Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mexican Style Rice and Beans

First off, we'd like to thank PG for the Lemonade Award. It always feels good to be acknowledged by a fellow scientist :)

Next, we'd like to thank Lisa for the Triple Award. I'm still waiting for that A-Rod post btw :)

Now, coming back to the post. We've stated in the past that we love food inspired from Latin America. I guess Mexican food is the most popular and more ubiquitous in the U.S. We've tried Burritos, Tacos but with store bought seasonings. Honestly, the seasonings for different preparations do not taste all that different! We thought of making something more 'authentic'. One fine day, we were watching Bobby Flay churn out some really neat stuff on T.V. He gave a quick tutorial on different chilies used in Latin American cooking. We took inspiration from this and decided to try our own Mexican rice. Since the most popular (vegetarian) addition to rice involves beans, we fixed some Mexican rice with black beans. We used some chipotle chili peppers (basically smoked jalapeno peppers) and dried Ancho chilies (dried Poblano peppers). It turns out that black beans apparently originated in Mexico around 7000 years ago. So not bad for keeping it real in terms of ingredients ;) Here's how we made it and it turned out totally delish!


1 16 oz can of Black Beans (you could always used fresh cooked ones)
1 cup cooked rice (we used basmati rice)
1 small onion (coarsely chopped)
1 medium red bell pepper
2 medium Poblano peppers
2 pieces of dried chipotle chilies
1 piece dried Ancho chili
1 small tomato
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Roast the chipotle and Ancho chillies and grind them into a fine powder.

2. Heat the oil in the pan. Splutter the cumin seeds.

3. Crank the heat to high and sear the bell peppers and the Poblano peppers. Once the peppers acquire the burn marks, reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and garlic.

4. When the onions become translucent, add the tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 mins.

5. Add the turmeric, ground chilies and salt. We added a pinch of red chili powder to crank up the heat even more ;) Mexican cooking uses Palillo turmeric which we didnt have, so, we used regular Indian turmeric powder.

6. Add the black beans and stir well. Cook for another 5-7 mins.

7. Turn off the gas and add the rice. Make sure the rice is cooled before you add it to the beans otherwise things might get a bit sticky and soggy.

Mix well. Garnish with some finely chopped cilantro leaves, a dollop of sour cream and dig in!

We chose the veggies in such a way that we get the whole 'smoky' experience from the rice. The dried chilies certainly add that 'Mexican' touch to the rice. But I think the taste of the bell peppers and the black beans also add the to whole smoky experience. You could always throw in a dash of BBQ sauce to kick the 'smokiness' up a notch :)

We contribute our affair with black beans to Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook for her ever growing love for legumes (MLLA event) :)


Cham said...

We ve tasted so many variety after moving to CA. The mexican bean is my fav because of bean, rice and pepper. Love the whole smoky flavor ingredients!

Sia said...

any thing spicy gets my vote. and anything mexican gets my double vote ;)

Asha said...

Enjoy the award. Spanish rice is my favorite. Smoky Spanish cumin seeds have and adds a unique taste and smell. Great entry, eat well my would be kiddies!! Enjoy the weekend! ;D

Usha said...

Congrats on all you awards...this mexican rice sounds absolutely delectable, I am so trying this and soon too :-)

Soma said...

Yes I see the wonderful smoky flavors going on here. I think I would be smoking too.. all those peppers!! I cannot do too many peppers but will take that flavor any time!

Nithya Praveen said...

Mexican beans is a wonderful one.I love the addition of the chipotle chillies,it brings a great flavor to the food.Bookmarked:)

rads said...

ooo, I LOVE mexican food, will try this for sure this weekend!

maxdavinci said...

very do-able, will try it this weekend!

PS: ofcourse a bachelor samiyal version...

Paru ... said...

Wow..I luv Mexican food..Those Chipotle and Ancho peppers must give a kick of a flavour in that rice..Excellent recipe..

Aparna Inguva said...

Looks yum.I have been dying to try a simple dish that would invove chipotle and the ancho. This is just right! a one pot goodness.
P.S: Dude/ette your photos are amazing btw.

Varsha Vipins said...

Great flavorful Mexican rice A n N..i like Mexican food particularly,because its the only spicy one out ther other than Indian..Loved this variation of smoky rice..:)
Thanks a ton for visiting n commenting me..I am so glad you did..Hope to see you both around..:)

Uma said...

wow, lovely rice! looks like a delicious combo!

Daily Meals said...

Mexican rice looks awesome...

Susan said...

Mmmmm....this looks wonderfully spicy and comforting. Love the use of several chiles and peppers.

Thanks, A&N, for sharing this great recipe for MLLA8!

meeso said...

Great side dish for my Mexican dishes, looks really tasty!

maythini said...

Very nice Nandu, like Max says it is certainly do-able ...aana do try to give us simple folks some alternatives to certain exquisite raw matierials you inlcude like 'chipotle chillies', poblamo peppers n all, no? Sometimes we/I am too thick to know what we can replace 'em with :D

Lisa said...

You're very welcome - much deserved, but not only due to our shared love for the Yankees LOL! With that said, the A-Rod post should be up in about a week or so - Jason has been busy and kind of procrastinating because he's not 100% sure how he feels about it yet.

On another note, your Mexican beans and rice look amazing! I cannot wait to try it!

LG said...

Rice looks spicy and with those beans inside it makes it even more interesting. Loved the color of rice

A_and_N said...

@LG: It is quite spicy! You should like it :)

@Lisa: Thank you, thank you!

@Mayth: Kroger le kadekum :D Pinged you.

@ Meeso, Susan, Daily Meals: thanks!

@ Uma, Varsha: Thanks for the compliments!

@ Aparna: You made my day :D

@ Paru: Thank you!

@ Max: Dei, you will get those chillies in Walmart, trust me!

@ Rads, Nithya, Soma, Usha: Do try and let us know. We loved it!

@ Asha: :D Ammaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! LOL

@ Sia: Me too, me too!

@ Cham: I love the smokiness too, Cham. It lends a totally different flavour to the rice :)

Abdul Mannan said...

hi, great blog and awesome pictures! great just great. I love to eat rice & beans, your dish looking really tasty! Mexican Beans is my favourite, I like all Mexican foods, i will make this dish in this weekend. Thank you so much for this great Mexican dish. Thx

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Samantha said...

I'll follow your recipe to the last detail and hopefully i can have it done perfectly. 'll try it and share with my family.

Steve Smith said...

Nice information!