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Red Rice (Tomato Purloo)

Cook Time:
30 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

Red rice (tomato purloo) is important to me because, not only is it good, it also ties my heritage and the history of this state to West African influences.

Technique tip: Use a fork to fluff rice when done.

Swap option: Cauliflower rice.


  • 1/4 pound salt pork, finely diced or 1/2 cup oil of choice
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 cups blended whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • cups water or chicken broth
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice (preferably Carolina Gold)



Heat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and cook the salt pork over medium heat until crisp and the oils have come out. If not using salt pork, add your oil to the skillet.


In a blender, add the red peppers, onion, ginger, garlic, blend everything together and add it to the pot. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat.


Add your dry spices and herbs to the pot and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste and water. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld together.


Add the rice, stir and put the lid on it. Cook on low until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 to 35 minutes.


Fluff with a fork and serve.