Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add spices and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, puréed vegetables, water, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low; cover the pot and cook until rice is al dente, about 20-30 minutes (don't overcook). If the rice seems a little dry, add ¼ cup water and cover, which will allow it to steam through.
Garnish the rice with cilantro or parsley before serving.
Substitute cayenne pepper with African hot ground chili pepper.
Add 1/2 small habanero or scotch bonnet pepper for some serious heat.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.