Peruvian Yellow Rice

Peruvian Yellow Rice is a delicious golden-colored rice with a bit of sweet raisins in every bite. Perfect for holidays, special days, or any day.

In looking at lists of “regular Christmas food” for Peruvians, one of the side dishes commonly mentioned is “Arroz Amarillo Navideño” or Yellow Christmas Rice. I sort of skimmed over it thinking it was essentially yellow-colored rice dotted with bits of raisins.

But for some reason, this year I decided to try it. Well, my version of it anyway. I switched the regular rice for brown rice because healthier is better, right? And here is the thing, if I call it “Christmas Rice” you might get the impression that it should be made exclusively for the Christmas Midnight meal. Let’s just start by clearing that up. Peruvian Yellow Rice is definitely NOT “just-for-Christmas” rice.

Given that New Year’s is celebrated with everything yellow, this dish would be perfect. In the springtime, you should take it to your neighborhood barbecue gathering. Next summer, use Peruvian Yellow Rice as a base for a delicious rice salad. But after having said all of that, we will be having this at Christmas, because … wow, yum!


  1. 2 cups medium grain brown rice
  2. 1/2 cup pearl barley
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1/4 cup golden raisins, minced
  5. 1/4 cup raisins, minced
  6. 1 tablespoon curry powder
  7. 1 tablespoon salt
  8. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  9. 2 cups chicken broth
  10. 3 1/2 cups water
  11. 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley


  1. In a rice cooker, combine brown rice, barley, olive oil, raisins, curry powder, salt, and turmeric. ()
  2. Add broth and water.
  3. Cook rice using the rice cooker.
  4. Add parsley and stir to combine.
  5. Let rice rest until the grains are softened, about 20-30 minutes.


  1. Before adding any water or broth, we always start the rice cooker so that the grains toast a bit before cooking them. With just one cycle, they turn a gentle brown and become fragrant.
  2. At the end of the cooking cycle, I typically stir and set to cook just a bit longer to soak up more moisture.
  3. I find that the rice tastes even better if you allow it to steam a bit once it is “cooked” so plan that into your timing.

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