Fiery Chili Lime Rice

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I’ve said it before: I love hot food. This rice is a fabulously spicy side that’s packed with flavor. Turn it into a more substantial meal by tossing in some sauteed shrimp or leftover roast chicken or pork.

This rice gets a triple kick of heat from cayenne, chipotle, and Aleppo chili flakes�and a potent dose of bright flavor from fresh lime juice,� chopped cilantro, and fresh garlic added to finish the dish.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

Fiery Chili Lime Rice: A note on chilis and raw garlic

If hot food’s not your thing, adjust the amount of chili to make it as hot�or not�as you like. You could also substitute a milder chili, like ancho, for some or all of the cayenne.

This dish also has a lot of in-your-face garlic. To cut that back, toss the fresh garlic in with the rice when you add the other spices. When you add it in at the end, the garlic cooks a little bit in the hot rice, but is really still very pungent.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice: A note on ingredients

I make this with basmati rice, which has a really nice, nutty flavor. It would also be really good with jasmine rice, which is more fragrant and slightly flowery.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

I also use ground celery seed instead of celery salt (better control over the flavor and amount of salt in the dish). If you can’t find ground celery seed in your grocery store, Penzey’s sells a 4-ounce bag for just under $3. They also sell Aleppo chili flakes.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice

2 cups basmati rice
4 cups water
1 tsp. ground chipotle
1 tsp. ground cayenne
1/2 tsp. ground celery seed (if you use celery salt, omit the kosher salt below)
kosher salt to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, mashed
1 lime, cut in half
Aleppo chili flakes, for garnish

Serves 4-6 generously as a side

Fiery Chili Lime Rice: Bring the rice to a boil

Put the rice in a medium-sized saucepan. Use one that has a tightly fitted lid.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

Add the water to the pot. Toss in the ground chipotle, cayenne, celery seed, and kosher salt (to taste).

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

Give it a stir to combine. Set the pot on the stove over high heat. You want it to come up to a boil.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice: Prep the cilantro and garlic

While you’re waiting, chop up the cilantro and mash the garlic.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

Set them aside until the rice is cooked.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

Fiery Chili Lime Rice: Cover and simmer the rice

When the pot comes up to a boil, drop the heat to low and cover the pot tightly.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

Keep an eye on it for a minute or two. If your heat is too high, it may boil over.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

Simmer covered, like this, until you can’t see any liquid and the surface of the rice is dotted with air holes. When you see that, turn the heat off and cover your pot back up for about 10 minutes to let the rice finish cooking.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

After about 10 minutes, uncover the pot. Fluff the rice up with a fork.

Give it a taste. It should be completely cooked through.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice: Season the cooked rice

When your rice is cooked, toss in the cilantro and garlic. Squeeze both halves of the lime over the pot.

Fiery Chili Lime Rice at The Hungry Mouse

Stir to combine well with a fork or wooden spoon. Give it one final taste and toss in a little salt if you think it needs it.

Serve garnished with a sprinkle of Aleppo chili flakes.



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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. Jessie, thanks, this is right up my alley. I haven't yet dabbled with chipotle and lime combo. I like pureed chipotles to work magic on chicken noodle soup. I do a lazy daisy skimmer variation of your dish with leftover Jasmine rice. My laze version couldn't approach your dish in end flavor, but for a quick bite, it has filled the bill. It's a fav late night snack. Leftover plain rice is so adaptable for fast dishes. I scoop however much I want into a glass bowl and start adding whatever may be in fridge, pantry, or spice rack, according to my taste buds of the moment! Last night, I had a small amount of thin cheesy sauce saved after draining it off some noodles to keep them from sogging. I added the dab of sauce, some good squeezes of lime juice, onion powder (not peeling onions at 1 AM), and fresh cilantro. Then, what the hey, finely minced about 1/4 of a small wilting orange habanero, too. Winner in taste. Then the hab kept me up all night with delayed serious heat. Sometimes I go sweet, adding some sugar and, yep, lime juice -- you're making me realize I could add chiles or chile powder to the sweet too. No more hab though. That wasn't my idea of fun no matter how good it was going down. Okay, first things first. I want to try your dish. It sounds yummy and is full of ingredients I love. Thanks again for sharing.
    • Wheee! Thanks, Christina! This is one of my favorites. Especially when I have a cold. It's easy to make and so spicy that it usually gets me breathing again... +Jessie
  2. We love rice, we love lime, and we REALLY love spicy hot (we're Texas natives, after all)! How can your recipe NOT be a winner? But, just to be certain, I will be trying it next week. Thanks for another wonderful idea, for great photos, and for one of the BEST food blogs on the net. Have a great weekend.
  3. Made it twice now, once with brown basmati rice (cooked longer of course) and once with white basmati rice. Both ways, both kinds of rice came out clumpy. What did i do wrong?
    • Try making the basmati rice the "Persian" way. ( My girlfriend gave me this recipe years ago...and I haven't botched the rice since) First of all, basmati rice should always be rinsed. Rinse very well until the water does not cloud up as much. You can actually leave it sitting in cold water for quite some some. Once ready to cook, drain well. Put rice in a pot, doesn't really matter how much, fill the pot with water to cover rice by about an inch. Bring water to a boil and let simmer just until you can bite through a rice doesn't take long for the rice to get to this point. ( this is tricky, if you over cook at this stage the rest won't work) once you are able to do that strain the water out...( really strain it) put some oil in the bottom of the pot, about a tablespoon. Coconut and avocado oil work well, put the rice back in the pot, make some holes in the rice down to the bottom of the pan ( three will do) cover the rice with several sheets of paper towels ( this will catch the steam so that it doesn't drip back down into the rice as water) cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and leave on a very low simmer for however long it takes to cook. The longer you cook it the better the tadiq will be. ( that will be the yummy crunchy layer of rice at the bottom of the pan) The rice will be light and fluffy.
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  5. Hi there :) I just came across your site looking for a vegan recipe for the chipotle lime rice. This is actually better! I just got done making it now and my mom and I both love it. I book marked your blog and I cant wait to see what other delicious this you've made! Michal
    • Oh fantastic! Thanks so much for stopping by to let me know. :D I don't do a ton of vegan cooking, but let me know if there's something in particular you're trying to figure out and I'll see if I can help you out. Cheers! +Jessie
  6. Hey Jessie, I've come across your website using another one, Because of your delicious recipes and amazing pictures, I stuck around. This is actually the first recipe I'm going to try out (I don't have an oven around, otherwise I would've made that chocolate cheesecake already!). I've got a question about this recipe though. Since I want to make it for dinner, I would like to add some veggies. I myself was thinking red pepper, because that is my favorite vegg, but I was wondering which ones you could recommend. Greetings from the Netherlands
  7. I know this web site offers quality based content and additional information, is there any other site which offers such information in quality?