In a small pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the minced shallot or onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and combine well.
Add the salt, rice and broth and stir to combine. Drop in the garlic cloves.
Bring the rice to a boil, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the rice has absorbed the liquid, approximately 18 to 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving and, if desired, sprinkle with minced cilantro.