Turmeric Rice Recipe

Turmeric Rice Recipe

Turmeric rice is fragrant, savory, and earthy with a touch of sweetness from the golden raisins. It’s the perfect accompaniment to masala spiced chicken and vegetables and the strikingly golden color brings life to your table.

Turmeric is a root like ginger, and often dried and ground into a powder. The deep golden yellow color is frequently used to naturally dye fabrics so be careful when you are using turmeric to cook—it can stain your hands and countertops!

“The turmeric rice was very easy, and made a delicious side dish. The warm flavors would go well with chicken, seafood, beef, pork, or a vegetarian protein. Make sure to rinse the rice well and check on it after about 14 or 15 minutes to make sure it still has enough liquid.” —Diana Rattray

turmeric rice with golden raisins/tester image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white basmati rice

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

  • 1/3 cup golden raisins

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Turmeric Rice ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  2. Thoroughly rinse the rice in a fine mesh colander until the water runs clear, then drain well.

    Rice in a mesh colander

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  3. Warm the oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the turmeric, curry powder, and rice. Mix well so the spices are evenly distributed.

    Oil, turmeric, curry powder, and rice in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  4. Add the rice, raisins, chicken broth, and soy sauce. Raise the heat to high. Bring the mixture to a boil.

    Oil mixture, rice, raisins, chicken broth, and soy sauce in a saucepan on a burner

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  5. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. Do not lift the lid while cooking.

    Turmeric Rice cooking in a pot on a burner, covered with a lid

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

  6. Remove the rice from the heat and stir with a fork to fluff. Cover again and allow the rice to rest, off the heat for about 10 minutes. Serve warm.

    Turmeric Rice in a pot with a fork

    The Spruce Eats / Bahareh Niati

Tips

Rinsing rice is important because it removes surface starch and any debris that might be clinging to the grains. For fluffy rice that isn't mushy, rinse the rice for a few minutes, or until the water runs fairly clear.

Recipe Variations

  • Swap out the olive oil with 3 tablespoons of ghee.
  • Stir about 3 to 4 tablespoons of coarsely chopped cilantro leaves into the rice just before serving.
  • Sauté a finely chopped shallot in the oil for about 3 minutes before adding the turmeric and curry powder.
  • Sauté 1 minced garlic clove in the oil for about 1 minute before adding the turmeric and curry powder.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate turmeric rice in a covered container within 2 hours and eat within 3 to 4 days.
  • To freeze the rice, transfer it to an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag and freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • To reheat, place the rice in a microwave-safe container and cover with a folded damp paper towel. Microwave for 90 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave for another 45 to 60 seconds. Alternatively, put the rice in a saucepan with a few tablespoons of water and heat over medium-low heat on the stovetop, stirring frequently, until warmed through.

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