When I want to serve something out of the usual rice dishes in our repertoire, it's time to put this Moro de habas on the table. If by now you've mastered all our other moro rice recipes, it's time for something new. Try my family classic, an attractive alternative to everyday rice.
By- Last reviewed . Published May 2, 2008
Why we ❤️ it
Serving rice to Dominicans is not for the faint-hearted. Rice is where your reputation as a cook makes or breaks. So if you've mastered all our moro rice recipes by now, it's time for something new: A delectable combination of fava beans (or butter beans) and rice that will be the talk of the town.
The subject of how to translate habas into English is complicated. If you google the name, you'll find that what shows on images are sometimes different from each other (?!).
So, in short, what we call habas can be found as large white beans, butter beans, lima beans, or large lima beans.
If you know another name for it, let me know.
Butter beans and rice.
Since this was one of mami's favorite dishes, I love serving it with what she typically served it: Berenjena guisada (roasted and stewed eggplants), Dominican avocado, Tostones (fried green plantains), and Arepitas de yuca (yuca fritters).
- Canned or dry?: You can make this with canned habas, freshly-shelled habas, or by boiling dry habas just like I show in this recipe. I prefer the last two.
- Variation: You can follow this same recipe to make Moro de habichuelas blancas.
- Saving time: To save time if you use dry beans, you can use the pressure cooker or instant pot. I give reference times in the recipe.
- Tomato paste: If you wish to use tomato paste instead of tomato sauce, use three tablespoons of tomato paste and add three-quarters cup of extra liquid in step 4.
About this recipe
For this moro rice, I have added a few ingredients that – although common in our cuisine – may not be as common in moro, that I found work well. Using leek instead of onion, for example, gives it some onion flavor without overwhelming the fava beans.
I grew up eating them. Mami grew fava beans (it's a vine) around the fence of our old house. They grow effortlessly and take up almost no space.
Did your family make moro de habas? Did you like it? Please share in the comments!
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Moro de Habas [Recipe + Video] Rice with Butter Beans
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 stalk leek, sliced
- ¼ cup pitted green olives
- 4 tablespoons capers, (optional)
- 3 clove garlic, crushed
- ¼ teaspoon oregano, (dry, ground)
- ½ teaspoon pepper, (freshly-cracked, or ground)
- 1½ tablespoon salt, (or more, to taste)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves, (or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme)
- 1 cup dry butter beans
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 2 cups rice
- 2 teaspoons parsley, finely diced (or cilantro, or both)
1. Soak the beans
- Rinse the dry beans and place them in a deep bowl. Add enough water to cover it, and let it rest in the fridge overnight.Once they have been soaked, discard the water the beans were soaked in.
2. Boil the beans
- Place the beans in a pot or pressure cooker, and add enough water to cover it (about 5 cups).Boil until they are tender (test by pressing one, it should be like mashed potatoes inside, but the skin is mostly intact). It takes 35 to 45 minutes in a regular pot, 15 to 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.Separate the liquid and the beans and set both aside.
3. Sautée vegetables
- In a Dutch oven or pot heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the leek, bell pepper, green olives, capers, garlic, oregano, and one tablespoon of salt. Sautee until the ingredients are heated through.Add the bay leaf, and thyme, and mix well. Stir in the beans, followed by the tomato sauce. Simmer until they start to boil.
4. Heat water
- Pour in 2 cups of the liquid the beans boiled in and stir. Season with salt to taste, if you find it necessary.Heat until the water breaks the boil.
5. Cooking rice
- Add the rice. Stir to mix. Stir regularly to avoid excessive sticking. When the liquid has evaporated, cover with a tight-fitting lid and switch to low heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.Uncover and stir, moving the rice from the bottom to the top. Cover and simmer for ten more minutes. Uncover and check for doneness: the rice should be cooked through. If necessary, cover and simmer five more minutes.
- Uncover the rice and drizzle with the remaining oil. Add the parsley and stir to mix them in, and fluff the rice. ServeSee serving suggestions above the recipe.
Nutritional information is calculated automatically based on ingredients listed. Please consult your doctor if you need precise nutrition information.