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Cape Verdean tuna rice: Arroz De Atum

Cape Verdean tuna rice: Arroz De Atum

This delicious meal, known in Cape Verdean cuisine as "tuna rice," has become a standard. The Portuguese explorers and traders who first brought rice, canned tuna, and spices to the islands are credited with its invention. Local tastes and culinary customs have been adapted by Cape Verdeans over time.

More than just a meal, Arroz De Atum is a monument to the fortitude and inventiveness of the Cape Verdean people, who turned basic materials into a delicious and filling cuisine. We'll look at making arroz de atum in this recipe because it's a Cape Verdean staple that captures the spirit of the place's rich past and distinctive present.

Preparation Time

45 minutes



2 cups of long-grain white rice

2 cans of tuna in oil or water (drained)

1 onion (chopped)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

2 ripe tomatoes (diced)

1 green bell pepper (chopped)

1 red bell pepper (chopped)

1/4 cup of vegetable oil

2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon of paprika

Salt and pepper 

Fresh parsley 


  • Start by rinsing the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  • In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until they become translucent and fragrant.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until they start to break down.
  • Add the green and red bell peppers to the pot and sauté for about 3 minutes.
  • Season the mixture with paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  • Add the drained tuna to the pot and gently break it into smaller chunks with a wooden spoon. Stir everything together.
  • Add the rinsed rice to the pot and mix it with the other ingredients, making sure the rice is well coated.
  • Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth and add the bay leaf. Stir once more to combine everything.
  • Allow it to boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 25 minutes.
  • Once the rice is cooked, remove the bay leaf and taste for seasoning, adjusting with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Garnish the Arroz De Atum with fresh parsley and serve.