Wash the rice several times in cold water, then leave to soak for 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the shallots, fennel and garlic for 4—5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and rice and stir-fry for 2—3 minutes. Season well and pour over the measured hot water. Cover tightly, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Do not lift the lid, as the steam is required for the cooking process.
Remove the pan from the heat and leave the rice to stand, covered and undisturbed, for 8—10 minutes. Fluff up the grains with a fork, stir in the fresh coriander and serve immediately.