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Learn how to prepare an authentic Cuban Congri



Most cuisines in the world are combinations of flavors that form their traditional dishes. There is no gastronomy based only on native constituents; most cuisines include foreign ingredients introduced through colonization, migration or simple trading.

For example, Caribbean cuisine comprises worldwide gastronomy. It blends flavors from Spain, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Spanish colonizers, African slaves, Asian workers, and Latin American migrants brought their cooking traditions and foods.

These influences with native ingredients were paired to create all traditional Caribbean meals. These dishes have strong and spicy seasonings with rice, beans, plantains, tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, potatoes, peppers, fruits, pork, beef, poultry, and fish.

Most known Caribbean dishes are Caribbean goat, pelau, Ackee and saltfish, Callaloo, Empanadas, Arroz with Gandules, Carni Stoba, among others.

Cuban cuisine

Cuban gastronomy is one of the most popular Caribbean cuisines in the world. It is a fusion of Spanish, Taino, African, and other Caribbean flavors.

Their base ingredients are spices, rice, beans, root vegetables, tropical fruits, fish, and starchy foods. All their dishes are simply cooked with humble and easy techniques.

Ropa vieja, Boliche, Rabo encendido, Moros y Cristianos, and Congri are a few of their typical meals.

Ropa Vieja: It is the most famous Cuban dish. It contains boiled and shredded meat cooked in a sauce made of tomato, onion, bell peppers, bay leaves, and cumin. It is served with white rice and fried ripe plantains.

Boliche: It is Cuban-Style Stuffed Beef. It is an eye-round beef roast stuffed with chorizo and ham. The beef is browned in olive oil and simmered in water with onions until soft. It is served with rice, yucca, and fried plantains.

Rabo encendido: Also known as Cuban oxtail stew. Oxtails are marinated overnight with wine, olive oil, salt and pepper. Then, it is slowly braised for 2 hours in wine, beer, and spices. It is also served with rice with fried plantains.

Moros y Cristianos: Black beans and white rice combine perfectly in this traditional dish. Its name symbolizes the Muslim Moors (black beans) and Spanish Christians (white rice). Rice and beans are cooked by simmering and then seasoned with onion, garlic, bell peppers, and cumin. It is served as a complete meal or a side dish with meat.

Congri: It is often confused with Moros y Cristianos. But Congri is made with white rice and red beans. Rice and beans are cooked together with cumin, bay leaves, peppers, onions, and garlic. People eat it as a main dish or as a side with steak or other meat.

The most delicious Cuban Congri recipe

The typical meal you’ll find in Cuba is made with rice and beans, like Moros and Cristianos or Congri. Both are very simple dishes with an easy preparation, check the following recipe to get an idea of the simple use of rice and beans

Or you can try the following recipes and enjoy the true Cuban flavors.

Cuban Congri (rice and red beans)

Although the cooking time for this dish can be up to 2 hours, it’s really worth it.

Ingredients (6 servings):

  • 3 cups of parboiled white rice.
  • 1 pound of dried small red beans.
  • 3 cups of diced ham.
  • 5 cups of water.
  • 1 cup of red wine.
  • 4 chopped strips of bacon.
  • Olive oil.
  • 2 cups of diced yellow onion.
  • 2 cups of diced green bell pepper.
  • 5 minced cloves garlic.
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano.
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin.
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • 3 tablespoons of vinegar.
  • 1 cut in quarter habanero pepper.
  • 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper.


  1. In a big pot, pour water and red beans. Cook until boiling, and remove from heat.
  2. Soak overnight in the covered pot.
  3. Drain the beans and add water again. Cover and cook until the beans are tender. Drain and set aside.
  4. Make a stock with the ham. In another pot, pour water, pieces of ham, wine, and salt.
  5. Cook at low heat for 30 minutes. Take out the ham and reserve the stock.
  6. In a saucepan, add olive oil and bacon until it is crispy. Incorporate onion, garlic, pepper, and ham from the stock. Mix very well.
  7. Add to the saucepan, red beans, cumin, oregano, bay leaf, vinegar, habanero, salt, pepper, and the ham stock.
  8. It is rice time, rinse rice until water runs out clear. Incorporate it into the previous mixture. Stir very well.
  9. Cover the pot and cook at low heat until it boils.
  10. Take out the habanero pepper and the bay leaf.
  11. It can be enjoyed hot as a main dish or accompanying any meat.
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