Turmeric rice is a delicious Indian dish where you saute rice with fresh or dried turmeric and some whole spices. This quick rice tastes wonderful with spicy curries or even a simple veg raita and salad. Vegan and gluten free.
We have never eaten anything called turmeric rice growing up. This is something I saw first and tasted in a buffet and liked a lot. We however used to make a rice preparation with turmeric to go with spicy veg sambar. This recipe I am sharing here is an improvisation of both, a keeper recipe I have been making for many years 🙂
If you are bored of eating bland rice or want to include turmeric in a delicious way in your diet, give this rice a try. It has a wonderful flavor from turmeric and other spices, its delicious and perfect with robust curries.
I make turmeric rice recipe with many variations depending upon the availability of ingredients and time. Here I am sharing with you the most easy method which is hard to mess up :). This is a very simple one with very few ingredients too.
Serve this rice warm with curry of choice or see my serving suggestions for more ideas.
About This Recipe
Turmeric rice as such is rice sautéed or cooked with turmeric. It could be as simple or as elaborate as you like.
You can make this as one pot rice in instant pot, stove top, pressure cooker, rice cooker or use leftover rice to make this. Here I am sharing both the methods and also few more variations.
This is super easy to make this recipe and it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare when you have cooked rice ready. Even if you are making it from scratch it takes less than 20 minutes only.
I have used basmati rice in this recipe but you can easily use any long grained rice, white rice, jasmine rice or even brown rice to make turmeric rice.
Whenever I have leftover rice I try to make some variety rice recipes like veg fried rice, coconut rice or lemon rice and on days when I need something super quick, I resort to this easy and flavorful turmeric rice as it needs no chopping , not even onion and garlic.
You can make some curry like dal fry, moong dal or methi dal, kadai paneer, veg korma or veg stew if have time or just serve with onion raita, kachumber or beetroot raita . It tastes so good as side dish in any continental meal too.
Here I have used fresh turmeric which adds a mellow flavor and light color. You can easily use dried or ground turmeric too.
Do make this healthy and easy turmeric rice recipe and enjoy! It is
warming and comforting
one of the delicious ways to include turmeric
vegan and gluten free
Here is the breakdown of ingredients you will need to make turmeric rice at home.
Rice– As mentioned above you can make this recipe with both boiled rice or raw rice, only the cooking time varies.
I prefer to use leftover rice and saute the rice with the spices as we do in fried rice as this method yields more non sticky and glossy finish to the rice dish.
Turmeric– You can use fresh turmeric roots if available for maximum benefits. If using ground turmeric or turmeric powder please make sure it is from a very trusted source and preferably organic.
Oil or Butter– I personally prefer butter in this recipe than oil. The flavor of butter or ghee is so good in this rice compared to oil. Here I have used vegan butter and if you want to use oil go with coconut oil for good flavor.
Ginger– I like to add a good amount of ginger in this recipe for maximum flavor. Do you see one more ingredient similar to ginger in the picture?
It is in season fresh mango ginger or maa inji. It is a super flavorful spice from turmeric family and very healthy too. There are no substitutions for it and it is not a part of the regular turmeric rice recipe. I just added as I had. It is super popular in our part of the country.
Green chilies– I have just added one green chili for mild heat. You can add 203 or skip it altogether when making for kids.
Pepper– A pinch of freshly cracked black pepper helps in absorbing the health benefits of turmeric, so I always add in this rice.
Whole spices– You will need bay leaf, cloves, star anise, cinnamon and green cardamoms.
How To Make Turmeric Rice Recipe
The step by step photos and recipe shared below is making this dish with cooked rice. You will 3 cups of boiled rice from 1 to 1.25 cups of raw rice. The rice should be cold and non sticky. Please refer this post to learn how to cook basmati rice perfectly.
Pick a 2 inch long fresh turmeric root and scrub it thoroughly.
Remove the skin using a peeler.
Using a fine grater grate the fresh turmeric root. Skip these steps of you are using trimeric powder.
Making the recipe
Heat butter or oil in a heavy pan or skillet. Once the butter is hot add the whole spices- 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 2 green cardamom, 1/2 inch cinnamon bark and 2 cloves to it. Saute for few seconds.
Add cumin seeds, grated ginger and turmeric, slit green chilies
and saute well for a minute.
Now add cooked and cooled rice. Mix the rice and turmeric very well.
Season with salt to taste.
Mix very well yet gently without breaking the rice. Now you can add another 1 tablespoon butter or oil at this stage for more flavor. Add finely chopped cilantro leaves and mix well. Remove from heat.
Serve turmeric rice hot or warm.
This rice is a wonderful side dish in any continental meal. It tastes great with spicy Indian curries or korma for best taste.
For simpler meals you can serve this rice with plain yogurt or salad too. It also tastes good with a simple potato fry.
Turmeric rice in instant pot
Here are the instructions to make this recipe in instant pot. Pick and rinse one cup basmati rice or jasmine rice well.
Place the steep insert inside your IP and switch it on. Press the saute mode. Begin with sautéing the whole spices followed by grated ginger, turmeric and chilies.
Add the rinsed 1 cup rice, 2 cups water and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and close the IP. Cancel saute mode and switch on manual or pressure cook mode. Set timer for 4 minutes and high pressure. Once done, let pressure release for 5 minutes naturally. Open the IP and fluff the rice with a fork. You can fluff with a fork. Serve turmeric rice warm.
In Rice Cooker
To make this recipe in rice cooker, saute the spices and turmeric in a small pan on stove top separately. Add rice along with water and salt to the cooker, add the sautéed ingredients and cook according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Garlic Turmeric Rice
Just add 2 cloves of minced garlic and saute in along with ginger.
Turmeric Rice With Vegetables
To make this turmeric rice recipe filling and wholesome you can add vegetables like carrots, peas, broccoli. Just chop the vegetables finely, add after sautéing ginger and saute until they turn soft.
What can I use instead of fresh turmeric?
You can use 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric or turmeric powder if fresh roots are unavailable.
How to make this rice more flavorful?
You can use vegetable broth or chicken broth or light coconut milk to cook rice instead of water.
What other herbs can be added?
Finely chopped mint leaves, parsley or dill leaves.
More Rice Recipes
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Easy Turmeric Rice
- 1.25 cup rice 3 cups cooked rice
- 2 tablespoon oil or butter or vegan butter
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 2 green cardamoms
- 1 star anise
- 2 inch fresh turmeric root 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
- 1 inch ginger root
- 2 green chilies
- 3 tablespoons coriander leaves Chopped
- Keep the cooked and cold rice ready.
- Pick a 2 inch long fresh turmeric root and scrub it thoroughly.
- Remove the skin using a peeler.
- Using a fine grater grate the fresh turmeric root. Skip these steps of you are using trimeric powder.
- Heat butter or oil in a heavy pan or skillet. Once the butter is hot add the whole spices- 1 bay leaf, 1 star anise, 2 green cardamom, 1/2 inch cinnamon bark and 2 cloves to it. Saute for few seconds.
- Add cumin seeds, grated ginger and turmeric, slit green chilies and
- Saute well for a minute.
- Now add cooked and cooled rice. Mix the rice and turmeric very well. Season with salt to taste.
- Mix very well yet gently without breaking the rice. Now you can add another 1 tablespoon butter or oil at this stage for more flavor. Add finely chopped cilantro leaves and mix well. Remove from heat.