Last week at our church,we had a fellowship after the service.We were served Nicaraguan meal of Pinto Gallo, fried Plantain and lime chicken.Why,must you ask?Our church have missionaries sent there regularly,who are witnessing the people of Nicaragua.They have been able to start a church in Masaya .As i watched the brief video during the sermon of what all have been being done there,i was humbled to see the people who are willing to be the hand and feet of Christ,in order to spread the Gospel of Christ,leaving the comfort of their home behind.
It is ironic that i have friend,Nubia,Nicaraguan.When i asked her about the food at her native country,she excitedly told me about ‘Pinto Gallo’.I had never heard of this dish before.When she shared the recipe,it sounded very familiar to red beans and rice popular here,which must have been Latin inheritance :-).However the red beans which are used there are very unique to Nicaragua and American version usually substitute them.It is simple yet very heart warming dish.
- Nubia says, this dish is so versatile,people eat this from morning breakfast to lunch and later at dinner in the night.What changes is the accompaniment.During Breakfast ,she says,”We eat this with fried eggs,tortilla and queso Fresco.For lunch and dinner,we eat this with meat side dish and fried plantain”.She says,her husband and little son loves them with sour cream and she often prepares it for the company at dinner.Yummmm..Yes,i can totally eat that in the exact same way as Nicaraguans do.Rice is my secret love.
- I also noticed that ‘Gallo Pinto’ has several variation to the basic recipe.In neighboring Costa Rica,they add ‘Lizano Sauce’ to it.In El-Salvador,they add ‘Black Beans’ to it and it takes the name of “Casamiento”.
- Since i have made rice and beans in similar fashion before,i wanted to add Costa Rican touch to this basic Nicaraguan dish.So i whipped some ‘Lizano sauce’.I had never heard of this sauce before so i have no idea how does it taste but it sounds like it is as common as Mexican salsa here in Costa Rica.
- “Pinto’ in Spanish means freckled.So when rice and beans cook together,rice takes the color of the beans and looks ‘freckled’.Funny naming isn’t it?I obviously did not had Nicaraguan red beans and black beans is common substitute for it here in US but i stuck with Mexican Pinto beans,since i had just tasted the Pinto Gallo made with black beans at our church fellowship.My rice does not look as ‘freckled’ because of the beans that i used but we liked it nonetheless.
We prayed for our missionary in Nicaragua and we looked in the globe to see where this country is.My daughter gets very excited about it.So this how i prgepared Nicaraguan-Costa Rican-Mexican version of Pinto Gallo.Verdict from our family : DELIGHTFUL :-).