SHRIMP CHILLI WITH BLACK RICE

It’s been quite a long while since I posted a recipe. I’ll have to put it down to good old fashioned laziness for the long gap. I was traveling a bit as well but using that as an excuse would only be fooling myself. Usually, I am a healthy eater (I do make room for a treat every once in a while) and mostly stick to safe and easy to make healthy recipes. But from time to time I get this calling from within to experiment with flavours and ingredients. More often than not I try and incorporate healthy foods in my diet like chia seeds or millet flour or avocado and recently I had this urge to use the latter as a part of my meal rather than a standalone food to be enjoyed by itself.

Mexican ingredients are not always easy to come by but this recipe called for smoked paprika and cumin. I always prefer to use fresh whole roasted cumin which I then ground into a fine powder over packaged cumin powder. And one day while roaming the aisles of a local super market I came across a container of quality smoked paprika which I wasted no time in acquiring. Avocado on the other hand, although expensive, has increasingly become more widely available in local and super markets in this part of the world. A dear uncle of mine who lives in the mountains of northern West Bengal always manages to get some unique local ingredient for me each time he visits me and this last time he landed up with a bag of organic black rice. So I rustled up this slow cooked Mexican inspired shrimp chilli with black rice.

INGREDIENTS:

  1. Black rice – 30 gms. You can substitute black rice with regular or brown rice or even quinoa.
  2. Black beans – 30 gms. You may substitute black beans with red kidney beans.
  3. Shrimps – 100 gms. Washed, deveined and cleaned. 
  4. Avocado – 50 gms. Thinly sliced.
  5. Tomatoes – 50 gms.
  6. Tomato puree – 0.5 cup.
  7. Garlic- 1 pod. Finely minced.
  8. Onion – 1 small or 0.5 medium, finely sliced.
  9. Smoked paprika – 0.5 teaspoon.
  10. Roasted cumin powder – 0.5 teaspoon.
  11. Dried oregano – 0.5 teaspoon.
  12. Fresh parsley – For garnishing.
  13. Regular olive oil – 2 teaspoons.
  14. Seasoning as per taste.
  15. Chilli flakes as per taste. (Optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. If you are using black or brown rice then soak them for 30 mins. This results in softly cooked rice. Skip this step if you like your rice with a little bite to it.
  2. The beans ideally must be soaked for at least 30 mins to let them release the nitrogen. Pre-soaking the beans also cooks the beans faster.
  3. In a dutch oven or deep pot take the oil and let it get warm.
  4. Sweat off the garlic and onion. Once the aromas release add in the tomatoes.
  5. Next strain and add the beans and rice. 
  6. Add the smoked paprika and ground cumin. Mix well so that the spices are evenly distributed.
  7. Now pour the tomato puree.
  8. Add 1/4 cup of water and cook on low until beans are soft and mushy. It should not take you more than 30 mins.
  9. Increase the heat and cook off the liquid content to achieve the desired consistency.
  10. Season as per taste. Also add chilli flakes and mix well.
  11. Pour into a bowl and set the avocado atop.
  12. Finally garnish with a bit of parsley.
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