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Mexican Rice

ingredients

serves 4
1/2 lb (225 g) long-grain rice
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
Bunch spring onions
1/2 litre (20 fl oz) passata
1/2 lb (225 g) sweetcorn
1/2 lb (225 g) broad bean (fava bean)s or lima beans (fresh or frozen, not dried)
a few drops chilli sauce - optional
salt and pepper

method

1. Measure the rice in a cup or jug for volume, then put it into a large saucepan.

2. Clean and chop the spring onions - use both the white bits and the green bits and the green and red peppers.

3. Put them into the saucepan with the rice. If you are using the chilli sauce, add a few drops now.

4. Then add twice the volume of liquid as rice - put the passata into the same jug you measured the rice in, then add enough water to make it twice the volume you had of rice. Pour it in, season generously with salt and pepper, and bring to the boil.

5. Add the sweetcorn and the beans. Simmer with the lid almost on, but not quite, so a little steam escapes. Simmer for between 15 and 18 minutes, depending on how quickly the rice absorbs the liquid.

6. Make sure it is just a simmer, not a rolling boil. What will happen is that the rice will absorb all the flavours and colours.

7. It becomes a bright rich red, with jewel colours through it from the beans, the sweetcorn, the chopped peppers and the onions, and all the flavours will have blended marvellously.

8. You can eat this as a dish on its own (there is a lot of protein in it from the beans) or you can eat it with grilled foods or roast meats.

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