Turmeric Rice (Indian Yellow Rice)

4 from 5 votes

This Turmeric Rice (Indian Yellow Rice) is a great side dish to serve with curries or lentils. Make it in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker using my easy recipe.

Here are some more easy rice recipes you will love: Bagara Rice, Peas Pulao, Black Pepper Rice, and Ghee Rice.

Indian turmeric rice served in a bowl.
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I never encountered Indian-style turmeric rice in India. It was on one of our trips to London that we found these on the menu of a restaurant. Intrigued, I ordered one plate along with the regulars.

The rice dish was actually quite delicious and paired well with the curries and lentils. It also looked gorgeous with its bright yellow hue dotted with bright green cilantro. A few specks of cumin seeds enhanced its overall look.

Now, I have noted the dish in my recipe idea notebook and make it regularly for parties and get-togethers.

About Indian Turmeric Rice

Turmeric Rice is a simple yellow-colored Indian-style rice preparation that is excellent to serve with curries and lentils.

Made in an instant pot (electric pressure cooker) or a traditional stovetop pressure cooker, this one-pot rice dish comes together in under 40 minutes using a few basic ingredients.

You can also make this golden rice in a pan over the stovetop.

I made it in my 3-quart instant pot (or a 3-liter stovetop cooker), but if you want to double or triple it, use a 6-quart instant pot (or a 5-liter pressure cooker). The cooking time will remain the same.

Ingredients

RiceThis recipe is best made using long-grain white basmati rice. Use aged rice as it is very flavorful, and the grains hold their shape well.

If not basmati rice, you can make this recipe with any white rice that is readily available.

Ghee – I always make Indian turmeric rice in ghee, which gives it a nice flavor and aroma. For a vegan version, replace ghee with coconut or light olive oil.

Whole Spices – You will need cumin seeds, cloves (laung), and cinnamon sticks (dalchini). For extra flavor, add a bay leaf (tejpatta) or black cardamom (badi elaichi).

Onions – Onions give a nice caramelized flavor to this yellow rice recipe.

Turmeric Powder – Use organic turmeric powder (ground turmeric) to flavor the golden rice.

Turmeric leaves strong stains on hands and anything it comes in contact with. So be careful while using it. Use old utensils for cooking and wear gloves.

Tip – I have an excellent tip for you if you have turmeric stains on your clothes or cooking utensils. Keep the item in strong sunlight for 20-30 minutes, and the stains disappear like magic.

Cilantro (Fresh Coriander Leaves) – Garnish the turmeric rice with chopped cilantro.

Variations

Add some freshly squeezed lime juice (or lemon juice) to give the turmeric rice a tangy taste.

Add a little curry powder, goda masala, biryani masala, or pav bhaji masala for a taste change.

Cook the turmeric rice in vegetable broth (vegetable stock) or chicken broth (chicken stock) instead of water for added flavor. You can also replace water with coconut milk for a taste change.

To make this dish wholesome, add veggies such as cauliflower, green peas, corn, carrots, beans, tomatoes, etc. 

You can also add tofu, paneer, cooked chickpeas, cooked chicken, scrambled eggs, shrimp, etc., to the recipe.

How To Make Indian Turmeric Rice

Rinse 2 cups of long-grain basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water clears.

Soak the rice in 4-5 cups of water for 15 minutes.

Soaked rice.

Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot.

Add 2 tablespoon ghee to the pot and let it heat up.

Ghee added to instant pot.

Add the following ingredients once the ghee is hot, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon added to hot ghee.

Now, add ½ cup of chopped onions and cook until they turn golden brown, stirring frequently.

Onions added to the pot.

Add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and cook for 3-4 seconds.

Turmeric powder added to the pot.

Drain the water from the rice and add the rice to the pot along with 2 cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt.

Stir gently.

Rice, water and salt added to the pot.

Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.

Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes at high pressure. The pot will take 10-12 minutes to build pressure and start the timer.

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.

Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the valve to the venting position. To prevent steam burn, use the back of a spoon to move the valve.

Open the lid and fluff the turmeric rice gently using a fork.

Cooked turmeric rice.
Turmeric basmati rice fluffed with a fork.

Garnish with 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro and serve hot.

Ready instant pot turmeric basamti rice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make golden turmeric rice in a traditional stovetop pressure cooker?

Follow the instant pot recipe in a traditional stovetop pressure cooker over medium-high heat until turmeric powder is added. Drain the water from the rice and add the rice to the pot along with 3 and ½ cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt.
Stir gently. Close the lid and pressure cook for 2 whistles on medium-high heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and fluff the turmeric rice gently using a fork. Garnish with 2 teaspoon chopped cilantro and serve hot.

How to make turmeric rice in a pan over a stovetop?

Follow the instant pot recipe in a pan over medium-high heat until turmeric powder is added. Drain the water from the rice and add the rice to the pot along with 3 and ½ cups of water and 1 teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the golden rice gently using a fork. Garnish with 2 teaspoon chopped cilantro and serve hot.

How do I make turmeric rice using fresh turmeric?

To make turmeric rice using fresh turmeric, peel and grate a 1-inch piece of fresh turmeric root and use it instead of turmeric powder.

Ensure you do not overdo the quantity of fresh turmeric, as it has robust flavors.

You Might Also Like

This Indian Turmeric Basmati Rice is a great side dish to serve with curries or lentils. Make it in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker using my easy recipe (vegetarian, gluten-free, and can be easily made vegan).
4 from 5 votes

Turmeric Rice Recipe (Indian Yellow Rice)

This Indian Turmeric Rice is a great side dish to serve with curries or lentils. Make it in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker using my easy recipe.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups long grain white basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2-3 whole cloves (laung)
  • 1 inch piece of whole cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
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Instructions 

  • Rinse basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water clears.
  • Soak the rice in 4-5 cups of water for 15 minutes.
  • Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot.
  • Add ghee to the pot and let it heat up.
  • Once the ghee is hot, add cloves, cinnamon, and cumin seeds, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add onions and fry until they turn golden brown, stirring frequently.
  • Now add turmeric powder and cook for 3-4 seconds.
  • Drain the water from the rice and add the rice to the pot along with 2 cups of water and salt.
  • Stir gently.
  • Close the lid and set the valve to the sealing position.
  • Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes at high pressure. The instant pot will take 10-12 minutes to build pressure and start the timer.
  • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
  • Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the valve to the venting position. Use the back of a spoon to move the valve to prevent steam burn.
  • Open the lid and fluff the rice gently using a fork.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

I made this turmeric rice recipe in my 3-quart instant pot, but if you want to double or triple it, use a 6-quart instant pot. The cooking time will remain the same.
If not basmati rice, you can make this recipe with any white rice that is readily available.

Nutrition

Calories: 362kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 38mg, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 160mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg
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2 Comments

  1. hello. Can his be made with cumin powder vs seeds, and cinnamon powder vs sticks… or would that change the flavor too drastically? I want to try this, and I have the powders on hand. Thanks !