Recipe courtesy of Susan Vu

Rice and Chickpeas

This aromatic and flavorful side dish takes on a beautiful orange hue thanks to homemade annatto oil. The oil can also be made in bigger batches and stored in an air-tight container for 1 week at room temperature, or 1 month refrigerated. Use in place of regular cooking oil to add both flavor and color to other dishes.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 15 min
  • Cook: 45 min
  • Yield: 12 to 14 servings
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1/2 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons annatto seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Two 15.5-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup dried mango, finely diced

6 cloves garlic, minced

2 red bell peppers, finely chopped

1 large white onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 cups chicken stock

1 cup pitted Spanish olives, sliced into thin rounds, plus 1/4 cup olive brine

4 cups medium-grain rice, rinsed


  1. 1. Combine the canola oil and annatto seeds in a small saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer over medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and steep for 15 minutes.
  2. 2. Strain the oil into a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid; discard the seeds. Add the coriander and cumin and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the chickpeas, mango, garlic, bell peppers and onions. Season liberally with salt and black pepper and cook until the onions and bell peppers are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. 3. Add the chicken stock and olive brine and bring to a boil. Add the rice, stir to combine and bring to a boil again. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the rice is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a large fork and stir in the sliced olives. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and black pepper if needed. Serve in a large bowl, or mound onto a serving platter.