Arroz à la Cubana, in other words, Cuban Rice is a famous dish from Cuba and it is also quite popular in Peru, Spain and Canarian Islands, Tenerife. Even the recipe might change from country to country, the original one has certain ingredients; rice, egg, banana and tomato sauce.
If you are a traditonal Turkish or not open to new or different tastes, the dish may still sound weird for you. It will probably hard to understand the place of banana in the dish after you put rice, egg and tomato together. (Do you also think that we, Turkish people, have bias about new or different tastes? I would probably say a big-sad "Yes" since you will be just deprived from one of the best authentic dishes in the world! Almost.)
Everytime that i cook Arroz à la Cubana (Yes, it became really common for me to cook it at home in Turkey!) I always think that the dish is very nutritious since it has carbonhydrate, protein, magnesium and other vitamins, minerals at the same time. Even the imagination of the mixed taste of the dish sounds different or weird for some people, it worths to try. You will love the combination of salty and sweet taste in the dish.
Another issue shoud be the external factors when you cook and eat this. I mean, originally, people are supposed to cook and eat Arroz à la Cubana in a tropical, hot and authentic place, not in the apartment flats in the middle of the traffic noises or towers in the urban city life. (It was also not hard for me to imagine the food in wooden plates to render it more authentic.)
People usually use "Tomato Frito" as the tomato sauce which is just sold at the supermarkets and unfortunately it is not really possible to find it in Turkey. That is why, I gave the recipe below, "Spanish Sofrito Sauce" which can be used as the substitude of "Tomato Frito" for Arroz à la Cubana.
Hope you all enjoyed the photo below that I took... Here we go!
Arroz à la Cubana (Cuban Rice) Recipe
(For one person)
- 1 cup of rice
- 1 egg
- 1 banana
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 tomato
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1 small onion
- Butter or oil
- Salt and pepper
1) Put the rice in a pan, cut one clove of garlic into two-three pieces and add it to the rice, boil them with salty water.
2) While it is boiling, cut onion and pepper into small pieces and stir-fry them in a pan, with a little bit of butter or oil. Then, peel the tomatos and one clove of garlic, cut them into small pieces and add them to the pan. Cook them in patience. When it is cooked, add little bit salt and pepper. Then you can use "blender" to make it more homogenous and liquit.
3) Drain the rice carefully and throw the pieces of garlic.
4) Cut the banana length-wise and cook-fry them in a pan with a little bit of butter or oil.
5) Fry the egg in a pan with a little bit of butter or oil, be careful to make it "sunny side up".
6) Use a cup to put the rice to a big plate. Add the banana pieces to each side. Put the egg carefully and add the tomato sauce on top of the rice. You can use parsley to make the dish more colorful. Add salt or pepper as you wish. Mix them and enjoy it!
It was always special for me to cook this dish with a smiling face, dreaming to have it in a more authentic place with good people.