12 Days of Christmas: Spicy Peruvian Arab Rice

No Christmas dinner in Perú is complete without at least one rice dish being present. A common rice side dish at the Christmas dinner table is Arab rice containing raisins a Coca Cola which sweetens the rice a bit and darkens it to a pale brown colour. As expected, we will not be pouring Coca Cola into this recipe. Instead, we will be using some soy sauce to tan the rice and brown sugar to sweeten it. This idea was not originally ours. We were inspired by Lorena of Cravings Journal‘s choice to use those to serve the aforementioned purposes while we doing our research into this dish.

The spicy component in this recipe is habanero chillies. However, if you can’t handle the heat of the chilli (which is heavily cut down and counteracted by the sweetness of the raisins), take out the seeds in them and just use them for colour and flavour purposes. Also, exclude the chilli flakes garnish or just use as much of it as you can handle.

As rice during Christmas is usually colourful, as aforementioned, we added the chillies, not just for their heat and flavour, but for their colour too. We also worked with a bag of dried fruits containing raisins, sultanas, currants and candied peels as opposed to just raisins and we added some kale which is ever so lightly cooked during that last few minutes of the rice cooking.

This is a delicious side dish which you will love to add to your Christmas dinner and it only takes about 25mins to cook making it relatively quick and easy to make.

Buen Provencho!


Ingredients (serves 2 (main meal) to 3 (side dish) )

1tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

50g Cappellini Pasta, broken into 2″ pieces

1 Garlic Clove, minced

1 Habanero Chilli, chopped

180g Rice

1tbsp Soy Sauce

310ml Hot Water

1/2tbsp Brown Sugar

50g Dried Fruit, soaked in hot water for 10mins (substitute with raisins)

Salt (to taste)

Black pepper (optional | to taste)

A Handful of Kale, chopped

Chilli Flakes (optional | to garnish)


  • Heat up the olive oil into a pot. Once hot, pour in the cappellini pasta and toast them until browned. Do this on a medium heat level to prevent the cappellini from burning upon adding them to the oil.
  • Add in the garlic and chillies and cook them for an additional minute while moving it around to ensure it does not burn.
  • Pour in the rice and move it around to toast it while ensuring neither the rice, pasta or garlic sticks to the bottom of the pan or burns.
  • After about 3mins of toasting the rice, pour in the drained dried fruits followed by the water, soy sauce, sugar and salt.
  • Bring the contents of the pot to a boil then reduce it to a simmer and cook the rice with the pot covered for approximately 20mins.
  • During the last 5mins of cooking, stir in the chopped kale and place the lid over the pot again.
  • Once the rice is cooked, use a fork to fluff it up a bit.


Serving Suggestion: serve garnished with chilli flakes



If you try the recipe, upload a picture of it to Instagram with the hashtag #lickyourplaterecipe or tag @lickyourplates_ and @sammysingally.food so we can have a look at it and like it.

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