Excellent as a side dish, or even a meal in itself when mixed with grilled chicken, this powerful rice recipe does something many rice dishes do not. It elevates rice from mere side to nutritional powerhouse. Made with annatto oil, this java rice dish lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and aids in digestion and liver function. Annatto seeds have long been used medicinally in Caribbean, Central American, and South Asian cultures because of its many health benefits.
This healthy rice dish also boasts the antioxidant powers of red peppers and the fiber of green peas. The mild spicy flavor of the red peppers is balanced by the sweetness of the peas, while paprika lends a smoky, earthy spice to the entire dish which elevates its flavor profile. Serving this rice dish at your next dinner party? In addition to complimenting the wine and the main dish, your guests will rave about the rice as well.
This dish is incredibly versatile. Because of its South Asian flavors, you may find that it pairs well with chicken or seafood made with soy, miso, or other Asian flavoring. You can also mix it with any protein you like, allowing your chicken or meat to absorb the tremendous flavors of the rice itself. And since preparation is so easy, you’ll always be able to rely on this quick, simple dish as a side, whether for a dinner party, or just a weeknight with family and friends.
Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe (about 1-1/4 cups per serving) | Calories: 240 | Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 175 mg | Carbohydrates: 40 g | Dietary Fiber: 1 g | Sugars: 1 g | Protein: 3 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 7
- 4 tablespoons annatto oil (for recipe, scroll down)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1-1/2 cups frozen or fresh green peas
- 1 cup roasted peppers (from a jar or homemade), diced
- 4 cups cooked jasmine rice (or any similar rice)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 lime, zested and juiced (use one tablespoon lime juice, but zest of entire lime)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1-1/2 tablespoons annatto seeds (can be bought in any Asian store)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- Over medium heat, warm up the annatto oil in a large saucepan.
- Add the garlic, and onions for about 3 minutes or until they are almost toasted.
- Add the green peas and the roasted peppers then cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and mix well. The rice should be coated well with the annatto oil. If it looks pale, add more annatto oil.
- Season with the paprika, salt, pepper, lime zest and juice. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Serve warm.
- To make the annatto oil. Over low - medium heat, in a small saucepan, combine the annatto seeds and extra virgin olive oil.
- When tiny bubbles start to form around the annatto seeds, turn off the heat and leave the seeds in the oil for another 2 minutes. Do not overcook the seeds because it can produce a bitter taste.
- Strain the seeds and transfer the annatto oil to a container. Discard the seeds.
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