Horchata de Arroz
(Latin sweet rice beverage)
These days horchata can be found pre-made in the refrigerated section of markets or as a powder in packets to be mixed with water or milk. In the homemade version, the rice settles out after a few hours. Stir to remix.
Makes around 2 quarts
- Rice -- 2 cups
- Water -- 6 cups
- Cinnamon -- 1/2 teaspoon
- Sugar -- 1/3 cup
- Vanilla -- 1 teaspoon
- Soak the rice overnight in 3 cups of the water. Add the rice, soaking water and cinnamon to a blender and puree until smooth, 2 or 3 minutes.
- Strain into a pitcher through a fine-mesh sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. There should be no grit or large particles in the liquid.
- Stir in the remaining 3 cups water, sugar and vanilla. Adjust sugar to taste and serve well chilled.
- Horchata de Chufa (Spanish tiger nut beverage): The original Spanish version of horchata.
- 1 pound chufa (tiger nuts)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 quarts water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Wash the chufa well and rub off any hairy fibers.
- Soak for 12 hours in water to cover, and then discard the soaking water and rinse again.
- Puree the nuts in a blender with 1 or 2 cups of water. Pour into a pitcher and add the remaining 2 quarts of water and the cinnamon stick. Chill and soak another 2 hours.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or 3 layers of damp cheesecloth to remove any grit and serve well chilled.
- El Salvador: Flavored with ground morro seed (from the calabash tree gourd) and various spices.
- Nicaragua and Honduras: Flavored with ground jícaro seeds (from the calabash tree gourd) and cocoa.
- Mexico-Oaxaca: Tinted pink with a dollop of the pureed fruit of the prickly pear cactus (tuna in Spanish).
- Other Possible Additions: A squeeze of lime juice, ground nutmeg, ground allspice.
- Substitute 3 cups of milk for 3 cups of the water. Or use evaporated milk for a richer, creamier version.
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup blanched, chopped almonds to the blender when pureeing the soaked rice.
- Some recipes call for grinding the rice before soaking. Use a spice or coffee grinder to first pulverize the rice. Then add the water to soak. The soaking time can usually be cut in half when following this method.