Best Rice Cooker for Cooking Exotic Rice Dishes (+4 Amazing Recipes)

In the heat of summer, we often look to dishes that appeal to larger crowds, are on the lighter side and are versatile. Read on to learn how to cook rice dishes from around the world that appeal to many palates, are delicious, healthy, and easy to cook in MEC clay pots.

Typically, the summer rice dishes use items that can be found fresh such as limes and cilantro; things that add coolness such as yogurt or citrus; and things that add heat, as our bodies tend to cool down when we eat hot and spicy foods! We hope you will enjoy trying all 4 of these dishes in the best rice cooker, an MEC clay pot:

1. Cilantro Lime Rice

This dish contains the summer citrus flavor combined with the earthy, fruity flavor of cilantro, using garlic and onion as a flavor base. Ramp it up with dried chili for dry heat or jalapeno for more of a moist, fresh heat. Using sea salt adds both flavor and nutrition in the form of minerals such as potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus, boron, zinc, copper and sulphur typically found in sea salt.

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes | Serves 4


  • 1 ½ cups Basmati rice
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tsp lime juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste

How to cook Cilantro Lime Rice

  1. Rinse rice with water to remove excess starch and add to MEC pot with 2x amount of water (rice to water ratio 1:2).
  2. Add onion, garlic, and salt. Cover lid and let cook on low heat for 20 minutes or until fully done.
  3. Turn stove off, sprinkle lime juice and cilantro on top, cover and set aside for 2-3 mins.
  4. Gently fluff the rice with fork and serve hot.

2. Mexican Rice

This rice is a wonderful complement to chicken or fish tacos, and black beans or pintos seasoned with onion, garlic, and jalapeno.

This rice includes tomatoes which are bountiful and fresh in the summertime. Tomatoes are high in Vitamin C and potassium as well as Vitamin K important for blood clotting and bone health. They are high in fiber and folate. Folate, B9, a water-soluble vitamin, is important for healthy cell function.

Using garlic and onion as base flavor also boosts nutrition with the healthful benefits of these ingredients from the allium family. Garlic and onions contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium which can help reduce water retention.

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes | Serves 4


  • 1 ½ cups Basmati rice
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapenos, chopped
  • 3 cups water
  • Salt, to taste

How to cook Mexican Rice

  1. Rinse rice with water to remove excess starch and add to MEC pot with 2x amount of water (rice to water ratio 1:2).
  2. Add onion, garlic, tomatoes, and salt. Cover lid and let cook on low heat for 20 minutes or until fully done.
  3. Turn stove off. Season with jalapenos and serve.

3. Arroz Verde (Mexican Green Rice)

This dish can be a delicious and healthy accompaniment to many Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes. Or you can add a Chili-lime chicken and make it a one-pot meal. The chilies offer lots of Vitamin C and antioxidants like capsaicin. Some people choose to include seeds (increases spiciness of dish) and others choose to leave out seeds. There are some healthy benefits of including some seeds.

Cook Time: 25 mins | Serves 4


  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 2 cups cilantro, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 white onion, quartered
  • 1 lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • rock salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp coriander, ground
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp oil*

How to make Mexican Green Rice

  1. Roast the poblano pepper, either in the oven or in a pot on the stovetop. Once cooled to the touch, peel off the loose and blistered skin, cut off the stem, and remove the seeds from the inside. 
  2. Rinse rice if desired, then fry the rice with little oil and toast. *You can use any pure oil you prefer or have on hand. Olive oil, coconut oil and sesame oil are all good options.
  3. Blend together the roasted poblano, cilantro, white onion, garlic cloves, and lime juice. 
  4. Add the greens to the toasted rice. Stir together to coat the rice. 
  5. Pour the chicken broth over the rice, stir and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cover and keep cooking. 
  6. Cook the rice while covered for 20 minutes. Then remove from the heat, keep the lid on and let sit for 10 minutes. 
  7. Fluff the rice and stir to ensure the green mixture coats all of the rice. Most of the greens will have floated to the top during the simmering process. Serve hot.

4. Yogurt Rice

This traditional Indian dish is popular for all age groups, and most especially enjoyed in the summer. The cooling nature of the yogurt complements the warm rice nicely, and it tastes just right. You can’t argue that yogurt is a healthy additive to your diet but using homemade yogurt made in an MEC pot will further increase the healthy benefits of this dish.

Read more about how to make yogurt in MEC. Read more here about its health benefits.

There are many variations of this dish. Here is one such recipe right from MEC’s kitchen:

Healthy & Aromatic Yogurt Rice recipe

Interested in cooking these recipes healthy and nutritious in your own clay pot? Head over to MEC’s online store and order a pot today!

Published by

Sachin Sharma

I hail from a small but popular city of India known as Kurukshetra, mentioned numberless times in Indian/Hindu mythology because of some amazing historical events that supposedly took place there. I have done B.Tech in Information Technology but I decided not to be a Software Engineer as my qualification would have me be because it was all such a cliché. I love to live like a free spirit and do whatever I feel like doing at any moment. I have tried to work in multiple fields but none of them was interesting enough to keep me tied-up for too long. I am a typical Freelancer. I know I am destined to achieve greatness but when and how, I don't know yet.

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