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Recipes » Main Dish » Puerto Rican Rice With Pigeon Peas
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  • 3 cups frozen pigeon peas
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika or liquid smoke
  • 2 tsp Homemade Adobo or all-purpose seasoning
  • 6 olives, optional
  • 3 ½ cups liquid, combining reserved water from cooking pigeon peas and vegetable broth
  • 3 cups brown rice (see tips)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp sliced roasted bell pepper, for garnish


  • ¾ cup diced onion
  • ¾ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 small sweet peppers (“aji dulce”), diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh culantro, chopped (optional, see tips)

Homemade Adobo

  • ¼ cup garlic powder
  • ¼ cup dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp sea salt, or to taste


  • 1. In a medium saucepan, add the pigeon peas, 2 cups of water, and sea salt and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Drain the pigeon peas and set aside, reserving the liquid for cooking the rice.
  • 2. Mix all the Adobo ingredients in a container and measure out 2 teaspoons for the recipe. Reserve the rest for future recipes.
  • 3. Preheat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sofrito ingredients and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 4. Add turmeric, cumin, oregano, pigeon peas, tomato paste, smoked paprika, Adobo, and olives. Cook for 3 minutes.
  • 5. Add the vegetable broth and liquid from the pigeon peas, then add the rice. Cover the saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium-low temperature and cook for 40 minutes.
  • 6. Stir-in cilantro. Decorate with the bell pepper strips.

Cooking Tips

  • 1. For fluffy rice that doesn’t take as long to cook, use Uncle Ben's whole grain parboiled brown rice.
  • 2. Culantro, also known as "recao" has a flavor similar to cilantro. If you don't get it, you can replace it with fresh cilantro.

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