Ever since the words Mexican Pink Rice appeared in a newspaper article, replete with a recipe, several years ago when we were starry-eyed eager beavers for Sunday specials to feed our families, we’ve had a thing for, well, Mexican Pink Rice.
While the Pink in it really refers to the flush skinned Pinto beans they use, the flavors running through the course of it are really what make it delectable and they’re not very different from what comes off the spices we experiment with in our everyday cooking. We took that idea as a key to work around and came up with our own spicy and slick version, with beans on the side.
Brown Rice, Mexican-style
- 1 Cup quick cooking brown rice (We used Daawat brand)
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 Large onion, minced
- 1 Red bell pepper, chopped
- 6 Spring onions, white and green parts chopped separately
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1-3 Jalapenos, minced (to taste)
- 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ Teaspoon red chilli powder/cayenne
- Pinch of turmeric
- 5 Medium tomatoes, blanched, skin removed and pureed
- Approx 1 cup of water or vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- ½ Teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
- 2 Teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ Cup grated cheese
- Sour cream, red or black beans, tomato salsa and tortilla chips to accompany the rice
- Wash and soak the brown rice for 15-30 minutes. Drain well.
- Heat the oil in a large pressure cooker and add the onion, bell pepper and spring onion whites. Add a couple of pinches of salt and cook the vegetables on medium-low heat, stirring often, for about 5-6 minutes. Now add the garlic and jalapenos and stir for another minute. Toss in the cumin, chilli and turmeric.
- Add the drained rice to the pan and toast it, stirring gently.
- Meanwhile measure the tomato puree and add water or stock to make it up to 2 cups*. Bring this mixture up to a boil.
- Carefully pour the liquid into the rice. Stir well. Add salt and sugar.
- Pressure cook the rice until done* – bring the cooker up to pressure, reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Allow the steam to release then open the cooker. Allow the rice to cool slightly. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander leaves. Garnish with the reserved spring onion greens and grated cheese.
* – Adjust the amount of liquid and cooking times to your brand of brown rice, as per the directions on the pack or your experience.
Serve the rice in a shallow bowl with a scoop of beans, a dollop of sour cream and plenty of salsa. Add a few tortilla chips for crunch.