A Colorful Mexican Rice Bowl

Mexican Rice Bowl Top

A Mexican Rice Bowl to me, represents a typical Healthy, Summer Lunch in a Bowl. It exudes a colorful, crunchy and wholesome feeling which lifts up your mood to take on the rest of the day. My first experience of a Mexican Rice bowl incidentally, was at a California Burrito outlet and I fell in love with it instantly. A simple looking dish, but it has a lot of components to it and takes a fare amount of time to make.

My Mexican Rice Bowl has,
– A subtle but flavorsome Cilantro & Corn Rice
– A spicy & tangy Mexican Chili Beans
– A sweet n crunchy Mango Pico de gallo => Mango = Summer for us in India 🙂
– Pan sauteed simple Fajita veg (Onions & Green Bell Peppers in this case)
– A scoop of fresh Sour Cream
– Some crispy Corn Tortilla Chips or Nachos
– What is missing is some freshly made Guacamole.
So, around 6-7 components go in to constitute this bowl…elaborate, eh? 🙂

Of course, you can add your favorite proteins too like grilled chicken, pork, fish, prawns or chorizo.

Lets go over one component at a time.

Mexican Chili Beans

  • Ingredients (Serves 3)
    Canned Red Beans : 250-300 gms. (or You can also soak the beans overnight and cook it)
    Red Onion : 1 diced small
    Tomatoes : 2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped small
    Garlic : 2-3 pods, peeled, minced
    Salt : To taste
    Olive Oil : 2 tablespoons
    Cumin Powder : 1 teaspoon
    Paprika : 1 tablespoon
    Hot Sauce : 1-2 teaspoon
    Habanero/Jalapeno Chilis : 1-2 chopped up fine
    Sugar : About a teaspoon
  • Method:
    Heat up a pan, add the oil and sauté onions, garlic and chilis until the raw smell is gone. Add the cumin powder, paprika and tomatoes. Continue to sauté until the tomatoes are well cooked and incorporated. Add salt, sugar and hot sauce as per your liking and palate. Finally add the canned beans in, stir well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Adjust water, salt, sugar or hot sauce if required. Turn off the heat and keep the pan covered.

Cilantro & Corn Rice

  • Ingredients (Serves 3)
    Rice : 1 Cup, cooked al dente, cooled and kept aside. Use any rice you like but it should not be glutinous or sticky. You can add some salt while cooking the rice.
    Sweet Corn : You can use canned or fresh, about a cup.
    Cilantro : A big bunch, washed and roughly chopped up
    Olive Oil : 2 tablespoons
    Salt : To taste
    Butter : About 40-50 gms or a 1 x 0.5 inch piece.
  • Method :
    Heat a pan, add the olive oil and then the butter. Toss in the sweet corn and sauté for a minute. Add the rice, mix well and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add salt to taste. Finally, add the chopped cilantro, toss it around nicely and switch off the heat. Keep the pan covered so that the rice does not cool down completely. You can add a squeeze of lime or leave it as a garnish if you like that tangy punch.

Fajita Veg

Cut one large onion and 1 green bell pepper into long slices. You can also use Red & Yellow Peppers or Zucchini as well. Sauté in a pan with some olive oil, salt n pepper (You can add cumin powder and/or paprika as well if you like it that way) until they lose the raw smell, slightly soften but still have color & some crunch. Keep aside.

Mango Pico de gallo

  • Ingredients (Serves 3)
    Tomato : 1 large ripe tomato, deseeded and chopped small
    Red/Yellow Peppers : About half, deseeded and chopped small
    Jalapeno Peppers : 1, chopped fine
    Mango : 1 medium & ripe (but the flesh should be firm), chopped small.
    For the dressing:
    EVOO : 1 tablespoon
    Orange Juice : 2 tablespoons
    Vinegar : Use sherry or any sweet vinegar
    Sugar : 1 teaspoon
    Salt : to taste
    Pepper : a pinch
    Cumin Powder : half a teaspoon
    Paprika Powder : 1 teaspoon
  • Method:
    Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Taste to ensure it is up to your taste and keep aside. Mix the cut mango, peppers, tomatoes and jalapeno in a large bowl. Add the dressing to the bowl and mix well. You can also mix some chopped cilantro in for an extra flavor n punch if you like that.

Serving Suggestion:

Take a medium/large bowl. Place the rice at the bottom. Top up with the Chili Beans and Fajita Veg. Add on a scoop of the Pico de gallo, sour cream and Gaucamole (if you have it) on top. Throw in a few Nachos, add a wedge of lime and you are all set for a wholesome Mexican meal 🙂

Mexican Rice Rowl Side

You can also add your favorite proteins like grilled chicken, pork, fish, prawns or chorizo to the bowl if you have some.

Leftover Pico de gallo can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or 2 and used as a Nacho dip.


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2 Responses

  1. Nithya says:

    A little squeeze of lemon in the cilantro rice will give you a nice punch, balance of flavor & an authentic Mexican touch! 🙂

    • samith says:

      Agree, Nithya. I personally did not add it as the Pico de gallo and the Chili Beans were already somewhat tangy 🙂

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