Bold and flavourful, my easy Mexican rice is loaded with a complex tomato flavor infused with gorgeous spices. Each grain has just the right amount of bite, heat and an underlying hint of tang!
Lazing around after binging on some damn good food – that’s the mood I was aiming for last night.
But, how do you have a fiesta when you’re stuck at home?
You pour a beer or lemonade or margarita (pick your poison) and serve it with colourful and seriously flavourful Mexican rice.
Like most rice dishes, Mexican Rice uses the most basic of ingredients and is unbelievably easy to make. The prep and the cooking barely take any time.
So, shall we?
How to Make Mexican Rice?
In a pan heat oil and sauté diced onions and garlic for about a minute.
To the sautèed onions, add the rice and let that cook for a minute. Keep stirring it gently so it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Now you add in the salt, smoked paprika, cumin powder, and chili powder. I used our good old Degi Mirch powder..it gives a wonderful color and flavor.
Give this a good mix and stir in some tomato puree and vegetable stock. You can use store bought puree, but i just made some at home with 3 tomatoes .
Also, use chicken stock, if you want or plain water will do too.
Now is the time for the veggies. I used green bell peppers and corn. That's what I had on hand. And oh, also a cup full of red kidney beans went in to make the dish livelier and heartier.
Now everything gets a good mix and lid on for cooking! Let it cook until the rice is soft and tender. That’s it! Mexican rice is really an easy, one-pot recipe that’s done in a jiffy.
All those who struggle with rice dishes or don’t think that you can do much with the grain will be delightfully surprised. Mexican rice cooks up beautifully and tastes exquisitely amazing!
For the rice, any long-grain white rice will work like a charm in the recipe. I had basmati at home, so in they went. For the stock, both vegetable and chicken stock are great – pick your preference. Since there was some homemade veg stock in my fridge, I used that.
You can use water to make Mexican rice, but nothing beats stock. It’s the rich flavor of the chicken or vegetable that the rice absorbs as it cooks, which takes the dish from good to great.
I specially added kidney beans to the recipe because they give you that extra protein and fiber. Something, we all need right now. Plus, rajma is one ingredient every home has. You can use any kind of beans you like - black beans or black-eyed peas...or just leave it out altogether.
If you have some chicken or sausages handy, go ahead, add that to the rice too.
Serving Mexican Rice
I prefer to cook Mexican rice when my kiddos start grumbling about regular and often unvarying typical Indian meals. The colourful recipe makes for a nice and pleasant change.
So, at my table, you will always find the tomato flavored rice with a wonderful hint of spices as is. All I add is a dash of lemon and some freshly chopped cilantro to bring out the simple yet delicious taste of it.
And, honestly, the kidney beans give Mexican rice a heft that takes it from a humble side dish to a hearty and satisfying main dish. That said, you can always use the rice as a delectable filling for tacos, quesadillas or burritos!
You can serve it with some guacamole or salsa too.
No matter how you serve Mexican rice, the recipe is a keeper. The best part is you can tweak and adapt it to your personal taste, or use it as-is. It’s pretty close to perfect.
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Easy Mexican Rice
- 1.5 cups Rice, washed, soaked for 15 minutes and drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 small Onions, diced
- 4-5 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1 tsp Red Chilli powder I used Degi Mirch powder
- 1 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 cup Tomato puree I made my own using 3 large tomatoes
- 2 cups Vegetable stock You can use chicken stock or plain water
- Salt to taste
- 3/4 cup Corn
- 1 small Green bell pepper, diced
- 3/4 cup Cooked red kidney beans / rajma
- fesh cilantro/ coriander and lemon wedges for serving
- Heat oil in a large pan. Add the diced onions and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the drained rice and stir it gently with the onions and garlic for a minute.
- Stir in the salt, chilli powder, cumin powder and smoked paprika.
- Now add the stock and tomato puree.
- Mix in the vegetables and kidney beans.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat. cook for about 25 minutes or until the rice is cooked through.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander leaves and lemon wedges. Serve warm. Enjoy!