Arroz verde (literally “green rice”) is coloured with spinach, fresh parsley and coriander leaves, and flavoured with fresh, very mild, large green chilies, such as poblano or anaheim. If these chili varieties are unavailable, use any large, mild green chilies that you can find.
Preparation and cooking time: about 40 minutes
Makes enough for 4–6 persons
3 large mild fresh green chilies
3 or 4 large spinach leaves
1 cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
3 cups vegetable broth or stock
1½ teaspoons salt
2–3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon yellow asafetida powder
1½ cups long-grain white rice
¼ teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
Hold the chilies over a burning gas jet on your stove with a pair of kitchen tongs, or place under the griller. Roast the chilies until they brown a little. Transfer them to a plastic bag. Seal the bag. When cool, carefully remove the chilies, peel them, remove the seeds and cut them into thin strips. Put aside in a small bowl.
Blend to a purée the spinach leaves and half the herbs in a food processor with a little of the vegetable stock. Add this puree, along with the remaining stock and the salt to a 2-litre/quart saucepan. Place it over moderate heat and bring it to the boil.
Heat the oil in another 2-litre/quart saucepan over moderate heat. When hot, sprinkle in the yellow asafetida powder, stir momentarily, then add the rice and saute for 2 or 3 minutes, or until translucent.
Pour in the boiling vegetable stock. Increase the heat to full, bring to the boil, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook the rice without stirring for 15–20 minutes, or until the grains are soft, dry and tender. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir in the remaining herbs and black pepper. Serve hot, garnishing each serve with strips of roasted chilies.