At the base of every good curry dish is an excellent rice recipe. Fragrant Indian style rice is a must in your kitchen when you plan to make curry. Sure, you can serve up plain white rice with any curry, but this recipe adds so much more flavor. While it is created as a side for your favorite curry, it is delicious enough to have as an entire meal by itself.
Indian Style Rice Recipe
Rice is a staple ingredient in our pantry and of course, it is always paired with any curry I make. In fact, my rice cooker is used more often than any other small appliance in my home. This recipe, however, is a bit different. It’s rice, but it is elevated. This has tons of flavor and is far from boring.
What Vegetables Go In Indian Rice?
I’ve seen tons of variety in the vegetables you can add to rice. Green peas are almost always added when I make Indian rice, but you can add others. The vegetables you find really tend to vary depending upon the home you are in or the restaurant serving the rice. I’ve had this rice served a number of ways. Some vegetables are more common than others. Below are a few to consider.
- Green peas
- Bell pepper
What Turns the Rice Yellow?
There are two spices that are often added to Indian cooking that can add the yellow tone to the meals. The first one, and one used in this recipe is turmeric. It is commonly used in Indian cooking and has a mild but earthy flavor. The rich yellow that is almost orange stains easily and thus is often used to add coloring to meals, including this rice recipe.
Another herb commonly found in Indian cooking is saffron. Saffron is used sparingly due to the cost. It too adds an earthy flavor as well as the hint of yellow in the rice for coloring.
Do I Need to Rinse Rice Before Cooking?
While it is not necessary, it is highly recommended. Rinsing the rice removes the starch from the rice and keeps it nice and fluffy when cooking. When you don’t rinse the rice before cooking, you may find that it is stickier and doesn’t fluff as nicely.
Regardless of whether you rinse your rice or not, it is sure to taste delicious with this easy to follow recipe. The flavors involved are delicious and the herbs really make it stand out compared to other bland white rice recipes..
Can This be Made in a Rice Cooker?
If you prefer to use a rice cooker, this can be made in it instead. Instead of cooking everything in a saucepan, just cook the onion and herbs in a skillet first. Then add into the rice cooker with the liquid and stir to combine before cooking according to the rice cooker directions.
Using a rice cooker is handy when you are making multiple dishes on your cooktop and want to save that space for other recipes. I also like that I can set my rice cooker up and let it cook and then it will keep the rice warm until I’m ready to serve. Plus, with most versions, you can just pop the lid on and take the entire pot into the refrigerator for storing leftovers.
- Basmati rice
- Vegetable oil
- Yellow onion
- Garam Masala
- Cayenne pepper
- Bay Leaves
- Black pepper
- Vegetable broth
- Frozen peas
How to Make Indian Style Rice
Rinse and strain the rice under cold water until the water is mostly clear.
In a large saucepan, add butter, oil, and onion and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
While the onions are cooking, add the garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper into a bowl and stir together to combine.
Add the spice mixture to the pot with the onion and cook for an additional minute.
Now, add in the rice and cook stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the broth and add the bay leaves, then bring to a boil.
Cover the pan, turn the heat to low, and let it simmer until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the frozen peas, then cover again and let sit for 10 minutes.
Remove the bay leaves and fluff before serving.
What Should I Serve Indian Rice With?
This rice pairs great with any curry dish, but also with many non-Indian dishes on your menu. I like it best with a dish that has a bit more heat since the rice makes it a bit more mellow to eat. The spicy red lentil curry with spinach or the chicken Dhansak curry with lentils are both excellent alongside this rice.
It also fits well with milder curry recipes like this Thai chicken coconut curry or the authentic peanut chicken curry recipe. More traditional options might be the potato curry recipe or the classic green curry recipe. No matter what you choose to serve this alongside, you are sure to fall in love with the earthy flavors of a classic Indian recipe.
If you know you may not use a lot of these spices on a regular basis but want to have some on hand, I highly recommend checking out an Asian market. Many have bulk bins of spices that allow you to just get what you need in small amounts. This saves you money and prevents waste.
Another option is to pick up a variety Indian spice box that comes with multiple spice options in one small packet. These are great for beginners in Indian cooking. You can try out different new flavors without committing to a large bottle of any one spice.
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garam masla
- 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups frozen peas
- Rinse and then drain your rise until the water draining is clear;
- In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat oil, butter, and onion over medium heat and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally;
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, cayenne, salt,a nd black pepper until combined;
- Add the mixture of spices to the pot along with the onion and stir then cook for an additional 1 minute;
- Add the rice to the mixture and cook stirring regularly for another 2-3 minutes;
- Add the broth and bay leaves, then bring the mixture to a boil;
- Sitr the rice, cover with a lid, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes;
- Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the frozen peas and cover again then let it sit for an additional 10 minutes;
- Fluff the rice an remove the bay leaves before serving.
When reheating leftovers, you may want to add a bit of broth or water to add moisture and keep the rice fluffy.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 130Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 624mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 4g