Mexican Rice Pilaf

Recently Sadananda bought some delicious locally-made blue corn tortillas. In honour of the tortillas, I made refried black beans and this Mexican rice pilaf. With some guacamole and green salsa, it made for a great meal.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and minced

  • 1 medium carrot, diced

  • 1 zucchini, cubed

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1-1/2 cups basmati rice

  • 3-1/3 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  2. Turn the heat up to medium and add the carrot and zucchini, stir-fry for a few minutes.

  3. Add the tomato paste and rice; cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes.

  4. Add the vegetable broth, salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin; turn the heat up and bring to a boil.

  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.

  6. Add the peas, cilantro and lime juice and fluff the rice with a fork to mix. Let the rice sit for a few moments to "dry out" and lose that wet, just-steamed texture. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lime if necessary.

Source: Adapted from

Alakananda Ma M.B., B.S. (Lond.) is an Ayurvedic Doctor (NAMA) and graduate of a top London medical school. She is co-founder of Alandi Ayurveda Clinic and Alandi Ayurveda Gurukula in Boulder Colorado, as well as a spiritual mother, teacher, flower essence maker and storyteller. Alakananda is a well known and highly respected practitioner in the Ayurveda community both nationally and internationally.

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