From our Mexican family to you. I use basmati rice. Dry roast the rice in the pan used to cook it in. Oil is not necessary, I discourage it. By dry roasting, the rice will turn opaque and some kernals will brown. I add about a 1/2 tablespoon to a tablespoon of mild chili powder, a pinch of oregano, a pinch of cumin and briefly dry roast the spices for a minute or so. I add the necessary water or broth and stir. Most authentic Mexican rice uses no tomatoes or tomato products. Most people think that is where it gets the red color, it comes from the chili powder. Mexican rice is typically not supposed to be a meal, however, sometimes I saute some bell peppers, onion and a pound of bacon to stir into the cooked rice for a meal. Do this after the rice is cooked and crumble in the bacon or chorizo. If you feel you must have tomatoes this would be the time to add them after the rice is cooked.
Tomato products are too acidic to cook rice in. The rice does not cook properly. Also, oil inhibits the rice grains from absorbing water properly. In order to end up with a fluffy rice, the above technique should be followed. I don't use tomatoes in my homemade enchilada sauce either. If anyone would like that recipe, let me know.
Just a note, allrecipes.com site has all manner of botched and ridiculously concocted non-authentic recipes and I have found only a couple of recipes that come close to authentic. There are many other recipe sites that actually offer seriously authentic, good, creative and correct recipes. However, I have yet to find a site that offers truly authentic Mexican recipes.
1 1/2 cups of basmati or long grain white rice (dry roasted)
3 cups of water or broth
1/2 to 1 tablespoon of mild chili powder
a pinch of Greek oregano (Mexican oregano is very strong & some like it very much)
a pinch of cumin
When the rice is nearly finished dry roasting add the spices to roast for a minute. Add the liquid. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer for 20 minutes. Optional: (Add sauteed veggies, bacon, chorizo and/or garlic if desired after the rice is finished cooking.
Mexican rice is not meant to be served as a meal but as an accompaniment to beans and other Mexican dishes. I am sure everyone will tweek it according to their taste. This is to be expected. At least now you have a good basic Mexican rice to start with and your guests and friends will be impressed.