Mexican cuisine is very popular for its varied flavors, spices, colorful presentation and variety of ingredients that are used. In Mexican cuisine, rice is the most common grain that is used next to corn. Mexican rice is the most popular food, not only in Mexico but also in American south west. This super healthy dish is loaded with bounty of colors and is an absolute delish!
This traditional recipe of Mexican rice can be prepared without much complexity and is very delicious and yummy. I am very fond of Mexican cuisines and so is my husband. Hence, I often make this savory Mexican rice at my home. This flavorful and zesty rice is a combination of rice, sautéed vegetables, chicken/vegetable broth and the aroma of garlic with a fresh bite of cilantro and lime. So, let us quickly learn how to make this delectable dish.
Authentic Mexican rice recipe
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serving: 2-3 persons
4 tomatoes, ripe
1 medium white onion
2 medium jalapenos
1/2 cup of yellow corn kernels, frozen
1 cup of long grain white rice, uncooked
2 tsps of Olive oil/canola oil or any vegetable oil
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
2 lime wedges
Peel off the garlic cloves, onion and cilantro leaves and chop them finely. Remove the seeds and the ribs of jalapeno peppers. Mince the flesh of jalapeno and keep aside. Wash the tomatoes and roughly chop them. Using a blender, blend the chopped tomatoes into a smooth puree. Set is aside.
To wash the rice, place it in a mesh sieve and rinse thoroughly under cold running water 3-4 times until the water turns out very clear. Drain away the excess water. As we are ready with all the preparations let us quickly cook the recipe.
In a large skillet or sauce pan, heat oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot enough, add chopped onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until it turns glossy. Now add washed rice and stir frequently for 3-4 minute until the rice is golden and lightly toasted. Then, add minced garlic, jalapeno peppers and stir continuously for about 4-5 minutes or until they are aromatic.
Now add tomato puree, salt, chicken/vegetable stock and mix well to combine with rice. Bring it to a boil, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking of rice to the bottom of the pan. Then cover it with a lid tightly and reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice is soft and fluffy. Remove from heat and let it stand for about 4-5 minutes.
How to proceed
As our authentic and delicious Mexican rice is ready to relish, let us proceed towards serving it. With the help of a fork, fluff the rice so that every grain is standing apart. Transfer the rice in individual serving bowls. Squeeze lime wedge over each rice bowl. Garnish with chopped cilantro and sprinkle some shredded cheese on the top. Serve piping hot along with corn tortillas, Mexican shredded beef, barbecued meat or vegetables!
You can adjust the seasonings as per your taste.
Although the recipe for traditional Mexican rice is very simple and tasty, you can make varied changes and use your simple techniques to create your own unique and perfect recipe. Try adding different veggies like avocado, carrots, bell pepper, potatoes, frozen peas and different peppers.
Also try new flavors by using herbs and spices like oregano, coriander powder, cumin seeds, cloves, black pepper, ginger powder etc. for a variation. You can substitute white rice with brown rice or you can also cook your rice in lard rather than cooking it in any vegetable oil.
These small variations can definitely give distinct flavor to your recipe. Try adding boiled or refried kidney beans (Rajma) to pep up the flavour and make your dish more colorful. For fussy kids, try and add veggies or ingredients of their choices. You can simply substitute tomato puree with tomato sauce to get that tangy flavor.
Sprinkle loads of cheese on the top or add fried eggs while you serve. I am sure they would go crazy if you do this. Non-vegetarian lovers can add chicken breast, ground beef or pork to this recipe. Similarly, use your own innovations to make this recipe more colorful and full of flavors and see how it works wonders.