Welcome to SopaRice.com
For garlic and onion lovers only.

Sat Nam, Everybody!

My name is Hari Kaur Bird.
If you like garlic and onions, you're going to love what follows...
a recipe for Sopa Seca Supreme, the world's best Mexican rice dish.

Sopa Seca Supreme
A favorite dish of Yogi Bhajan's

A delicious Mexican rice dish...
made with 'tons' of garlic and onions.

Years ago, my husband's neighbors, Bernice and Louis Martinez, introduced him to a vegetarian, and Native American rice recipe. It's called Sopa Seca, which means 'dry soup'. It's also known simply as Sopa. It's a real family favorite, so much so that Yogi Bhajan even insisted that it be prepared for him when we hosted him at our Florida residence in the early days of 3HO, back in the late 60s. What follows will make at least 12 garlic and onion lovers very happy. Also see Native American Fry Bread.

Utensils and Ingredients for making Sopa


Stainless steel pot (aluminum pots pose a health risk)
Basmati rice (not precooked)
Omega-3 cooking oil
Molcajete bowl and pestle OR household food processor
Canned tomatoes (San Marzano's are naturally sweet)
Salt (Use sparingly -- Himalayan crystal salt is healthier)
Tomato paste (optional)

Procedural Details

Add several cups of basmati rice covering 1 to 1.5 inches of pot
Add omega-3 cooking oil (use only enough oil to lightly cover rice)
Crush 1 small to medium bulb of garlic (more if desired*) in a molcajete bowl

Crush 8 to10 small to medium cooking onions in molcajete bowl
Crush 1 large can of whole tomatoes in molcajete bowl
Add 1 teaspoon of salt or more to taste
Add 1 small can of tomato paste for richer tomato flavor, if desired
Add ghee (clarified butter) for extra richness, if desired

*IMPORTANT: 1) Always crush your garlic and onions using a molcajete bowl or use a food processor in the absence of a molcajete bowl. Just finely chopping the garlic and onions will result in noticeably less flavor. The individual garlic and onion cells must be opened in order to release their Chi or Prana (essence). This can happen only if they are crushed. 2) Use caution if you want to add more garlic. Always err on the side of less garlic. While extra garlic may be desired, you can cross the line whereby a bitter taste results.

Large chunks of garlic, onions and tomatoes for more body and color can be added, if preferred.


Cooking Details

First, use a stainless steel pot (not aluminum). Add several cups of basmati rice, i.e., cover the bottom of the pot with 1.5 to 2 inches of rice (we use uncooked basmati rice). Add just enough high quality cooking oil to ever so lightly touch the rice. Place the pot on low heat while you process the garlic, onions and tomatoes.* Caution: Watch this mixture closely to avoid sticking or burning of the rice - temperature settings can vary greatly from stove-to-stove. *Note: Low heat will minimize unhealthy chemical changes in the oil and help to sustain Chi. If the rice becomes light brown in color before you are ready to proceed to step 2, remove the pot from the heat. Note: The rice is partially cooked, initially, in the oil, and then it cooks to tender with the water from the tomatoes. If more water is needed, be careful not to add too much. Sopa seca is meant to be relatively dry, not soupy, when done.

When the rice is a light gold to light brown color, not dark brown, turn up the heat to a medium setting. Add the crushed garlic and onions, stir well and saute them for 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the crushed tomatoes. Add an extra small can of crushed tomatoes or tomato paste later for extra tomato flavor, if desired. Add salt and stir. Cover the pot and cook the rice until it's tender. Stir frequently.

Be Alert! When the rice begins to stick to the bottom of the pot turn down the heat. Again, stir frequently to avoid sticking and burning the rice. When the rice is tender, turn heat off and partially uncover the rice. Leave the pot on the stove and let the pot cool to room temperature.

Garlic and onion flavors improve after Sopa sits for a day.
(That is if you can keep everybody from picking at it.)

Serving Suggestions

Add Sopa to tortillas or taco shells, then add your favorite salsa (see Super Salsa Recipe) and some ghee, if desired.

Serve Sopa Seca along with some refried beans, shredded cheddar cheese and some salad and-or guacamole. At least 12 garlic and onion lovers will feel as if they've died and gone to heaven. (Never mind their garlic breath!)

For Best Results
Crush the Garlic and Onions
in a Molcajete Bowl with a Pestle

Molcajete y Tejolote
Mohl-kah-HEH-teh ee Teh-hoh-LOH-teh

The best way to make Sopa is to crush the garlic, onions and tomatoes using a molcajete (mohl-kah-HEH-teh) bowl and pestle. Of course, a household food processor or finely chopping them by hand are also acceptable, but only if you can't get a molcajete and pestle, which is an age-old Native American-Aztec 'food processor' made of genuine lava rock.

