Red beans and rice is an emblematic dish of Louisiana Creole cuisine (not originally of Cajun cuisine) traditionally made on Mondays with red beans, vegetables (bell pepper, onion and celery), spices (thyme, cayenne pepper, and bay leaf) and pork bones as left over from Sunday dinner, cooked together slowly in a pot and served over rice. Meats such as ham, sausage (most commonly Andouille), and Tasso ham are also frequently used in the dish. The dish is customary - ham was traditionally a Sunday meal and Monday was washday. A pot of beans could sit on the stove and simmer while the women were busy scrubbing clothes. Similar dishes are common in Latin American cuisine, including moros y cristianos and gallo pinto.
Red beans and rice is one of the few New Orleans style dishes to be commonly served both in people's homes and in restaurants. Many neighborhood restaurants continue to offer it as a Monday lunch special, usually with a side order of either smoked sausage or a pork chop. While Monday washdays are largely a thing of the past, red beans remain a staple for large gatherings such as Super Bowl and Mardi Gras parties. Indeed, red beans and rice is very much part of the New Orleans identity. Jazz trumpeter and New Orleanian Louis Armstrong's favorite food was red beans and rice - the musician would famously sign letters "Red Beans and Ricely Yours, Louis Armstrong”.
The dish is very similar to the vegetarian dish Rajma chawal (which translates literally to red beans and rice), popular in North India. Red beans and rice is also a dietary staple in Central America, where it is known as "arroz con habichuelas". The dish is popular in Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Haitian and Jamaican cuisine as well.
Other articles related to "red beans and rice, rice, beans":
... White rice is cooked separately ... served separately or may be sliced and incorporated into the beans during cooking ... When being served buffet style for a party, the rice and beans should be kept apart and assembled as needed by the guests ...
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—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)