In Mexican cooking there are some key ingredients that will always make it Mexican food: cumin, garlic, onion and tomatoes or a variation of these ingredients. Get these together in a meal and you will likely have Mexican food.
Slice your onion and have ready. See picture.
In a large fry pan heat your oil/lard on high. (Lard is a key Mexican cooking ingredient but not necessary. It does add to the flavor but I have used vegetable oil many times.) Add onion. Cook for about a minute or so.
Add long grain rice and stir. In this step you are browning your rice. It will smell delicious. I don't know why these 3 ingredients do but it is so nice.
You will be toasting the rice to a nice golden/brown.
In the meantime, prepare your water with the garlic powder, ground cumin, and tomato sauce (of which you will only need about 6 oz, you can try to use the whole can but I have found it is just too much). Get the lid to your fry pan ready. Once your rice is toasted nicely you will add your water mixture quickly and cover with the lid immediately! It will smell sooo good!!! Now, why do I do it this way? My mother and grandmother said it was to capture ALL the flavor, so I do. :) (Some folks use chicken stock, try it if you want. It is a nice flavor. With this recipe I just don't think you need it. My grandmother or mother never needed it.)
This is what it should look like at this point. YOU WILL NO LONGER STIR THE RICE. PLEASE.
Remove lid. Lower heat to medium/low. Add your tablespoon of salt by sprinkling around the pan. At this time should the urge arise to stir, use whatever utensil you were using to stir the rice while you were toasting. Just push maybe 3 times from outer edge to center of pan with the utensil all the way to the bottom . DO NOT STIR. At this time if you like cilantro, add a couple of sprigs of cilantro just to the top of the dish and let it cook with it in there. Some folks add corn or mixed vegetable too. Once your comfortable, make it your own!
Cover and simmer on low to med/low depending on your stove. I have a glass top stove and put it on low. You may need to "push" it gently around a bit once or twice while cooking. If you are cooking it too hi you may need to add more water. It should cook for about 25-30 mins.
See the consistency of the rice in this picture. This is what you are looking for. Your rice should be nice and tender but not mushy. Please feel free to message me for more help. I think this should do it. There is a way to use fresh garlic, cumin and tomato. You need an stone mortar and pestle or molcajete (spanish word). Message me if you want to know. It is so delicious and easy this way. I hope you enjoy it. My family loves it! Add chicken to the mix and you have arroz con pollo (Mexican rice with chicken, which is why some use chicken stock). That easy! SOOO DELICIOUS! I hope you like it. It really is nothing like you find in the Mexican restaurants. It's like what you find in the Mexican kitchen. Love.