Rice & Beans

I love arroz con frijoles negros, infact I was raised on this dish I can say pretty much the bulk of my childhood.  It is a staple in my world and I have transferred this tradition to my children.  The thing is, white rice and black beans are not appealing to lots of folks who may be trying it for the first time.  It is not a sophisticated looking meal, but if made with all the right, ingredients, it is delicious, nutritious and really simple.

Rice and black beans are also referred to as Moros y Cristianos with a historical tie to moors and Christians.  The key to the dish is in the seasonings or what we call sofrito.  There is distinction of this dish from other Caribbean Islands, Latin and South America.  The ingredients and the chefs, mothers and grandmothers are the super stars that create this peasant dish with the aromatic delicacies that warm the soul.

Congris, is another term for this dish and yes, there may be more of them, so let me know.  The combining of the rice and beans makes congris; the rice becomes grey when combined with los frijoles negros.  Cuban cooking is really a merger of Native people, African, Spanish and European traditions.  Each migration of people brought to the island their essence and the cooking widened in range and creativity, through aromatic, fragrant and pungent flavors.

Congris, Moros y Cristianos and arroz con frijoles negros, three different terms for essentially the same dish.  Different provinces or ethnicities naming food, or traditions based on their heritage and passing down of customs are institutions within themselves.

Yoga too, is a melding of asana, traditions, methodology and mysticism practiced to end up with a single dish, SELF!  Union with self is the ultimate purpose of the practice we call yoga, whether is be a specific style of Hatha Yoga, which is interchangeable amongst all the styles we see, like Iyengar, Asthanga, Kundalini, Viniyoga and others.

In contemporary times, yoga poses are identified in new terms, when not in Sanskrit and so some of us roll with it.   The physical asana practice can vary from day to day, but again at the end, it is your yoga practice and the energy shifted from the first upward dog to child’s pose can be a soulful experience.


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