In this recipe, the rice is cooked with turmeric, cumin, garlic, oregano and onion, and simmered in chicken broth for deeper flavors.
Simmered in chicken broth? Yes, this isn’t Asian fried rice. It’s cooked like pilaf. Instead of letting rice absorb water, the grains soak up chicken broth, tomato sauce and spices.
The flavors are added in layers. Onion, bell pepper and garlic are first sauteed before the rice is stirred in. Turmeric, cumin and oregano are added to provide the second layer of flavor and the first layer of color.
Because rice needs liquid to cook, tomato sauce and chicken broth are poured in. The rice cooks as the grains absorb the liquid. By the time the mixture is quite dry, the rice has acquired the beautiful colors of the spices and broth. The grains have also soaked up all the wonderful 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
- 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.