Portuguese Rice (Arroz Portuguese)

The Portuguese are the largest consumers of rice in Europe, eating more than 3 times more per-capita than the average European. Portugal cultivates two main varieties of rice; Carolino and Agulha.

Carolino is a native short grain rice similar to the Spanish bomba used for paella and Italian arborio used in Risotto. It is great for creamy rice dishes like arroz doce, stews like arroz de marisco (shellfish rice) and sides like arroz de tomate (tomato rice).

Agulha is a long grain rice similar to the rice used in China, Southeast Asia, and Africa. It is used mostly as a side dish and oven-baked dishes like arroz de pato (duck rice) and with dishes like shrimp mozambique and chicken piri piri. This recipe is of the agulha variety and makes a great side dish to any Portuguese dish.

Arroz Portuguese – Rice with Bell Peppers and Piri-Piri Seasoning

Portuguese rice is not only a regular at the Portuguese dinner table, but is still loved also at most of its old colonies. This recipe is an adaptation of the rice served at the world famous Nandos Chicken Piri-Piri restaurants from South Africa.
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: African, Portuguese, South Africa
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Small container with lid
  • Medium saucepan


  • 2 tsp Piri-Piri seasoning (see below)
  • 1 cup Long grain rice
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 cup Chicken broth mixed with 1 cup water
  • ½ large Red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ large Yellow or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped


Piri-Piri Seasoning

  • In a small jar, add: 1 tsp each of salt, oregano, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, garlic powder, cumin. Cover and shake to mix.

Cooking Rice

  • In a saucepan, fry rice and 1 tsp piri-piri seasoning in olive oil until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken broth/water to saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and cook 20 minutes undisturbed. Fluff cooked rice with a fork.
  • Meanwhile sauté the bell peppers, garlic, and remaining piri-piri seasoning in a little olive oil. Stir until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • When rice is done, add it to pan with vegetables and blend it all together. Serve.


  • Baby peas can added to the sauteed vegetables.


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 77mg | Potassium: 124mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 494IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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