Spanish rice is actually a Mexican dish but who would guess it from its name. Do you know that Spanish rice has nothing to do with Spain and it is absolutely unknown in Spain, I guess just like savory Indian French Toast :)
It is also known as red rice or arroz rojo and is made from white rice, tomatoes, garlic, onions and some other ingredients. Spanish rice is very popular side dish in Southwest America and Northern Mexico where enough tomatoes and chilli pepper are added to rice to give it a distinctive red-orange color and a smoky flavour.
In India we can compare it to South Indian tomato rice or pilaf with few changes here and there (not exactly, but just for comparison sake). This comfort food dish is another of my favorite dish to add to my one pot meals / 20 minutes meal collection and is definitely a refreshing change on my palate from the usual day to day food.I usually cook this at home with beans when I am bored of my normal Indian meals and want to treat myself and others with some flavorsome International cooking.
I think it is a complete dish in itself but you can always accompany it with some roasted or grilled chicken, meat or vegetables. Or just the way I like spanish rice with egg and some salad which makes it complete meal. In the authentic recipe chicken stock is used. If you want to make Spanish rice vegetarian way or don’t have chicken stock, you can always use plain water or vegetable stock. I use vegetable stock , which adds nutrition as well as flavour. (you can check my video – How to make vegetable stock ). I suggest you to make your own stock at home as nothing beats its flavor but packaged stocks are always available, you can use stock cubes as well.
For a good Spanish rice recipe It is very important that you saute the raw rice first. Then you add with onions and garlic and add the rest of the ingredients. This browning of rice brings the essential toasty and smoky flavor to this dish. So why go to a Mexican restaurant, when you can have your Mexican delight at home! You can cook up a Mexican Feast at home with my easy to cook Eggplant Tacos, Mexican Guacamole, Quesadilla and this Spanish rice. Add any salad from the salad recipes and enjoy the Mexican fiesta at your home.