Spanish rice

Spanish rice, also known as Mexican rice, red rice, or arroz rojo, is a Mexican side dish or an ingredient in other dishes made from white rice, tomatoes, garlic, onions, etc. It is traditionally made by sautéing the rice in a skillet with oil or fat until it is colored golden brown. Water or chicken broth is then added, along with tomatoes in the form of chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce.

Spanish rice
Mexican rice and beans.jpg
Mexican rice served next to beans
Alternative namesRed rice, arroz rojo, Istanboli Polo
CourseSide dish
Place of originMexico
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsWhite rice, tomatoes, garlic, onions, broth

Despite its name, Spanish rice is not a popular dish in Spain or in Spanish cuisine; rice dishes in Spain are often yellow in color due to the inclusion of saffron. Mexican-style Spanish rice, however, is red, from being cooked with tomato sauce or tomato paste and is often referred to as "red rice" (Spanish: arroz rojo) in Mexico.

In Iran and Persian cuisine, a similar dish is called Istanboli Polo (Persian: استانبولی پلو). It dates back to Qajar Iran. It is known as Persian tomato rice in the Western world.


Spanish rice with pieces of red bell pepper

Although it is also called "Spanish rice", this dish is virtually unknown in Spain. The term "Spanish rice" is not used by Mexicans or Mexican food enthusiasts; the dish is usually simply referred to as arroz ("rice") or arroz rojo ("red rice") in Mexico.

In English, a classic rice dish from Spain, paella, may be known as yellow rice or Spanish yellow rice, as it uses saffron, which gives the dish a distinct yellow hue.

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