Rice with Green Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules) is served during the Christmas Holidays, which last for 45 days, in Puerto Rico. However, we tend to serve this dish throughout the year in the United States. I decided to prepare this dish, using the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Most importantly, it was such a success that my husband, Henry, now wants this dish prepared with the pressure cooker.
This delicious rice with green pigeon peas only takes 8 minutes to sauté the vegetables and 4 minutes to cook the rice under pressure. Furthermore, the tropical aroma of this rice dish permeates into the air when the vegetables are sautéing. This is definitely, of course, due to all the Caribbean herbs, vegetables and spices added to this dish.
Note: Read your “User Manual” in its entirety before operating your pressure cooker.
A Little Bit of History!
The Pigeon Peas were brought to the Island from West Africa. Every summer I have a garden and grow both Caribbean and American produce. This summer, for the very first time, I will be planting green pigeon peas (gandules). Hopefully, I will be able to harvest the pigeon peas within a few months.
Let’s Rinse the Rice!
This is the long grain white rice. It has a firm and dry texture and separates when cooked, creating a light and fluffy rice.
Rinse and drain 2 cups of long-grain white rice with cold water, using a fine-mesh strainer. The water will be cloudy at first because you are basically removing the surface starch. When the water runs clear, the rice is rinsed.
Normally, rinsing the rice is an individual preference. However, when using the Instant Pot pressure cooker, I recommend to always rinse the rice.
Program the Settings for Sautéing!
Press the Cancel Button to turn on the power. Select the Sauté program and then press the Sauté button twice to change the temperature to “Less.” The Less Mode is for simmering your ingredients.
We want to sauté the ingredients for 8 minutes so press the “Minus” button until the 8 minutes is selected.
When the word “HOT” is displayed on the LCD Screen, the sauté temperature has been reached. We can now add the sautéing ingredients to the inner pot.
Sautéing the Ingredients!
Add 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon Lite salt (or to taste).
Let’s now add 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, 3 sprigs chopped cilantro, 2 minced garlic cloves, 10 pimiento-stuffed green olives, cut in halves and 1 tablespoon capers.
Omit the ham if you are a vegan or vegetarian. Otherwise, add ½ cup of lean ham along with our two special ingredients: 1 tablespoon of sofrito made with culantro and 1 seasoning envelope with coriander and annatto.
Click on the link to learn how to make a large batch of Sofrito or click on the link on How to Make Sofrito for a Single Meal. If you are unable to purchase the seasoning envelopes, click on the link to prepare your own Special Blend of Seasonings.
Stir all the ingredients until well blended and sauté for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 8 minutes of sautéing, the Instant Pot will beep several times. Press the Cancel Button to stop the sautéing process.
Add the Remaining Ingredients to the Inner Pot!
Pour 1½ cups water to the inner pot.
If you decide to drain the liquid from the can of pigeon peas, then pour 2 cups of water.
Add 1 can (15 ounces) green pigeon peas with liquid to inner pot.
We are now ready to add 2 cups long-grain white rice.
Make sure to stir rice well into liquid.
Cooking the Rice under Pressure!
Close the lid into lock position.
Turn the Steam Release Handle to Sealing position.
Turn power on by pressing the Cancel button and then select the Pressure Cook button to manually program your settings. We want to cook the rice on High Pressure, which is automatically selected.
The next step is to press the “Minus” button to decrease the cooking time to 4 minutes. The pressure cooker will start building pressure as it is heating. When the unit is completely pressurized, the cooking cycle will start counting down based on the time setting we selected.
The pressure cooker will automatically switch to the “Keep Warm” function after cooking the rice for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, it will start counting up. Most importantly, we need to count up for 10 minutes to obtain the 10-minute natural release process. When the unit has naturally released the pressure for 10 minutes, then press the cancel button to turn off the unit. Subsequently, we are ready to release the remaining pressure.
Quick Release Function!
Turn the Steam Release Handle to Venting Position for a Quick Release.
When the pressure is completely released from the unit, the float valve drops down. At this point, we can also remove the lid from the pressure cooker.
Ready to Stir and Serve the Rice!
Remove the lid from the pressure cooker.
Insert a spoon to stir the rice and to check for doneness.
The rice is tender, moist and fluffy! Serve the rice in a large bowl.
This rice is so delicious, bursting in tropical flavors. We normally serve this rice dish with roasted pork shoulder and pasteles!
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube Video on How to Prepare Rice with Green Pigeon Peas (Arroz con Gandules), using a Pressure Cooker!
Nutritional Facts and Recipe!
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.Print
A moist, tender and fluffy tropical rice with green pigeon peas prepared in 4 minutes, using the Instant Pot pressure cooker.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt (low sodium)
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
- 3 sprigs chopped cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 10 pimiento-stuffed green olive, cut in halves
- 1 tablespoon capers
- ½ cup lean ham (optional)
- 1 tablespoon sofrito
- 1 seasoning envelope with coriander and annatto
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 can (15 ounces) green pigeon peas with liquid
- 2 cups long-grain white rice
- Read the entire User’s Manual before operating your Instant Pot.
- Rinse the rice.
- Select the Sauté button. Change the temperature to “Less.”
- Press the “Minus” button to change the sautéing time to 8 minutes.
- Add all the ingredients except for water, pigeon peas and rice. Stir until well blended and sauté for 8 minutes.
- When the sautéing process is complete, then press the “Cancel” button.
- Place the remaining ingredients in inner pot: water, pigeon peas and rice. Stir rice well into liquid.
- Cover pressure cooker with lid in lock position. Turn Steam Release Handle to the Sealing position.
- Select Pressure Cook button. Cook at High Pressure and then press the “Minus” button to decrease the time for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes of pressure cooking (unit will automatically switch to the Keep Warm Function), naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes.
- Release the remaining pressure by turning the Steam Release Handle to Venting position for a Quick Release.
- Remove lid when the pressure is completely released and the float valve drops down.
- Stir rice before serving.
If you omit the liquid from the can of pigeon peas, then add 2 cups of water.
Visit my Website (aidaskitchenboricua.com) for the ingredients on how to create your own special blend of seasoning and how to prepare sofrito for a single meal. You will find the same information on Page 14 and Page 19 of my cookbook – Aida’s Kitchen a lo Boricua.
- Category: Rice and Grains
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican