Rice Cooker Cuisine: Arroz con Gandules

Arroz gon gandules has always been an exotic dish to me. I imagined that in order to cook it well, you needed someone’s abuela to teach you. Therefore, I never tried making it. Ever. Until yesterday. I found myself craving it and also wanting to cook something that was easy to bring for lunch and reheat at work.

4oz dried gandules
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 packet Sazon Con Culantro Achiote
3 clove garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 tomato, diced and crushed
olive oil
salt and pepper

I went to the store looking for frozen green gandules but settled for dry non-green ones. I took the beans beans and left them to soak for about 6.5 hours. I literally left them: I left the house and wore myself out doing stuff, so believe me when I say that the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was slave over a stove. So, I decided to use a rice cooker.

In a perfect world, I would have boiled the beans a little bit at this point. But, I didn’t. And things still turned out OK. Here’s what I did do: I rinsed and drained the beans and added them along with the rice and the seasoning packet to the rice cooker pot. Then, I heated up the onions, garlic, and tomato in a pan with some olive oil. I first let the garlic and onion heat up. Then I added the tomato, crushing them with my hand before while adding them to the pan. When the tomato was soft, the onion was translucent, and there was some nice liquid in the pan, I added all the pan contents to the pot with the rice and beans.

Now, here is where I get really scientific. I added enough water to the pot to hit the 3 cup line. This doesn’t mean three cups of water. I don’t know what it means. You’ll have to ask my rice cooker. My rice cooker doesn’t talk. I’m sorry! I mixed the ingredients and then turned on the rice cooker.

Here’s what it looked like about 10-15 minutes in. Now, even though my intent was to let this dish cook itself without me having to supervise, I should have stirred things every 7-10 minutes to prevent sticking. Of course, I kind of enjoy sticky rice, so it ended up OK. After the rice cooker declared things finished, I stirred up the rice again and pressed the cook button again. It went for at least another 5 minutes. Here’s how it looked:

I was worried my rice would be too mushy. It ended up perfect. I was worried my beans wouldn’t cook all the way through. They weren’t as soft as I would have hoped, but they turned out okay. Boiling the beans beforehand would have helped. I’m actually surprised that this didn’t turn into a soupy mess.

I’m really happy with how this turned out and I know my next attempt at making it will be even better! Things I will do next time is throw in some minced fresh cilantro, more garlic, more salt, maybe some spice, and some chopped olives. Yummm….

Not bad for a “lazy” dish! –Melissa

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9 thoughts on “Rice Cooker Cuisine: Arroz con Gandules

  1. Kinenchen says:

    This looks effing fabulous. We might have to make some…

  2. Yum! I’m trying this next weekend, hopefully it turns out good.

  3. Somer says:

    I’m jealous of your rice cooker, So gorgeous, and I totally need to buy some soy curls! Do you buy them online or can you find them in stores?

    • Melissa says:

      I buy them online from veganessentials.com but it also looks like you can now buy directly from butlerfoods.com. One package goes a looong way! Butler’s site also lists where you can buy them locally. Soy curls were a vegan revelation! (Buy a rice cooker, even a cheap one. They’re awesome. The rice cooker I used is from the ’80s and still works perfectly.)

      • Somer says:

        Cool! Thanks for the linkage. I may see if I can find a second hand rice cooker at a thrift shop. I have so many appliances coming out my ears that it’s a bit ridiculous, but rice cookers can cook any kind of grain, right?

      • Melissa says:

        Yes! I’ve used jasmine rice, brown rice, basmati rice, quinoa, and rice/quinoa combos in a rice cooker.

      • Somer says:


  4. Ooh! Pigeon peas!! I just made a rice bowl with them too, you might like to to check it out. I am so making your recipe next.

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