One-pot meals are my favorite! They come together in no time and never disappoint on taste. This one-pot Mexican rice is one of my favorite one-pot meals. It has a little bit of everything – tanginess from the tomatoes, spiciness from the chili, punch from the Chipotle and so much freshness from the cilantro or coriander. I love this recipe because it is so simple, yet super delicious!
Before I begin to put the recipe down for you, I have a DISCLAIMER. This is MY VERSION of Mexican rice and I DO NOT claim it to be authentic. I am putting this forward in the very beginning before some readers get offended. Please know that this is a recipe I make for myself in my kitchen and love it. And those who like my recipes and ask me for quick meals for weeknight dinners, this is for them.
Now that the disclaimer is out, let’s get into the details.
Cooking the rice
First up is the rice. Mexican rice uses long-grained rice in its authentic version as well. So go for long-grained rice such as Basmati.
Since we are cooking the rice in one pot, you will have to soak it in advance for about 20-30 minutes to get the perfect fluffiness. Wash the rice thoroughly and then soak it in room temperature water. Once done, drain all the excess water out through a sieve and then use it in the recipe.
Tomatoes are the hero
The deep red color of this one-pot Mexican rice comes from tomatoes. I have used store-bought tomato puree here. You can also use fresh tomato puree but make sure you use about 200 grams of it in that case since fresh tomato puree is not as thick. If you use fresh tomato puree, you will also have to cook the tomatoes for longer before adding the rice. Otherwise, there will be a raw tomato smell in your final recipe.
I go ahead with store-bought tomato puree because it’s thick and I do think there are some quality brands offering good purees. Store-bought purees are also thicker and add more flavor to the recipe. But the choice is completely yours.
Chipotle powder or sauce is an essential element of Mexican rice. Most Mexican recipes also use Chipotle chili powder. Since I did not have that, I used a combination of chipotle sauce and chili powder. The results are quite fabulous in both cases. But again, the choice is yours. Go with whatever you have available.
Adding coriander is key
I feel the garnish of coriander in this recipe is the best part of it. I absolutely love coriander and especially in a rice-based dish like this. The coriander adds a lot of freshness, color and crunch to the final dish and I would suggest you add a generous garnish of it. Without coriander, you might find something as missing in this recipe. At least I do!
Here’s the recipe below. Refer to the video for a visual idea of the process.