'Molcajete y Tejolote' is the Aztec term for a 'mortar and pestle', molcajete meaning the mortar, tejolote the pestle. The grey-black, rough texture of both pieces is because they are made of natural basalt, i.e., volcanic rock. These are used in the traditional Native American manner for grinding spices, herbs, roots and other edibles.

Crushing the garlic and onions in a molcajete bowl is preferred over other methods because processing in this manner adds Chi (life-force).

Super Salsa Recipe

Super salsa and chips

1 29 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 medium size onion, chopped
1 or more chopped cloves of garlic
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. Mexican oregano, preferable
2 tsp. salt - to taste
1 Tblsp. ground black pepper
4-6 oz. coarsely chopped cilantro
1/2-3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

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Aztec Figures


The word molcajete (mortar) derives from Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs: molli (seasoning or sauce), and caxitl (bowl). The word tejolote (pestle) also derives from Nahuatl: tetl (stone), and xolotl (doll).

Guacamole: Avocados and garlic prepared in a
molcajete bowl and served with chips and pico de gallo.

Foods traditionally prepared in the molcajete include salsas and mole's (mohl-LAY), as in 'guaca-mole'. It is also used for grinding chilies, garlic, onions, tomatoes or other herbs and spices for many native recipes. 

The best quality molcajetes are made from basalt-lava stone with the lowest possible sand content. This stone can have a very fine-grain, smooth feel or a very rough-texture. The coarser textured stone, like the example above, is hard and makes a good grinding surface. See instructions below.

CAUTION: Beware of fakes. Molcajete bowls can be found online. Cheaper molcajetes may have a very "rounded appearance" with a pear or cone-shaped pestle. They are softer and easier to carve and thus less expensive. Unfortunately they are terribly 'sandy' and no matter how you may try to cure them, i.e., grind the pieces together using water in order to smooth the surfaces and eliminate the grit, they remain gritty and unusable for food preparation purposes.

Both plain and pig-head versions, are inexpensive reproductions cast out of a combination of concrete and crushed stone, or a different type of non-basalt river rock. These continually produce a very gritty residue, and they don't make good quality food grinding pieces. They are typically very shallow so they have a very small hard-to-use capacity. These are used mostly as decorator items, ash trays, planters, etc. Make sure yours is an authentic Mexican, hand crafted, basalt-lava, molcajete..

Curing procedure for a newly acquired Molcajete: With the pestle in hand, grind the molcajete bowl using water as a lubricant. Flush both utensils with water frequently until all surfaces are smooth and free of any gritty residue. The bowl and pestle will retain flavors and aromas of anything crushed with them. The more they are used, the more life-force (Chi) they acquire, so use water only to clean them.

CAUTION: Use WATER ONLY to cure and-or clean your molcajete and pestle after each use. Never use soaps or detergents. The accumulated Chi of the herbs and spices will strengthen with time, which will make for increased health benefits.

Chi Energy

Many of us these days are aware of calorific content and nutrition when we prepare our food, but how many of us stop to consider the quality of the Chi or Prana we are getting from our meals?

All living things contain Chi. Chi is the vital life-force that sustains us and animates us. We get most of our Chi through the air that we breathe - one of the reasons that spiritual disciplines often include focusing on the breath, however we can also absorb Chi through our diet. Fresh and-or properly prepared foods retain more life-force.

The food we eat varies considerably in the amount of Chi. Factors such as growing methods, storage conditions, preparation and cooking methods affect the amount of life-force in our food. --



Points To Ponder

"Let your food be your medicine,
and let your medicine be your food."
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine

"Nothing will benefit human health and increase the
chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the
evolution to a vegetarian diet."
-- Albert Einstein

"In each and every environment, good
health and sustained wellness is dependant
on the rapid removal of waste. In terms of our
personal health, one needs to void solid waste two to
three times a day or once between each meal, without
straining, to maintain basic health and wellness. Toxins can
be harmless if removed quickly from the body."
-- Hari Singh


An employee of a large national Mexican fast food chain gets his licks in.

"Not all doctors are healers.
Not all healers are doctors." -- Hari Singh

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  *Consultation with a health care professional should occur before applying adjustments or treatments to the body, consuming certain foods, medications or nutritional supplements, and before dieting, fasting or exercising. None of these activities are herein presented as substitutes for competent medical treatment.

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