The Rice Cooker: Cilantro Lime Basmati Rice

Wednesday August 3, 2016

I became enthralled with cilantro and lime rice after eating a burrito bowl at Chipotle’s Mexican Grill fast food restaurant. I had heard that people ate there just for the rice, it was that good. So off I went to give it a try. And I wasn’t disappointed. The rice was so refreshing and a great combination with a layer of black beans and salsa fresca, I had to make a batch at home and then include it in the Rice Cooker book revision, where we got to add some new recipes. This is an exceptional combination, the flavors are very complementary for such a simple dish. Nothing is over powering, its all very subtle.

Cilantro, the leaves of the coriander plant, has been used as a culinary herb since at least 5,000 B.C., making it one of the earliest herbs for cooking. It is native to the area that is now Greece. It is mentioned in Sanskrit text as well as the Bible. Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) used the name coriandrum after “coris”, the Greek word for “bedbug” as it was said they both emitted a similar soapy pungent odor. Coriander is one of the herbs thought to have aphrodisiac qualities; the Chinese used it in love potions and in The Thousand and One Nights a man who had been childless for 40 years is cured with a coriander concoction. Spanish conquistadors introduced it to Mexico and Peru, where it now commonly pairs with chilies in the local cuisines. storage: Wrap loosely in paper towels & refrigerate for for up to a week. preparation: Wash well in cold water and dry on paper towel before chopping. Cilantro is eaten fresh, usually sprinkled as a garnish or topping. Diced or minced it can also be added to soups, stews, and curries. It makes a great pesto.

You will love this rice. It is destined to become a classic rice dish. Make for a side dish, vegetarian or not, as a burrito filling, and day-old for fried rice.

Machine: Small (3-cup) or Medium (6-cup) rice cooker; fuzzy logic or on/off

Serves 3 to 4


1 cup white basmati rice, rinsed until the water runs clear

2 teaspoons butter

1 large or 2 small limes, juiced

Zest of 1 lime

1 1/3 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro


1. Place the rice in the rice bowl. Add the butter, lime juice and zest, water, and salt; swirl just to combine. Close the cover and set for the Regular cycle.

2. When the machine switches to the Keep Warm cycle, let the rice stand and steam for 15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro. Serve hot.

Excerpted from The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann. (c) 2011, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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