Spicy Yellow Rice is another grocery store copy-cat recipe, similar to my Homemade Rice and Roni and Cast-Iron Broccoli and Cheese recipes. This one, in particular, is a dupe for Mahatma’s Spicy Yellow Rice, found in the rice aisle in a gold and yellow pouch, which is soo freaking good.
Spicy Yellow Rice Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Spicy Yellow Rice recipe:
- Chicken broth, water: We’re using a combination of both. Using all chicken broth would distort the flavor, so don’t. Using all water will require adjusting (increasing) the seasonings, so don’t do that either. Depending on how much bite you like your grains of rice to have, you might need to reduce or increase the amount of liquid you use. If the lid on your pan isn’t tight-fitting you’ll need more because the steam will escape. Note: If the lid is the issue and you don’t want to fiddle with the measurements, try placing a piece of foil or parchment paper over the pot before you add the lid. This should help a seal form around the edges.
- Basmati rice, long-grain white rice: The grains of rice in the product we’re imitating seem to be medium, so I tried that (you can see what it looks like in the photos accompanying my Cajun Butter Steak Tips recipe) but I wasn’t a fan. I like the final texture, taste, and appearance of this rice combination.
- Dehydrated Red bell peppers: I love what they add to the mouthfeel and appearance. Can be omitted. If you try to substitute with fresh peppers you’ll need to cook them completely and then just stir them into the rice after it’s fluffed.
- Oil, unsalted butter: I always use both, but doubling the amount of either and using just that is cool, too.
- Saffron, turmeric: Together they’re responsible for the ‘yellow’ in this yellow rice, and impart a unique flavor that can’t be duplicated. When I say a ‘small pinch’ of saffron threads I mean like 2-3 1″ long threads. It’s expensive and a little goes a long way.
- Cayenne pepper: I said it was spicy, didn’t I? Well omit this and voila! It’s mild instead.
- Onion powder, garlic powder, ground white pepper, kosher salt: For flavor, obviously.
- Equipment: For reasons explained below, you want to use a pot with a tightly fitting lid. Here’s all the equipment I used:
How to Make Spicy Yellow Rice
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Spicy Yellow Rice recipe:
- Bloom the saffron. You can usually find ground saffron, but I don’t recommend it. Buy the threads. Crush them between your fingers or use a mortar and pestle to grind them up, then add them to a small bowl and cover with one-fourth of a cup of boiling water. This will bring the flavor out of the saffron and help it reach new heights!
- Toast the rice. Add the oil and butter to your saucepan and let the butter melt. Add the rice and stir to coat in the fat. Cook the rice over medium-high heat until it begins to deepen in color.
- Cook the rice. Stir in the saffron and the liquid you bloomed it in, followed by the chicken broth, water, and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then gently stir in the dehydrated bell peppers. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat to medium-low, almost low. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Steam and fluff the rice. After 20 minutes have passed and you don’t see any liquid bubbling, turn off the heat and remove the rice from the burner. Let stand for 5 minutes before lifting the lid. After 5 minutes use a fork to fluff the rice gently or fold it with a wooden spoon (it’s faster and easier, I think, but you won’t get every grain separated as you would with a fork).
The obligatory Pinterest graphic:Print