Gallo Pinto (Beans and Rice) with Sautéed Plantains, Tamarind Sauce and Tomato Salsa

Jalapeños are the most popular chile peppers in the US. This is probably due to the availability and versatility of the chile. Jalapeños have a balanced combination of flavor and heat. The demand for these have caused breeders to develop a broad range of varieties.

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Yields 6 Servings


For the rice:

1 1/2 cups brown rice, soaked overnight (with a tablespoon vinegar), or for 24 hours
3/4 cup black beans, soaked overnight (with a tablespoon vinegar) or for 24 hours
2 ripe plantains, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise then cut in 2″ pieces
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 avocados, cut in half then sliced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
coconut oil
sea salt
black pepper

For the tamarind sauce:

1/2 jalapeño pepper
1/4 cup vegetable broth (or water)
1/4 yellow onion
1 garlic clove
1 inch celery, chopped
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
1 teaspoon molasses
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice (from 1 juicy lemon)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4  teaspoon cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon sea salt

For the salsa:

3 red and/or yellow tomatoes (about 2 lbs), chopped small
1/2 large red onion, small diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the tamarind sauce:

Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer to a mason jar and set aside.

For the salsa:

Mix all the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

For the gallo pinto (beans and rice):

Drain and rinse rice and black beans.

Fill two medium saucepans with water and bring to a boil. Into one, add the rice (with a few pinches sea salt), and into the other, the black beans (do not add salt to the water until the end). Cook until both are tender, about 25-35 minutes for the rice, and 40-50 minutes for the black beans, depending on size. Right before draining the beans, add some sea salt to the water and stir well. Save about 1/2 cup of the dark water that the beans were cooking in (this will be added later to give the rice some added flavor).

Once drained, mix together the rice and beans in a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat a large sauté pan on medium-low heat. Melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Add the sliced plantains with a pinch of sea salt, and cook, turning often, until soft and browned, about 3 minutes on each side. Do not allow to burn. Remove from pan and set aside.

Melt more coconut oil in the pan. Add the onion and garlic with a pinch of sea salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and beans and the reserved dark water, sea salt and black pepper, to taste. Mix well. Allow the flavors and textures to blend together while cooking for a few minutes. Right before serving, add the chopped parley.

Serve immediately with sautéed plantains, sliced avocado, and tomato salsa. Serve the tamarind sauce on the side.


Recipe from Vanille Verte