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Recipe for Gallo Pinto

One of the great experiences of travel is to taste a lot of different national dishes.  One of the favorites among our short-term missionaries is one of the national dishes of Nicaragua.  Variants of this dish are found all over Central America, but Nicaragua (and Costa Rica) claim to have originated the dish.  Almost every household has this dish everyday and many for every meal.  It can be the main dish or a side dish.  Enjoy!

A lot of people have asked for a recipe, so here is one.  (A printable copy can be found by clicking here.)

Gallo Pinto


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups cooked white rice

2 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 -3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

fresh cilantro (optional)

sliced green onions (optional)


    Note that the beans and the rice should be cooked and ready before you start these steps.

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

    Add onion and sauté until it just begins to soften and turns color.

    Add garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onion is golden.

    Add spices and Worcestershire, and stir into onion and garlic.

    (The first time I made this, I was afraid to add the full 3 Tbsp of Worcestershire, but the addition of the rice balances the flavor out).

    Next, add the beans and then the rice.

    Combine the rice and beans evenly and cook until mixture is heated through.

    Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

    Garnish with some chopped cilantro or green onions as you like.