This ultra simple Peruvian Rice recipe is perfect to serve with your Peruvian-inspired mains like ají de gallina and lamb stew. Long grain or basmati rice is toasted with a generous amount of garlic and some ground cumin before adding the water or broth. Garnished with a bit of fresh cilantro, you'll love its simplicity!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Peruvian Rice
What makes this rice "Peruvian?" Peruvians love rice, and I've had it in Peru prepared in several ways:
- Plain white rice - Peruvians eat a LOT OF RICE! And, if you have potatoes with a meal, you'll probably have white rice as well. I'm kind of a "low carb girl," so I have struggled with this a bit.
- Garlic rice - This Peruvian-style rice is garlic rice, and it really is just rice and a generous amount of garlic. I add the ground cumin because I like it. You can certainly omit it. Toasting the rice and fresh garlic is key to getting perfect results. The grains are fluffy and flavorful.
- Green or cilantro rice - My "Mexican" cilantro rice is essentially the same as Peruvian green rice. The ingredients and method are the same. You'll find my Peruvian arroz con pollo is based on cilantro rice.
When you're serving a complex, flavor-filled main dish, you often want just a simple rice dish. This Peruvian white rice dish recipe definitely meets that description. It's so simple, requires ingredients you probably have, and it's ready in 25 minutes!
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- rice - My choice for Peruvian rice is basmati, but basmati is my preferred rice for most recipes. Regular long grain rice is fine. My cooking time is 20 minutes. You may want to check your package instructions.
- garlic - I highly recommend using fresh garlic cloves for this rice recipe. The toasted garlic is the key flavor ingredient. I keep minced garlic in my refrigerator, but I always pull out a bulb of garlic when making Peruvian rice.
- olive oil
- ground cumin
- Sauté the rice, fresh garlic, ground cumin, and salt in the olive oil over medium-high heat until the garlic and rice begin show some golden brown, and the mixture is very fragrant. DO NOT BURN IT!
- When the rice and garlic are nicely toasted, add the water, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low; simmer gently for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, but keep it covered. Allow the rice to rest 5 - 10 minutes for any remaining liquid to absorb.
- Finish the rice - Fluff the rice with a fork. Cover until ready to serve. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired. Store any leftover rice in the refrigerator.
Make a double batch of Peruvian rice, and use the leftover rice as the foundation for arroz chaufa (Peruvian fried rice).
Rinsing the rice can cause mushy, sticky rice. It needs to go into the pan dry.
I use a ratio of 1 cup rice to 1 ¾ cups liquid. I allow the rice to steam with the lid on an additional 5-10 minutes after cooking to absorb any remaining liquid. My rice is always fluffy!
Please use fresh garlic. There are many great ways to use a jar of minced garlic, but the simplicity of this rice requires fresh garlic (and a generous amount of it!).
Substitute broth for the water for even more flavor!
DO NOT PEEK AT THE RICE! Escaped steam and heat can wreak havoc with your end results!
What is the best kind of rice to use for Peruvian-style white rice?
In Peru, I'm guessing they're using long-grain rice. My preferred white rice is basmati (I love its fragrance and fluffy grains). Jasmine would be fine as well. Just be sure to check your package instructions for both liquid to rice ratio and cooking time!
🍷 Pairing Suggestions
Obviously, we're not just having rice for dinner! On photo day, we had Peruvian baked cod with huancaína sauce, and the rice is a perfect way to sop up all the sauce! Simply sautéed broccolini with olive oil and garlic completed the meal. I had planned to serve salsa criolla as well, but time got away from me, and it didn't get made. In Peru, we often had rice and salsa criolla with a main dish.
More Pairing Ideas
- ají de gallina - Peruvian chicken in spicy cream sauce
- Peruvian scallops - seared scallops with 2 sauces
- Peruvian beans - spicy, creamy mayocoba beans and rice
- Latin mango chicken - a Mexican/Peruvian fusion recipe with fresh mango and ají amarillo sauce
- shrimp in roasted goldenberry sauce - a creative recipe with shrimp, peas, and roasted goldenberries
I almost decided against posting such an ultra simple recipe, but this easy rice dish does round out a Peruvian-inspired meal without adding a complicated side dish. Browning the rice and garlic in oil does boost the flavor! I hope you'll give it a try...
- 2 teaspoons olive oil - vegetable oil is fine as well
- 2 cups basmati or long grain white rice**
- 4 cloves fresh garlic - mashed or minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 ½ cups water - or broth
- Toast the rice, cumin, and garlic in the oil until golden brown.
- Add water. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow it to set at least 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
🍚 Other Peruvian Rice Dishes
Yes, the first one is labeled "Mexican cilantro rice," but it is identical to Peruvian green rice. Trust me on this. I make it all the time, and I've had it in Peru. Tacu tacu is a perfect way to use leftover Peruvian rice and beans!
Beth Boudreau says
This recipe sounds delish
I have never cooked basmati rice without rincing it many times and soaking it in water
Your recipe does not give instructions for this
Are you simply cooking the rice without rincing and soaking? And it is not sticky?
Beyond Mere Sustenance says
Hi Beth! I have never rinsed basmati rice, and I've never had a problem with it being sticky. If you have good luck rinsing it, you can certainly do that with this rice. It might require slightly less liquid? If you do rinse it, I'd love to hear how it goes. Thanks for your question! P.S. I do always rinse quinoa before cooking.
Loved the flavor of this rice! I was a little scared the cumin would be overpowering, but it was perfect. We will definitely be making this again. 🙂
Beyond Mere Sustenance says
Yay! I'm glad to hear the amount of cumin was appropriate. It's a favorite spice, and while it's important to taste it, I didn't want to be heavy-handed. Thanks for taking time to comment Meggan!