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This rice dish owes its striking color and distinctive flavor to ground achiote seed, which is derived from Annatto.

Achiote, the seed of the annatto tree, is used as a food coloring and flavoring throughout Latin America. You can buy it in specialist spice shops and ethnic food stores. It is sometimes labelled as annatto powder.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 6


Cost per serving $0.34 view details
  • 1 Cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Achiote Seed (Annatto Powder)
  • 1 Small Onion, Diced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1/3 Cup Pickled Jalapeno Slices, Diced
  • Salt To Taste
  • Garnish:
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, Chopped


In a heat proof bowl, pour boiling water over rice until covered. Leave to stand for 20 minutes . Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again.
Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the ground achiote seed and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic, cook for another 3 - 4 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
Stir in the rice and cook for 5 minutes. Slowly pour the chicken broth into the rice mixture. Bring to boiling, lower heat, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 25 - 30 minutes; until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Add the chopped jalapenos to the pan and stir to distribute them evenly. Add salt to taste, then cover again and let steam for 15 - 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and spoon into a heated serving dish.
Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve at once.
Cooks Tip:
Most of the time I replace the jalapeno with diced red or green bell peppers. Saute with onions.
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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 130g
Recipe makes 6 servings
Calories 165  
Calories from Fat 43 26%
Total Fat 4.86g 6%
Saturated Fat 0.42g 2%
Trans Fat 0.12g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 127mg 5%
Potassium 129mg 4%
Total Carbs 26.52g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1.1g 4%
Sugars 0.65g 0%
Protein 3.23g 5%



  • Bob Vincent
    May 10, 2014
    Hi Robyn:
    I am a fan of annatto/achiote as well. I make a similar rice dish to yours but I use annatto oil made from the seeds. It works well in rice and other dishes. It will last forever refrigerated. I have the recipe posted on CES as "Annatto Oil (Poor Man's Saffron). I will try your rice soon as I have the oil made up and like the additional ingredients you have added to the plan rice. Thanks for sharing!
    1 reply
    • Robyn Savoie
      May 11, 2014
      Annatto Oil...the possibilities. I can't wait to try it. Calling Annatto a Poor Man's Saffron is a great description.

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