82. Mexican rice
Vegetables and more vegetables
I have never had authentic Mexican rice, but have been cooking this one for years. Its an adaptation of a Tarla Dalal recipe. I find its a meal on its own as its loaded with vegetables. Serve it with potato crisps or nachos to add a bit of crunch. Instead of paprika I use normal red chilli powder. The tomato puree is freshly made at home or you can use canned tomatoes. This recipe can be made with leftover rice. Its usually a great hit with guests and kids. To make it extra special for the kids I sometimes add a bit of tiny cheese cubes.
6 to 8 servings
1 cup rice
½ tsp salt
3 cups water
1 tsp oil
2 cup shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1 cup cooked red kidney beans
½ cup chopped fresh coriander
¼ cup finely chopped spring onion or chives
½ cup diced bell pepper, any colour
1 tsp dry oregano
½ cup thick tomato puree
1 tsp garlic paste
1 to 1¼ tsp salt
1to 2 tsps red chilli powder
2 tbsps oil
- Wash the rice. Boil the water with salt and 1 tsp oil. Add the rice and let it cook till its done. The grains should be separate. The amount of water required will depend on how old the rice is. I prefer to use a rice cooker.
- When the rice is done, remove it from the pan into a tray to let it cool. Use a fork to gently separate the grains.
- In the meantime prepare all the vegetables required.
- Heat oil in a pan. Saute the onions, garlic, carrots, cabbage and pepper for about 5 minutes. Add the chilli powder, salt, beans, oregano and tomato puree. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the rice. Mix well and let it get a bit hot over medium or low flame.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, spring onions and coriander. Mix well.
- Serve hot.
- I usually use fresh kidney beans which are readily available in Kenya. You can use tinned or dry kidney beans. If you are using dry beans, then soak them for 8 hours before cooking them.
- Adjust the amount of red chilli powder according to your taste.
- The tomato puree should be thick otherwise the rice will become soggy. Thicken the puree by cooking it for a while over medium or low heat.
- To prepare for a party, cook the rice the previous day and keep it in the fridge. The next day you can add the vegetables and prepare it.
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