Appetizers and Side dishes — By Ben on 15 September 2009
Mexican Tomatillo Rice

Tomatillo and basil rice

After a long and lazy week spent at my friends’ house in Dayton I am back with more Mexican inspired recipes. All this month I am posting this kind of recipes to celebrate the 199th anniversary of Mexico’s Independence. Mexican rice is my favorite way to eat this grain, but I wanted to give it a twist by using tomatillos instead of tomatoes and I spiced it up a little by adding some pepper and basil.


Mexican Tomatillo Rice
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
The afterthoughts: •I enjoyed this rice a lot. It is a good alternative for the popular red Mexican rice. Unlike tomatoes, tomatillos flavor is more sour hence giving this dish a very different and distinctive flavor. The jalapeno gave it a nice kick and even though I like how it mixed with the basil flavor I will keep it out next time. I'll also add some peas or other kind of veggie next time.
  • •2 cups long grain rice
  • •2 TBSP canola oil
  • •1/2 pound tomatillos
  • •1/2 medium onion
  • •2 garlic cloves
  • •1 jalapeno pepper, seeded
  • •1 tsp chopped fresh basil
  • •2-3 cups chicken broth
  1. In a medium sauce pan fry rice in canola oil until it starts to turn golden brown and has a nutty smell. Make sure to stir constantly to fry evenly.
  2. In a blender mix together tomatillos, onion, garlic, jalapeno and basil with 1 cup of chicken broth. Once it's blended and smooth, add more broth until you get 4 cups of tomatillo sauce (double the amount of rice in cups)
  3. Pour sauce over rice, mix well and bring to a boil.
  4. Mix again and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes stirring lightly every 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning.
  5. The liquid should be absorbed in that period of time and the rice should be tender. Serve with your favorite Mexican dinner and enjoy!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(23) Readers Comments

  1. Looks lovely..simple ingredients and delicious flavors

  2. That looks so delicious and easy to make. I really loved the recipe. And your pics are just awesome. Great work.

  3. Stumbled it too :)

  4. Delicious, I'll try both options cilantro or basil. The Basil option I would serve with fish (perhaps "a la talla" or grilled) served with fresh ripe tomatoes.

  5. Love flavoured rice, this sounds really good with the tomatillos, jalapeno and basil.

  6. Oh Ben, this recipe is amazing – I love the fact that there's no hint in the look of the rice of all the goodies packed inside. YUM. I would never have thought of this.

  7. I like that you add tomatillos to your rice. Must be so good. Nice plating and beautiful pics Ben.

  8. What a clever twist. I love tomatillos, and the addition of basil sounds delicious, too. Great photograph! Love it.

  9. Wow, this looks beautiful! What an art!

  10. Sounds delicious! I love all the flavours in this

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