Turmeric, annatto or saffron gives yellow rice its distinctive color. Turmeric is used in Southeast Asia, annatto is popular in Latin America and the Caribbean while saffron is added in South Asian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.
In this recipe, annatto seeds are heated gently in oil to render color. The seeds are discarded and spices are sauteed in the colored oil before vegetables, rice and broth are added.
Arroz Amarillo con Achiote (Yellow Rice)
- Pour the oil into a shallow pan and sprinkle in the annatto seeds.
- Over low heat, allow the annatto seeds to render color.
- Scoop out the annatto seeds and discard.
- Set the heat to medium, add the garlic and onion to the oil, and cook gently until slightly softened.
- Add the carrot cubes and peas.
- Add the rice. Stir to coat each grain of rice with the oil. Cook for a few minutes.
- Pour in the broth. Taste; add salt and pepper, as needed (see notes after the recipe).
- Bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid.
- When the rice is done, fluff up the grains using a fork, cover the pan loosely and leave for another ten minutes.
- Serve the arroz amarillo con achiote hot. It is great by itself or with anything and everything — meat, vegetables, seafood.