Aunty Ina’s Gandule Rice


1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lb. chopped pork or ham
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 achiote packets  (Sazon Goya with Coriander and Annatto)
1 can of Green Pigeon Peas
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. oregano
1 can (15 oz.) Green Pigeon Peas
1 can of Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup of black olives

Modified from Gandule rice recipe on the back of Goya Green Pigeon Pea Can with Aunty Ina’s tips

Heat oil over medium-high heat in medium size pot. Add chopped pork to pan andcook until brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in onions; stirring occasionally, scraping up the brown juicy bits from the bottom, about 10 minutes. Add Sazón achiote packets, garlic, cilantro and oregano. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add rice to pan. Cook, stirring frequently, until coated in oil and toasted, about 1 minute. Stir in pigeon peas, tomato sauce, olives and 1½ cups water; using a wooden spoon, stir and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until water is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Gently stirthe  rice. Be careful not to burn the rice too much on the bottom, but if you burn it a little ; the toastiness ( I think I made that word up) on the bottom is ono.  We are  not done yet.

Lower heat to medium low and cook, covered, until rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Check periodically to be sure not to overcook the rice. Cover pan and let  it stand 5 minutes.

One of the hardest things about this recipe is finding the ingredients. I can usually find Goya Brand pigeon peas at most grocery stores. I usually buy it at Times Supermarket. The Sazón achiote packets are little trickier, but recently I found them at K-Mart in Honolulu!! I use to ask Aunty Ina to send me some from Maui.

So whoʻs Aunty Ina? One of the most loving Aunties I have in my life! Aunty Ina is a friend of mine’s mother who makes the ultimate comfort food from beef luau, chili, to one of my personal favorites her gandule rice. Mahalo to her for sharing this recipe and always giving me tips and tricks to making onolish grinds. Enjoy!

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