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Chimichurri Rice - My Take On Trader Joes's Peruivan Chimichurri Rice

Written By Srimathi Mani on Sunday, May 2, 2010 | 7:39 PM

Ever since I tasted the Peruvian Chimichurri Rice that Trader Joe's carries, I have been thinking of trying to make it at home. I love this rice because it tastes like tomato rice plus lemon rice with a whole lot of cilantro but without any of the seasoning like mustard seeds or dhals. It also had this silent sweetness and a tangy spice to it, that is so delicious and makes me crave for more. I have bought this rice a number of times from TJ's and simply did not get enough of it.

Deciding that I need to know how to make it I googled and found that they do not have a recipe for Peruvian rice. There was lot of mentions on chimichurri. sauce, rubs, paste etc which is very popular ingredient in the  South American cuisines. They use it a lot to marinate meat. I even found chimichuri sauce and powder at World Market and decided to try the powder. It had a lot of dried parsley and had no cilantro flavor. So, I did the simple thing of buying a packet of the rice and checked out the ingredients. I found that they used panca   Chillie, a chillie that is very commonly used in Peruvian cuisine. Went hunting for that chillie in the grocery stores but it was not commonly available.

Came home and set to work. I heated portions of my store bought chimichurri rice and kept tasting it to add my own spices. I think it was close to the original, if anyone who reads this post knows how to make the chimichurri rice like the one at Trader Joe's please send me a mail. If you have not tasted it please grab a packet at TJ's and enjoy it. If you liked what you tasted then try the recipe and please send me your review. If you live in San Diego area and know where you can find panca peppers please let me know.




Gadgets:
Cutting Board
Knife
Bowl
Heavy Bottom Stock pot / pan
Spatula
Measuring cups and spoons


Ingredients:
Basmathi Rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Onion - 1 small ( 1 cup)
Shallots - 1/2 cup
Roma Tomato - 1(firm and large)
Ginger - 1 inch grated
Garlic - 3 big cloves
Lime juice - 1 1/2tsp
Cilantro - 1 cup finely chopped
Chili Powder - 1 tsp (add more if you want it spicy and substitute any kind of latin chillies that you have)
Salt - less than a tsp
Creme Fraiche- 1/4 cup ( Sour Cream/ fresh cream can also be substituted)
Fried Onions - 2 tbsp (optional)
Butter - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsp ( not extra virgin)




Preparation:
1. Soak the rice for 20 to 30 minutes in 2 cups of water after washing it well.
2. In the stock pot add butter and oil together. When that heats up add onion, garlic and ginger with 1/4th tsp salt and cook it on medium heat.
3. When the onions change color add a roma tomato, chillie powder and cook with the onions, then add peas after the tomato is cooked a little. Add 1/4  cup creme fraiche and mix it well with the veggie mix. It will generate a lot of liquid. Cook until all the liquid disappears.
4. Add the water from the soaked rice and bring it to a boil. Then add the rice and mix well.Add 1/2 tsp of lime juice and allow the rice to cook until all the water is almost absorbed.
5. Lower the flame to simmer and cover the pot and cook the rice for 4 minutes. Then add the cilantro, fried onions and mix it gently and serve it hot with any side dish.

47 comments:

  1. Superb dear...Looks so spicy n colorful...Loved your new version.

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  2. This looks sooo tempting! like the rice is calling out to you to taste them :)Great pics!!

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  3. Interesting rice dish. Loved the color and looks very much Indian unless spelt out. Nice write-up.

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  4. Thank you for your comments. Yes it looks very Indian, but the taste is very different. I think the panca peppers makes it taste different.

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  5. Wonderful presentation.. mouth watering clicks dear!!

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  6. The recipe is really unique and combination of my two favorite rice ?!! Cool :)

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  7. sounds very interesting dear!!!
    Nice clicks :-)
    Thx. for sharing.

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  8. Thats a delectable rice dish, its looks quite similar like our vegetable rice for me..looks beautiful..

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  9. Nice dish,i always look for rice variates,bookmarked it.

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  10. Srimathi looks very nice. A nice effort to remake the Peruvian rice. It just shows your interest in cooking and trying something new. Anyhow you invented a new dish now :)

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  11. New rice dish, adding cream is a interesting twist... looks delish!!

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  12. Although your recipe shows red chilli powder you do not seem to have used it in the method. Please clarify. Thanks
    Neville

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    Replies
    1. No mention of green peas in the recipe ingredients, either.

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  13. Very nice recipe! Looks excellent!!

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  14. Thank you for all the nice comments.
    Priya, it is almost like our veggie rice, but the use of creme fraiche and panca peppers or latin chilles if you have makes it very different in taste and flavor. If you use the regular chilies it might taste like a regular rice.

    Anonymous, Thanks for pointing out. I did miss out adding the chilli powder. I have now added that step to the recipe.

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  15. lovely rice! very tempting...superb.nice clicks

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  16. This chimmichuri rice looks very delicious and interesting.Never had it before.Will get it from TJ and try it.I will be on the look for panca peppers.

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  17. Looks so beautiful..a new variety for me

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  18. Great picture.. looks delicious.

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  19. Looks sooooooo yummy!!! Awesome click. I am craving for it now.

