In a medium saucepan, heat spices over low heat until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds. Add water, salt and rice and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a bare simmer. Cook, covered, without stirring until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 min. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, without stirring, for 10 more min. Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, cook onions and bell peppers over medium heat until soft, about 5 to 7 min. Fluff rice with a fork then stir in cooked onions, peppers and hot sauce (if using). Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt if desired. Serve warm.