Full of flavour, these recipes from A Bite of Latin America by Susie Chatz-Anderson are as easy to make as they are delicious. Why not give them a try and warm up your belly this winter season.

Arroz rojo
(Mexican red rice with vegetables)
(Serves 8)

  • 3 large, very ripe tomatoes
  • 1 can (400 g) tomatoes and their juice
  • 1 medium-sized onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved
  • 1.5 cups uncooked white rice
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (an additional cup may be required towards the end of cooking)
  • 1-2 fresh jalapeño or similar medium-heat chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3⁄4 cup peas (substitute with any vegetable of your choice)
  • 3⁄4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • Salt to taste
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro (coriander)

  1. Place the tomatoes under a pre-heated grill until blackened, then remove the hard core, peel and chop.
  2. While the tomatoes are in the oven, blend the canned tomatoes, onions and garlic to a purée.
  3. Place the rice in a saucepan together with the tomato/ onion mixture, stock, chilli, bay leaf and oregano.
  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for approximately 10 minutes for white rice and 35 minutes for brown rice.
  5. Add the peas, carrots and roasted tomatoes to the rice and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes or until the rice and vegetables are soft (add more liquid if necessary).
  6. Switch off heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes, then run fork through the rice.
  7. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, garnish with fresh parsley or coriander and serve.

Note: The quantity of stock needed depends on the variety of rice used, so if the saucepan is running out of liquid while cooking, you may need to add stock. Similarly, if the rice is cooked and liquid remains, pour this off. Cooking time will also depend on the variety of rice used.

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(Brazillian cheesy beans and rice)
(Serves 4)

  • 2 cups cooked black-eyed beans (or 2 x 240g cans)
  • 2 cups cooked long-grain white rice (you can use brown rice)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions, including the green ends, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 70 g mild white cheddar or mozzarella, grated
  • 1⁄3 cup fresh cream (or more to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to garnish

  1. If cooking from scratch (which is recommended), soak the beans overnight, discarding the soaking water before cooking in fresh water for 1 hour or until very soft. Do not add salt until the last 10 minutes of cooking.
  2. Cook the rice as per the pack instructions with a little salt.
  3. Once the rice and beans are cooked, fry the onion, spring onions and garlic in the olive oil or butter for 3-5 minutes until soft and translucent.
  4. Add the rice and beans to the pan and mix well with the onions.
  5. Add the grated cheese and stir over medium heat until melted.
  6. Add the cream and season withsalt and freshly ground pepper.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley to serve.

Related article: The best peri-peri chicken recipe and more tastes of Durban

SPICY FOOD FOR THE WINTER SEASON SPICY FOOD FOR THE WINTER SEASON Reviewed by Michelle Pienaar on June 20, 2022 Rating: 5
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