Red rice, or arroz rojo, is a very popular side dish for just about any Mexican or Southwestern meal around. Red rice is also known as both Spanish rice or Mexican rice, although they do not traditionally eat red rice in Spain. So how did it become known as Spanish rice then if they don’t eat it in Spain? Well, there are a couple of theories. The first is that since it was introduced to Mexico by the Spanish through their conquests in Asia and the Philippines, it was called Spanish rice. The second theory is because they speak Spanish in Mexico, and this is a traditional dish in Northern Mexico, it is called Spanish rice. This dish is eaten almost daily by most people who live in Northern Mexico yet in Southern Mexico, the people eat white rice instead. The red color comes from using either pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce or ketchup. There are many different ways to make this traditional Mexican dish, but it almost always is made with chicken broth, tomatoes, garlic, chilis and onions. Everything else is just a bonus.
This is but one of countless versions of this dish. This is one of the easiest ways to prepare red, Spanish or Mexican rice.
2 cans chicken broth – I made my own
1/2 tsp cumin
1 TBSP garlic
1/4 onion, chopped fine
chili lime seasoning
1 /2 tsp coriander
1 tsp each fresh oregano and thyme, chopped fine
1 cup rice
salt & pepper to taste
3 TBSP butter
3 TBSP ketchup or tomato paste
Mix the seasonings, chicken broth and ketchup together and set aside.
Saute the onions and garlic in the butter in a sauce pan for about 2-3 minutes, then add the rice and mix it in thoroughly. Toast it slightly for about 2-3 minutes, then add the chicken broth mixture.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked and tender. Add the oregano and thyme to the mixture once you have reduced the heat.
When the rice is done, serve it up with your favorite Mexican or Southwestern cuisine and enjoy. !Desfruita!