Spanish rice has saffron. Mexican rice doesn't but derives its vibrant color from spices and tomatoes. In this recipe, the rice is cooked with turmeric, cumin, garlic, oregano and onion, and simmered in chicken broth for deeper flavors.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
- 1 medium onion peeled and chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper deseeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 ½ cups long grain rice (see notes after the recipe)
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ¼ cups tomato sauce
- 2 cups chicken broth
- sliced scallions or torn cilantro, to garnish
- In a thick-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil.
- Saute the onion, bell pepper and garlic until the onion pieces are translucent.
- Pour in the rice and cook, stirring, until every grain is coated with oil and the rice grains are opaque.
- Add the turmeric, cumin, oregano, about a teaspoon of salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper. Cook, stirring, for have a minute or until the coloring is even.
- Pour in the tomato sauce and cook to distribute evenly.
- Pour in the broth, stir and bring everything to the boil.
- Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook the rice for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice grains have absorbed all the liquid.
- With a fork, fluff up the rice.
- Taste the rice; add more salt and pepper, as needed.
- Cover the pan and, OFF the heat, let the rice cook in the residual heat for another five minutes.
Aged Basmati rice was used in this recipe. Aged rice absorbs more liquid than new rice. If using other rice variety, the liquid may be more or less than the amounts specified above.