Mexican cuisine is arguably one of the best in the world since its preparations have a characteristic touch that differentiates it from the rest of the worldwide gastronomy. To taste a sample of it, here is a simple recipe you can prepare at home.
A beverage with a lot of history
When it comes to preparing recipes with rice, horchata is a delicious Mexican drink that is worth enjoying at home, since it is not too difficult to prepare. Certainly, the first and perhaps most important recommendation is to get good quality rice, such as https://mahatmarice.com/recipes/traditional-mexican-rice/, to ensure the best results.
Although horchata is a very traditional drink of Mexico, being the best companion in taquerias, fondas in restaurants for its creamy texture and refreshing flavor, the truth is that its origins are far from the Mexican country.
Horchata water is a traditional drink from Alboraya, a city in Valencia, Spain, made with the edible chufa tubers (a.k.a. earth almond and tiger nut) brought by the Islamic communities that moved to the Iberian Peninsula in the 7th century. Thanks to the favorable effects of drinking horchata against respiratory diseases and gastric issues, its consumption quickly became popular.
Although there is a record of an ancient horchata recipe using almonds and melon seeds instead of chufas, the lower cost of these made them the main ingredient in the elaboration of this beverage.
Then it crossed the Atlantic Ocean
During the time of the Spanish conquest, the horchata de chufa arrived in Mexico and laid the foundations of the drink as it is known today. Despite the Spanish influence, the truth is that the versions of the drink in Mexico have a special touch that differentiates it from the original.
For those who want to enjoy the recipe at home, there’s no need to be a culinary expert to get a fresh and tasty drink, just having the correct ingredients and following the preparation method, anyone can make a good Mexican horchata.
- A cup of uncooked white rice.
- A cinnamon stick, split into several pieces.
- Five cups of water.
- Evaporated milk.
- A teaspoon of lemon zest.
- Cup of granulated sugar.
- Little sticks of cinnamon.
How to Make Horchata
- The first thing to do is grind the rice grains with the lemon zest and the cinnamon into the blender until it looks like flour.
- Add water to the mixture and mix again until everything is ground. Let it rest overnight at room temperature in an airtight container.
- Place the mixture in the refrigerator to soak for at least two hours.
- Then you should strain the liquid into a jug or bowl, it is recommended to use a fine strainer or some layers of gauze, which you should squeeze frequently to remove as much water from the rice.
- Mix the liquid with the evaporated milk and sugar. You can serve the horchata with ice or put it again in the fridge since it is recommended to drink it cold for a better palate experience.
You may serve this creamy, soft, and sweet drink sprinkled with ground cinnamon on top, or a touch of vanilla to get a better flavor.
Some final tips
When preparing this drink, there are some recommendations you should keep in mind that will help you at serving time.
- Use a good blender to blend the rice with cinnamon and lemon. The ingredients should keep the required consistency for the preparation of the drink.
- The soaking of cinnamon and rice is very important since this process softens the rice and passes the flavor to the water, so you should not skip this step.
- If you don’t want to use dairy products in your drink, you can exchange evaporated milk for nut or soy milk, and get a good result as well.
- When serving the horchata you can use whole cinnamon sticks to give a more attractive look to the drink. It is also advisable to serve with ice, especially if it has been out of the refrigerator for a while.
If you follow these tips you will be able to enjoy the authentic Mexican horchata, perfect for accompanying some chicken tacos, refried beans, or any other Mexican meal, and enjoy an incredible dining experience.