I modified this as well. It is an excellent base and as close to authentic Mexican rice as one can get. I personally took out the cumin and garlic salt and replaced the tomato sauce w/ diced tomatoes. My rice did not "puff" during the browning process. First I browned the rice, added onion, added chopped garlic cloves. Next I added the tomatoes stirred and cooked for a min then added liquids (water and chicken broth), then added salt for taste. I prefer salt and garlic cloves instead of garlic salt, but if I didn't have cloves I would have added the garlic salt. Family and friends love this and ask me to make it all the time.
Also hint...once you add everything and stir let it sit, maybe stir once to prevent buring right after you turn the burner off, but leave rice alone it needs to rest.
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I modified this as well. It is an excellent base and as close to authentic Mexican rice as one...