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  • Writer's pictureRashmi Gharat

Mexican Rice

Updated: Apr 16

Tasty, spicy Mexican Rice is a perfect one pot meal. Oregano's aroma and use of different vegs and beans makes it so colourful and tempting, that it’s hard to resist. Mexican Rice is healthy and filling too, so it can replace your usual meal and will be perfect for the lunch box.

Follow the step-by-step recipe in this video and see how easy it is to make this delicious Mexican Rice.

Quick video of Mexican Rice:

Washing and soaking rice

Rinse rice thrice to remove as much starch as possible so that rice doesn't become sticky after cooking. Also, make sure to soak rice for half an hour before cooking so that it absorbs some moisture and it reaches to the middle of the grain. This will mean that the rice will cook through well once placed on the heat source.

Colourful vegs and beans

Mexican rice is all about colour and flavour. Jalapeño peppers are used in Mexican rice, but if they are not at home or if you can’t find them in place you live, you can use green chillies instead.

I have used canned tomatoes in my recipe as I find that they are tangier and have brighter colour then fresh tomatoes, plus it saves times on chopping lot of tomatoes and they cook fast too; but if you prefer you can use fresh tomatoes instead.

Green peas, sweetcorn, green, red and yellow peppers (capsicum), spring onions and tomatoes all make Mexican rice colourful as well as nutritious. Again, if you do not have peppers (capsicum) in all 3 colours at home, you can just use whichever colour pepper (capsicum) you have. Different coloured peppers are mainly for aesthetics.

Beans are a must in Mexican rice. Red Kidney Beans (Rajma) look and taste really good in Mexican rice. Canned Red Kidney Beans (Rajma) come in handy when preparing Mexican rice but if they are not available in stores nearby, you can always soak and boil red kidney beans before adding to the rice.

Distinctive aroma and full of flavour

Oregano is what gives Mexican rice its distinctive aroma. It’s so inviting that you can’t control yourself from tasting the rice when you smell it.

Mexican rice is really flavourful. Cumin powder, coriander powder, lemon juice all make this rice flavourful, but to enhance its flavour even further I like to add Knorr vegetable cube as well as some tomato ketchup. You can skip these two ingredients if you don’t like them.

Now Mexican rice is spicy as well. Along with Jalapeño peppers, red chilli powder, black pepper powder and red chilli flakes give this rice a real punch.

Cooking rice to perfection

As mentioned earlier, by soaking rice moisture will reach the centre of the grain. To cook it perfectly make sure you use right amount of rice to water ratio. If you follow the measurements mentioned in recipe card below you will get perfectly cooked Mexican rice each time. Along with this, cook rice on medium setting till 75% water is absorbed. Then mix gently and cover and cook on lowest heat setting for 15 mins but do no open the lid after switching off the heat. Let it rest and cook further for another 10 mins in its own steam. This will further ensure that each and every rice grain is cooked through from within and will give you a nice, fluffy rice.

Enhancing the flavours

What makes Mexican rice different from other Indian rice dishes like pulao, biryani, etc. Of course, its flavours. Oregano is a major ingredient that plays its part in making it different and the other one is cheese. I like to add cheddar cheese to this rice to enhance its flavour. Also, cilantro (coriander) goes a long way in making Mexican rice flavourful. Adding these two ingredients in the end after rice is cooked and then mixing gently will keep their flavour intact. You can also garnish with some more cheese and cilantro (coriander) in the end while serving, it makes this dish look really appetising.

So, try making this Mexican rice once and I am sure it won’t be the last. This rice is a one pot meal in itself, which means you do not have to cook anything else, which also means lot of time saved in cooking and cleaning. Ideal to cook when you are in a hurry or on those lazy weekends when you don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen cooking.

Have a look at some of OvalShelf’s Veg and Non-Veg recipes. If you want some ideas for brunch when you are in hurry why not try Chilli Veg Toast or Eggs Kejriwal.

Recipe Card for Mexican Rice:

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