Portuguese Tomato Rice

Posted on 04 August 2010

As I mentioned in yesterday’s recipe, Piri Piri Chicken with Tomato Piri Piri Sauce, this Tomato Rice works wonderfully with spicy and flavorful foods while adding its’ own sweet and herby taste. It is so easy to make, only requiring simply adding the ingredients and then stirring occasionally while it is happily cooking away. As it is wholly vegetarian dish it fills a void that is too large in my repertoire… For some reason I have never been a vegetarian for any length of time. There was perhaps a week long stage in high school where I decided that I just had to be one (I am sure my mama was so excited!) and another stage when I first moved out to New York where I ate nothing but tofu and vegetable stir-fries; it was cheap and tofu and vegetables just so happened the only foods I could guarantee my roommates wouldn’t eat late night! But in general I have always been a strict carnivore, so having a dish like this up my sleeve makes it so much easier when I want to have a dinner party for people with dietary restrictions. You could also leave out the butter for vegans but we may be overdoing it…

When I was testing this dish out I used fresh bay leaves. You can find them at some larger gourmet supermarkets and also online stores or if you are lucky enough to have bay trees in your garden you could pop outside. I bought mine from my go-to speciality supplier, Kalustyan’s, where they cost $1.99 for a half ounce.

Notes: A good way to measure the amount of water going in with basmati rice is to place your index finger on top of the rice and add enough water to reach the first joint. Somehow this trick works and produces perfect basmati every time!

Tomato Rice, serves 4 as a side
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 fresh bay leaf, or half a dry
7 oz chopped Italian plum tomato (1/4 of 28 oz can)
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp butter
1 cup basmati rice

1. Heat a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the oil and the onion, cook slowly stirring once or twice to prevent burning. Cook until onions are softened and turning golden, about 10 minutes.

2. Add pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until sticky and jammy, about 10 minutes.

3. Add garlic, parsley and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

4. Stir in tomatoes, paprika, butter, 1 tsp kosher salt and a little pepper and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

5. Add rice and stir to coat in tomato mixture. Pour cold water in to cover (see Notes).

6. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often to make sure the base is not burning. Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork, cover and leave it to steam for another 10 minutes. Fluff it again before you serve, making sure that all the liquid has been absorbed. Serve hot.

4 responses to Portuguese Tomato Rice

  • […] served this with the traditional accompaniment Tomato Rice – perfect for a satisfying dinner! And the tomato piri piri sauce can go on anything. I saved […]

  • Nicola de Viveiros says:

    as a child, my Mae always made this and i loved it!!!! thanks soooooooooooooooo much for sharing :) x

  • Debi Lattus says:

    More and more people are choosing to eat a vegetarian diet because they know that veggies are healthful food. Using low calorie and vegetarian recipes is one of the most important things you can do to protect your heath and the health of your family since obesity is now an epidemic in the United States and other developed countries. Cooking them is still better than the alternatives to a vegetarian lifestyle or a vegan lifestyle, but we receive the most nutritional benefit from ingesting whole and organic raw foods. They will often include many of the vitamins, minerals, and sources of nutrition that every body needs. These low calorie recipes, usually high in fiber, protect against digestive disorders such as diverticulosis and may offer protection from colon and lung cancers. Many low calorie and vegetarian recipes use soy, tofu, dried beans and peas to add protein to meals. Using low calorie recipes will provide a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes, adding high amounts of all the essential vitamins and minerals. Subscribing to vegetarian magazines, scouring newspaper food sections, and visiting veggie websites will bring you a respectable number of recipes, but it’s more convenient to have hundreds and hundreds in one place. ,

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