Turmeric Rice

published Apr 28, 2022
Turmeric Rice Recipe

A warm bowl of fragrant and gorgeous turmeric rice is the kind of side dish that immediately elevates any meal.

Serves6

Makes6 cups

Prep15 minutes

Cook25 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
turmeric rice in a black skillet with a green garnish tossed in, with a spoon lifting a spoonful of rice.
Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

A warm bowl of fragrant and gorgeous turmeric rice is the kind of side dish that immediately elevates any meal. It also just happens to be incredibly easy to prepare and will brighten up a weeknight dinner. The key to the perfect turmeric rice is the proper handling of the basmati rice even before the cooking process begins. Basmati rice should be well rinsed before boiling in order to remove as much starch as possible. Removing the starch allows the cooked rice to have that signature fluffy texture we love, where each grain is separate.

Once the rice is ready to cook, ground turmeric and other spices are added to the water. Here, I use a combination of bay leaves, whole cloves, and a cinnamon stick to infuse the rice. These are all easy to remove from the pot after the rice has cooked but leave behind their essence in every grain.

Credit: Photo: Eric Kleinberg; Food Stylist: Kristina Vanni

What Is Turmeric Rice Made Of?

Turmeric rice is typically made with basmati rice. This aromatic and flavorful rice has a fluffy texture with separated grains. The basmati rice is boiled with ground turmeric, salt, bay leaves, whole cloves, and a cinnamon stick. The result is a highly spiced and beautifully golden rice.

What Pairs Well with Turmeric Rice?

Turmeric rice pairs well with grilled meats or vegetables. It’s so full of flavor that it stands up to bold dishes like tandoori chicken, dal, or curries.

Turmeric Rice Recipe

A warm bowl of fragrant and gorgeous turmeric rice is the kind of side dish that immediately elevates any meal.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes

Makes 6 cups

Serves 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups

    basmati rice

  • 3 cups

    water

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    ground turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 2

    whole cloves

  • 1

    (2-inch) cinnamon stick

  • 1/4 bunch

    fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Place 1 1/2 cups basmati rice in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cool running water until the water runs clear. Transfer to a medium bowl, add enough cold water to cover, and let soak for 15 minutes.

  2. Drain the rice through the strainer. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add 3 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 bay leaves, 2 whole cloves, and 1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick. Stir to combine.

  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting possible. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat but do not uncover. Let sit for 10 minutes more to steam. Meanwhile, finely chop 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro until you have 1/4 cup.

  4. Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork. Discard the bay leaves, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Garnish with the cilantro and serve.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.