Arkansas Cumin Rice Recipe - A Flavorful Dish from the USA

Arkansas Cumin Rice

Arkansas Cumin Rice Recipe - A Flavorful Dish from the USA
Region / culture: USA | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Arkansas Cumin Rice
Arkansas Cumin Rice

Arkansas Cumin Rice is a delightful dish that brings a unique combination of flavors to the table, making it a perfect side for a variety of main courses. This recipe, with its aromatic cumin seeds and the savory depth of Worcestershire sauce, offers a simple yet flavorful experience. The addition of green peppers and onions adds a fresh dimension to the rice, making it not just a side dish but a memorable part of any meal.


The origins of Arkansas Cumin Rice can be traced back to the Southern United States, where rice dishes have long been a staple. This particular recipe combines the earthy flavor of cumin, a spice that has been used in cooking for thousands of years, with the traditional techniques of Southern cooking. It reflects the fusion of different cultures and cuisines that have influenced the region, making it a testament to the rich culinary heritage of Arkansas.


How to prepare

  1. Cook the onion, pepper, and rice in bacon drippings until the rice turns golden brown. Use low heat and stir continuously to prevent over-browning.
  2. Transfer the mixture into a shallow 2 qt (1.89 liter) casserole dish. Add the remaining drippings, broth, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and cumin. Stir well to combine.
  3. Cover the casserole tightly with a lid or foil and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed.
  4. Fluff the rice lightly with a fork before serving.


  • For those looking to experiment, consider adding diced tomatoes, black beans, or corn to the recipe for a Tex-Mex twist. Alternatively, substituting the cumin seeds with curry powder can give the dish an Indian flair.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure the best results when making Arkansas Cumin Rice, consider the following tips:

- Use a heavy-bottomed pan to cook the onion, pepper, and rice. This helps in even cooking and prevents the rice from sticking and burning.

- Always preheat the casserole dish before adding the rice mixture to maintain an even cooking temperature.

- For an extra layer of flavor, consider toasting the cumin seeds before adding them to the dish.

- If you prefer a vegetarian version, vegetable broth can be used in place of beef broth without compromising the dish's rich flavor.

Serving Suggestions

Arkansas Cumin Rice pairs beautifully with grilled meats, such as chicken or beef, and complements vegetable dishes well. It can also serve as a base for a rice bowl topped with a variety of proteins and vegetables.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in this recipe is sautéing the rice with onions and peppers before baking. This method helps to infuse the rice with flavors and achieve a golden color. Baking the rice in a tightly covered casserole dish then allows it to cook evenly and absorb all the flavors.

Ingredient Substitutions

If cumin seeds are not available, ground cumin can be used as a substitute, though it should be added sparingly to avoid overpowering the dish. For those who do not consume beef, chicken or vegetable broth can be used as an alternative to beef broth.

Make Ahead Tips

Arkansas Cumin Rice can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. To reheat, simply add a little broth or water and warm it in the oven or on the stove, stirring occasionally.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the rice in a colorful dish to highlight the golden hue of the rice and the green of the peppers. Garnishing with fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, can add a pop of color and freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

This rice dish pairs well with a variety of wines, such as a light-bodied white wine or a fruity red wine, depending on the main course. For a non-alcoholic option, a sparkling water with a squeeze of lime complements the flavors of the dish.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Leftover Arkansas Cumin Rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, add a splash of water or broth and warm it in the microwave or on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Arkansas Cumin Rice contains approximately 250 calories, making it a moderate-calorie side dish that fits well into a balanced diet.


A serving of Arkansas Cumin Rice is a good source of carbohydrates, providing the energy needed for daily activities. Each serving contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates, primarily from the rice. This makes it an excellent energy source, especially when paired with a protein-rich main dish.


This dish is relatively low in fats, with each serving containing about 5 grams. The majority of the fat content comes from the vegetable oil used in sautéing the vegetables and rice. Opting for a heart-healthy oil can make this dish an even healthier choice.


Arkansas Cumin Rice contains a modest amount of protein, with each serving providing about 4 grams. While not a high-protein dish on its own, it complements protein-rich foods well, making it a balanced part of a meal.

Vitamins and minerals

This rice dish is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C from the green peppers and a range of B vitamins from the rice. It also provides iron, thanks to the cumin seeds, and a variety of other minerals essential for good health.


This recipe is free from most common allergens, including dairy, nuts, and gluten. However, those with sensitivities to specific ingredients, such as Worcestershire sauce, which may contain anchovies, should adjust the recipe accordingly.


Overall, Arkansas Cumin Rice is a nutritious side dish that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals. It's a flavorful addition to any meal that contributes to a well-rounded diet.


Arkansas Cumin Rice is a versatile and flavorful side dish that brings a touch of Southern charm to any meal. With its simple ingredients and easy preparation, it's a great way to add variety to your cooking repertoire. Whether you're serving it with grilled meats or as part of a vegetarian meal, it's sure to be a hit with family and friends.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time is a special one. It brings me back to a time when I was just a young girl, full of curiosity and a hunger for new flavors. I remember it like it was yesterday, the day I stumbled upon the recipe for Arkansas Cumin Rice.

It all started when my best friend's mother invited me over for dinner one evening. I had always admired Mrs. Jenkins' cooking, as she was known throughout the neighborhood for her delicious and inventive dishes. That night, she served us a simple yet flavorful dish that left me craving more.

As we sat around the dinner table, Mrs. Jenkins shared with me the story behind the dish. She explained that Arkansas Cumin Rice was a recipe that had been passed down through generations in her family. It was a staple in their household, and she had learned how to make it from her own mother.

Intrigued by the story and the delicious flavors of the dish, I begged Mrs. Jenkins to teach me how to make it. She graciously agreed and invited me over the following weekend to learn the recipe.

On that sunny Saturday afternoon, I arrived at Mrs. Jenkins' home eager to learn the secrets of Arkansas Cumin Rice. She welcomed me with open arms and led me to her cozy kitchen, where the aroma of spices filled the air.

Mrs. Jenkins began by showing me how to properly wash and cook the rice. She explained that the key to perfect Arkansas Cumin Rice was in the preparation of the rice itself. As we worked together, she shared with me stories from her childhood and the memories she had of cooking with her mother.

Next, Mrs. Jenkins taught me how to toast the cumin seeds to bring out their rich and nutty flavor. She demonstrated how to grind them into a fine powder, explaining that this step was crucial in achieving the perfect balance of flavors in the dish.

As we continued to cook, Mrs. Jenkins shared with me the importance of using fresh ingredients and cooking with love. She emphasized that cooking was not just about following a recipe, but about infusing each dish with care and passion.

After hours of cooking and learning, the dish was finally ready. Mrs. Jenkins plated the Arkansas Cumin Rice and we sat down to enjoy our creation. The flavors were exquisite, with the warm notes of cumin and the fluffy texture of the rice coming together in perfect harmony.

As I savored each bite, I knew that this recipe would become a cherished part of my own culinary repertoire. Mrs. Jenkins had not only taught me how to make Arkansas Cumin Rice, but she had also imparted upon me the importance of tradition, family, and the joy of sharing a meal with loved ones.

From that day on, Arkansas Cumin Rice became a staple in my own household. I would often make it for family gatherings, special occasions, or simply as a comforting meal on a rainy day.

Now, as I pass this recipe down to my own grandchildren, I am reminded of the special bond that food creates between generations. Each time I make Arkansas Cumin Rice, I am transported back to that sunny Saturday afternoon in Mrs. Jenkins' kitchen, where a love for cooking and a delicious recipe were shared between friends.


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