and Christianos” (Moors and Christians). Despite the unpleasant thought of using it to objectify humans based on their skin colour, the colour contrast of the black beans and white rice is quite pleasing.

There are many different recipes for black beans and rice. They vary from country to county, restaurant to restaurant, and household to household. This recipe will be for a rather simple version, where you can really savour the simple but wonderful flavours of each of the individual ingredients.

In this recipe, it’s important to use dry black beans and cook them yourself. This is because the broth from the beans will add a lot of flavour to the dish. In such a simple version of black beans and rice, you can’t really do without that.


3/4 cups of dry black beans

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup dry white rice, medium or long grain

1/2 a medium onion

2 medium cloves of garlic

3/4 cup of white wine (optional)

1/2 tsp wine vinegar, 1/4 tsp sugar (optional)

Salt to taste


Soak the black beans overnight. Cover them with plenty of water and add the baking soda. Stir briefly. (8 hours is the minimum soaking time. Avoid soaking them too long to avoid fermentation, especially in hot weather. If the weather is really hot, leave them in the fridge to soak).

Drain the now black soaking liquid. Add the black beans to a pot, and boil them with new water. They should take about 15-25 minutes to cook, if you remembered to add the baking soda to the soaking water. (If you forgot, enjoy the two hour cooking time).

Meanwhile, cook your rice. Rice usually needs two cups of water to one cup of dry rice, so use two cups of water in this case. (If you want to use basmati rice or brown rice, they usually need more water. Bear in mind we need an end result of two cups of cooked rice, so if you use these different sorts of rice, measure out that quantity afterwards).

Optionally, replace some of the water with 3/4 cup of white wine. Boil without a lid for the first 5 minutes so that the alcohol has a chance to evaporate.

Drain the beans but keep the cooking liquid. You will need it for this recipe.

While the rice and black beans are cooking, you probably have time to get started on the next step. Chop the onion, and crush or finely chop the garlic. Fry these two things for about five or ten minutes, or until the onions have become tender.

Now add the rice, the black beans and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid from the black beans. At this point, if you used the white wine, add the vinegar and sugar. Whether or not you used the wine, add salt to taste at this point. Stir a little until everything is uniformly heated, and serve.

Note: the mixture should be moist. If necessary, add more black bean broth.