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Mexican Rice

Photo by Deepa Ballal

Best served with Mexican beans, Mexican tortillas, chilli sauce and salsa. Also great as a side dish to Mexican entrees such as tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc.


  • 1 cup whole brown rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ a medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes
  • 1 hot pepper of your choice, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin (jeera) powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped celery
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp unrefined salt


Heat a medium-sized pot on medium heat, add the uncooked rice, and roast. You do not have to stir the rice around very much at first while browning, but as the rice becomes browner, keep stirring to make sure it all browns evenly and doesn’t burn. Towards the end of the browning, add the garlic so that it is also browned.

Next, add water to the rice (it will steam) and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well and cover the pan (with a small gap left for steam to escape). Reduce heat to medium-low to medium, and cook for 20-30 minutes. (Cooking time and temperature varies with your stove. Check after 20 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn). The essential rule of this recipe is “Do Not Peek” while the rice is cooking.

When ready, all the water would have been absorbed, the rice will be fluffy and each grain will be “split open” because of the browning. It should be dry, not mushy. You may adjust the spices/peppers to your taste. The recipe can be changed by maintaining the ratio of 1 cup rice : 2 cups water and adjusting the rest of the ingredients.

Serves 3-4


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