Dominican Habichuelas and White Rice

Dominican Habichuelas and White Rice

Habichuelas to Dominicans are like Frijoles(refried beans) to Mexicans. Both are based off of beans and highly essential to the daily diet.

Dominican Habichuelas are typically made with red or black beans, but unlike Frijoles they are served whole, not mashed. They also are much saucier usually have almost soup like consistency. This makes them great to put over rice, with the Habichuela sauce flavoring the rice.

Here is you basic recipe.
Beans Soak time: Over Night or at least 4-6 hours
Beans Cooking time: 2 hours (20 min with a pressure cooker)
Sauce Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 Min
Total time: 2 Hours 40 min

Ingredients for Dominican Habichuelas

2 cans of red or black beans (strain off the water) + 4 cans of water


2 cups of dry of red or black beans (Cans of beans can be hard to come by in the Dominican Republic sometimes, see bean cooking instructions below.) *    Spanish Name – Habichuelas

  • 1 chicken bouillon (crushed into a powder) – Spanish Name – Sopita
  • 3 cherry tomatoes (diced) – Spanish Name- Tomate
  • 2 teaspoon of tomato paste – Spanish Name – pasta de tomate
  • 4 cloves of whole garlic (crushed in a pilon or in a garlic press) – Spanish Name – Ajo
  • 1 bell pepper (minced) – Spanish Name – Aji
  • 1 teaspoon of salt – Spanish Name – Sal
  • 4 small pieces of auyama or pumpkin – Spanish Name – Auyama
    (somewhat smaller than the palm of your hand)
  • 4 cilantro or coriander leaves (minced) – Spanish Name – Cilantro
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste – Sal y Pimiento

*Dry bean cooking instructions

  1. First you are going to want to rinse the beans well and clean out any rocks or small twigs you might find.
  2. Soak in a big pot for 6 – 8 hours, as a rule I Generally put about 5 cups of water for every 1 cup of beans(This recipe calls for two cups of beans, so you will want 10 cups of water.
  3. Cook and cover for about 2 hours or until tender (you always want to make sure your beans are well beneath the water line, this will require adding more water every so often. Too much water is not a problem you can always drain it later, not enough water will burn your beans.)
  4. While cooking the beans add your auyama or pumpkin and 2 pinches of salt.
  5. When finished cooking drain all but 5 cups of water.

If you are using canned bean ignore the Dry Bean Cooking Instructions.

  1. Cook the chicken bouillon, tomatoes, tomatoes paste, garlic, bell pepper, onion, salt, cilantro and (aullama, if you did not use the dry beans cooking instructions) in a pot at a medium heat for about two minutes, stir well to make sure it does not burn.
  2. Remove the auyama and mash into a puree.
  3. Add the auyama and beans to the spice mixture and cook for about 30 minutes at a low heat with a lid.
    1. It should have an almost soup like consistency, you can add more water to make it thinner, or cook it longer with out the lid to make it thicker.
    2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Serve over rice.

Here’s a couple of other things that are by no means traditional, but can be a good add on:

  1. 3 pieces of bacon. Diced and fried, then add to the habichuelas with your fresh ingredients.
  2. 1 Teaspoon of oregano (add with the fresh ingredients).
  3. Double the tomato paste. This will give your habichuelas an almost enchilada sauce flavor.