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  20. I have never tried lemon or lime in my rice before. How festive looking. I must try

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  21. I love chimichurri. Never thought of incorporating it in rice, but it is a fantastic idea!!

    I love this version too.

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  22. Very creative way to flavor rice, it looks fabulous !

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  23. After I found your recipe I was inspired to track down aji panca peppers (dried) which I located on ebay. After seeding the whole peppers I soaked them in very hot water which softened them nicely and processed them into a paste using the mini-prep food processor, a tiny amount of olive oil and about a tablespoon of the soaking water. The panca chilis have a raisin-y aroma and a sweet hotness. That was today, tomorrow I will try your recipe. I'll let you know how it goes. I can't wait to taste this as I do love the Trader Joe's Chimichurri Rice but we live 150 miles from the nearest
    TJ's and your recipe sounds terrific. - Lauren

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  24. I made your recipe yesterday and it was brilliant with authentic taste and character. I used about 3 teaspoons of aji pancha paste. Thank you for deciphering this one. Lauren

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  25. Hi Lauren,

    Thank you so much for trying out my recipe. I am delighted indeed that it turned out well. That makes me feel so complete.

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  26. Thank you so much for doing all the hard work so I, too, can make my favorite TJ dish!

    "Aji panca" (aji is any kind of pepper) brought up this link with a neat place to get panca chilies:

    http://www.sandiegofoodstuff.com/2009/10/taking-heat-san-diegos-peruvian-markets.html

    And as others mentioned, "aji panca" does find some online sources as well. I just really like the idea of a travel agency selling grocery items for homesick Peruvians.

    Thanks! Laura

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  27. I am addicted to this rice from TJ too and yes its not very cheap either to eat it everyday.Thanks for recipe !

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  28. I really like the sweetness of the peas. I don't see that in your recipe. Is that optional in your opinion?

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  29. I've been wanting to re-create this dish, too! It's tasty, but kind of expensive.

    By the way, you left out the amount of peas to use. Once you've got that up, I think I'll try this and see what we get. I think you may have saved me a lot of work - Thanks!

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  30. I just tried the TJ version for the first time this Monday and was excited to find your recipe. I made it yesterday. Loved it! I used full fat yogurt instead of creme. Thanks a lot!
    - SK

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  31. Oh Emm Ghee! I just had this from TJ's for the 1st time today w/2 of their little appetizer chicken enchiladas! I put ALOT of cilantro on top and huge dollops of Nonfat greek yogurt(just like Sour Cream)!!

    I loved it so much I googled to see if someone had figured out the recipe! So glad I found this!!!

    P.S. I was really missing having Avacado! I can see this with grilled Shrimp!

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  32. I found your recipe when I went looking for Peruvian chimichurri sauce after falling in love with Trader Joe's version. I'm looking forward to trying it. I want to modify it for brown rice. Thanks.

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  33. You're a woman after my own heart - I adore the TJoe's chimichuri rice as well.Another thing I noticed about the rice - the peas in there are not the usual flaccid frozen peas but plump like freshly shelled peas from the pod.Am going to try your recipe, thanks.

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  34. If you enjoy Aji Panca try the Peruvian Aji Amarillo!

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  35. Ah, I see I am in good company! Love this product from Trader Joe's but wanted to create a vegan version and am THRILLED to have found your recipe (will use vegan butter and sour cream). Thank you so much for doing this! I will let you know how mine turns out. By the way, I found Panca Pepper Paste on Amazon -- Inca's Food brand, A little pricey ($8.99 + 4.95 shipping), but will pay for itself over time. It got 5 stars from two people who seemed to know what they were talking about. Thanks again, Srimathi, can't wait to try this, and looking forward to looking over your other recipes as well.

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  36. will try it tonite. what is the best side dish for this recipe?tksss

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    Replies
    1. You can serve it with some veggie side dish. Its has latin american flavors, so if you eat meat, that could be an option. I

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  37. This recipe is AWESOME! In place of the chili powder I was able to locate the following product at an International store in my area. It was in the Peruvian section and contains Panca peppers. I added about 3 Tblsp. of the sauce and the taste was spot on to the addicting rice that Trader Joes sells. The product is called: Inca’s Food Brand (Brochette Seasoning) “Aderezo De Anticucho” Sauce – Containing Panca Pepper as 1st Ingredient. Thanks for this fantastic recipe!

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  38. Thank you so much for this A. I will try it out.

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  39. Try fire roasting the tomato first! Then add 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (I use Clive of India) a dash of cinnamon. That did the trick for me!

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  40. No vinegar? I think the vinegar is what really makes the TJ's version pop.

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  41. How about using a panca pepper paste? I found a few varieties in Amazon and may try it out!

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  42. Making this tonight. Looks fabulous. Love the Trader Joe's rice.

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  43. So I was browsing on this yummy Peruvian rice recipe and saw that you wanted to know where you can get panca paste or panca pepper? Well I'm sure they sell it in California you just have to look for a international supermarket or just go to this awesome little Latin store where they sell Peruvian products the name of the store is Andres Latin Market and it's on 1249 Morena Blvd, San Diego, CA 92110 ...

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