How to make true Brazilian Rice

DSC_0203Rice is a staple food in the Brazilian diet. Walk into any house and you will find rice on the table ready to be eaten. Go to any restaurant that serves Brazilian food and you will find rice with every dish. Rice is a part of life in Brazil, it is a part of the culture, and it is something you need to know how to cook when making Brazilian food.

Because rice is such an important part of the Brazilian cuisine it is a must know recipe. Rice in Brazil is seasoned differently to rice in the USA or Europe. In Brazil they use onions and garlic to flavor the rice. Without the onions and garlic you do not have Brazilian rice! Before traveling to Brazil I cooked rice the plain and simple way, without onions and garlic. I thought my rice was great before my husband told me how tasteless he thought it was. Once I learned to cook rice the Brazilian way I was hooked and have never wanted to cook or eat rice without the essential flavoring of onions and garlic. I promise that once you learn how to cook Brazilian rice you will be hooked too and will not want to return to the rice you made before.

Brazilian RiceCooking Brazilian rice is simple and just requires a few extra steps. Here are a few things that I needed to learn and keep in mind when learning to cook Brazilian rice:

– Basmati or jasmine rice work best. It took me forever to find the perfect rice, but once I discovered jasmine rice I never changed. Jasmine rice is my favorite to use.
– Always rinse the rice before cooking it. Using a rice washer is a must have for guaranteeing you have well washed rice (this is the Brazilian one which I have been unable to find in the USA). You know the rice is properly washed when the water runs clear!
– Allow the washed rice to dry. It is important to have dry rice before adding it to the pan.
– Don’t over fry the onions and garlic. If the onions and garlic become brown it will give the rice a burnt flavor to the rice.
– Practice makes perfect. If it doesn’t work the first time, try again. It took me quite sometime to get it perfect!

So here is the recipe for Brazilian style rice.

Ingredients

1 cup basmati or jasmine white rice
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small/medium onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 tbsp tempero caseiro (substitute for onion and garlic)
1 tsp salt
2 cups boiling water

Wash the rice until the water runs clear and set aside to dry. Boil enough water for two cups. Chop the onions and garlic finely; if using tempero caseiro measure out the necessary quantity. Place a pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once olive oil is heated add the chopped onions and garlic or tempero caseiro. Sauté until fragrant; approximately 3 minutes. Add the dry rice to the pan and stir for an additional 3-4 minutes making sure that the rice does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the two cups of boiling water to the rice and the salt (if using the tempero caseiro you do not need to add the salt). Place a lid on the pan and cook on medium heat for 8 minutes. Decrease the heat to low and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the water has all evaporated. If the rice is not cooked yet, add a little bit more water!

For a PDF of this Recipe CLICK HERE!

Brazilian Rice

Thanks to Paula from Blogging Foods for the specifics on this recipe….!

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11 thoughts on “How to make true Brazilian Rice

  1. That´s true about Brazilian rice. When I am in a hurry, I just fry garlic with rice and dump them into an electric rice cooker. It cooks to perfection without having to worry about burning the bottom of the pot. Depending on the type of rice, you may need to adjust the amount of water. You can do that even after the cooker goes off, just sprinkling some water in it.

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    • Very true about the water, it does vary. It also varies depending on where you live. My house is at a very high altitude and I need less water here and everything cooks faster. But, when I am in São Paulo I struggle with figuring out the right quantities. Rice cookers have never really worked for me. I prefer the old-style way of using a pot:)

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