Welcome to another exciting culinary journey, this time bringing you a step closer to the comfort of the Caribbean kitchen! Today, we explore the vibrant Puerto Rican delicacy, the Asopao de Gandules con Albóndigas de Plátano, or simply put, Pigeon Pea Stew with Plantain Dumplings.
What Makes Asopao de Gandules Special?
Regarded as the epitome of Puerto Rican comfort food, this dish exudes a rich blend of delightful flavors that awaken your palate. This hearty soup is packed with plantain dumplings, pigeon peas, and rice, perfectly assembled to warm your heart on chilly winter nights.
Mastering Substitutions in Authentic Recipes
In our attempt to recreate this traditional masterpiece, we’ve encountered a common problem – finding calabaza, a type of squash native to the Caribbean. Fear not, culinary explorers! Butternut or acorn squash serves as an excellent substitute for calabaza in most recipes, and we’ve discovered that it does not significantly alter the authentic flavor of this dish.
The Importance of Sofrito
Before embarking on this culinary adventure, ensure you have sofrito ready to use. This condiment, integral to Puerto Rican cuisine, enriches the flavor profile of the dish. You can prepare your own sofrito at home with just a few ingredients and a food processor. Check out our easy-to-follow sofrito recipe from Cocina Criollacan.
Asopao de Gandules ~ Pigeon Pea Stew
Please Rate this Recipe
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup onion chopped
- ¼ cup green bell pepper chopped
- ¼ cup red bell pepper chopped
- 1 tbsp achiote oil
- 1 tbsp sofrito
- ¼ cup cooked ham chopped
- ½ cup calabaza chopped
- ½ cup rice
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- 1 can pigeon peas
- 3 cups chicken broth
- Coriander and recao to taste
- 1 plantain
- ½ tbsp achiote oil
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic and peppers for 1 minute.
- Add the ham and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the sofrito and tomato sauce, sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the rice, the chicken broth, the pumpkin, the pigeon peas, the cilantro and the recao. Cook for 40 minutes, over medium-low heat, stirring every 5 minutes to avoid sticking to the bottom.
- Grate the banana in the smallest part of the guayo.
- Add the other ingredients, incorporating them well until they form a dough.
- Divide the dough into small balls.
- Add the balls to the stew in the middle of its cooking.
A Peek into Puerto Rican Cuisine
The delight of diving into the world of Puerto Rican cuisine lies not just in the tantalizing flavors that hit your palate, but also in the rich cultural history that is embodied in each dish. Every bite of Asopao de Gandules carries the legacy of Puerto Rican culinary craftsmanship, infusing warmth and comfort into your dining experience.
Bringing Comfort Food to Your Kitchen
We hope that you enjoy this Puerto Rican specialty as much as we do, and that it brings the comfort and warmth of the Caribbean kitchen to your table. Don’t forget to share your experience of cooking this recipe with us!
Recipe Roundup Weekly Newsletter
Signup to receive our new recipes every week. Every Monday we send out last week’s newly published recipes. Never miss a recipe from Hispanic Food Network.