Colourful Turmeric Rice (or yellow rice as it is also known) is a quick and easy side dish that will bring extra flavour to any curry or grilled chicken. Bursting with all the health benefits of turmeric, this vibrant side will mean that rice never has to be boring again.
Rice is such an easy side dish, and goes with so many different meals. However, if you are just serving up plain boiled rice, then it can get boring pretty quickly. Adding some turmeric to the pan when cooking not only adds flavour and colour, but so many health benefits too.
Made with just a few store cupboard ingredients, this yellow rice is a versatile side dish. If you are looking for some other flavoured rice recipes, then why not try our Easy Coconut Rice, Mediterranean Rice Salad, Easy Greek Rice, Cilantro Lime Rice or The Best Spanish Rice.
Why you will love it
- A colourful side dish - Rice can get a little bit boring, but adding turmeric really livens it up.
- Uses store cupboard ingredients - Just 4 ingredients go in to this turmeric rice and you probably already have them in your kitchen.
- Delicious with curry - The perfect side dish with a homemade curry.
- Anti-inflammatory - Turmeric has loads of health benefits, so you can feel really good about eating it.
- Quick and easy - So easy to make and cooks in just 15 minutes.
- Rice - You need a long grain rice for this recipe and we prefer to use basmati. Any long grain rice will work though. You could also use brown rice, which has a wonderful nutty flavour, but that would take longer to cook.
- Turmeric - We use dried ground turmeric for this recipe. Make sure that your turmeric hasn't been open for longer than 6 months, otherwise it will lose its flavour. You can grate fresh turmeric and add it to the rice.
- Stock - This is what the rice is cooked in. You could use just water though. We used vegetable stock, to keep it vegan, however you could use chicken stock which would give a richer flavour.
- Garlic - This is optional, but it adds a nice extra flavour.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make turmeric rice - Step by step
One: Put the rice, turmeric and garlic powder in a saucepan.
Two: Add the vegetable stock and stir. Bring to the boil and then put a lid on it and turn down to a low simmer for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and leave for 10 minutes before fluffing up.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that comes from the turmeric plant (Curcuma longa) and is part of the ginger family. Turmeric is used predominantly in Asian cuisine to give flavour and a strong yellow colour to dishes.
The vivid yellow colour of turmeric comes from a chemical called curcumin, which is often used to colour foods as well as some cosmetics. Turmeric is widely used for its healthy benefits.
Health benefits of turmeric
- The main active ingredient in turmeric is Curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory and a strong antioxidant. However, curcumin is not well absorbed by the body, so pair it with some black pepper. This contains piperine, a natural substance that can increase the absorption of curcumin by up to 20 times!
- A decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a growth hormone that functions in the brain, can result in depression and Alzheimer's disease. Curcumin can help to increase levels of this hormone.
- Studies have shown that curcumin may help reverse many steps in the development of heart disease.
- Curcumin has been studied in cancer treatment and has been found to affect cancer growth, development and spread at a molecular level.
- The great anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin means it can help relive the suffering of arthritis.
You can read more in-depth details about the health benefits of turmeric here.
Extra tips and variations
• Make sure to rinse the rice really well, to remove the excess starch.
• You could cook some finely diced shallots and fresh garlic to add in to this rice.
• Add some vegetables to it with some frozen peas and sweetcorn or finely diced carrot. These can be added 5 minutes before the end of cooking time.
• Add some spice with a sprinkle of red chilli flakes before serving.
• This rice is best cooked fresh, however it can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for 2 days.
What to serve with turmeric rice
This rice is the perfect side to a curry and we have some delicious curry recipes for you to try:
- Three Bean Curry
- Paneer Curry
- Lamb Korma
- Cauliflower and Potato Curry
- 10 Minute Chickpea and Spinach Curry
- Cod Curry
- Easy Lentil Curry
- Slow Cooker Beef Curry
- Salmon Curry
- Mushroom Curry
- Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry
- Halloumi Curry (shown below)
You need something to scoop up all that delicious curry and rice with, so why not make some bread sides? Try our Homemade Flatbread, Easy Naan or Peshwari Naan.
Store: We always think that it's best to cook any kind of rice dish fresh. However, if you have leftovers of this then you can store it in the fridge for 2 days. Make sure the rice cools quickly and then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Freeze: You can freeze this for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge.
Reheat: You can reheat it by adding a little water to it and heating it through in a pan. Make sure rice is piping hot if reheating.
Frequently asked questions
Turmeric has a really earthy and bitter, almost musky taste, with a bit of peppery spice, so the rice takes on all those flavours. The deep rich flavour you get in most curry powders is turmeric.
You only need a teaspoon in this, as it has a really strong flavour. You will need to adjust that if you are making more or less rice of course.
Yes, we would recommend rinsing your rice first, because it removes excess starch from each rice grain and stops it sticking together.
Yes, this is a vegan recipe.
As long as you use a gluten free stock and make sure that there is no cross contamination, then this can be gluten free.
More rice recipes
If you’ve tried this turmeric rice recipe, let us know how you got on in the comments below.
Tag us in your creations on Instagram @hungryhealthyhappy - Use the hashtag #hungryhealthyhappy too.
- 180 g (1 cups) Basmati rice
- 500 ml (2 cups) Vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
- 0.5 teaspoon Garlic powder
- Put 180 g Basmati rice, 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric and 0.5 teaspoon Garlic powder into a saucepan.
- Add 500 ml Vegetable stock and stir. Bring to the boil and then put a lid on it and turn down to a low simmer for 15 minutes.
- Turn the heat off and leave covered for 10 minutes before fluffing up with a fork.
- Make sure to rinse the rice really well, to remove the excess starch.
- You could cook some finely diced shallots and fresh garlic to add in to this rice.
- Add some vegetables to it with some frozen peas and sweetcorn or finely diced carrot. These can be added 5 minutes before the end of cooking time.
- Add some spice with a sprinkle of red chilli flakes before serving.
- This rice is best cooked fresh, however it can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for 2 days.
I use this recipe every time I want rice - tasty -foolproof - wonderful!
Cathleen @ A Taste of Madness
I have been making rice so often lately, so this version would be a nice change in my normal simple white rice. Bookmarked for later, thanks for the recipe :)
The color of the rice is so lovely, and it's perfect side dish for so many different meals.
I use turmeric a lot in my cooking but I've never added it to rice. I definitely will next time. Thanks Dannii :)
This Tumeric rice is perfect. I love it with a simple curry and vegetables!
I am trying to add more turmeric to my diet. It is so good for you! Thanks for the turmeric rice recipe. Sounds great.
Delicious and oh so beautiful! I can't wait to try this.
This rice is so good! I had all the ingredients on hand too, so it was perfect!
I made this the other day for my husband and me and was very impressed with the flavor. I will be saving this recipe for the future to make again.
We make this so often in the Middle East, but the addition of garlic powder is one I haven't seen before. Genius! I'll definitely try that next time!
Simple Rice but full of flavor and the healthy benefits of Turmeric. Comfort meal option.
I love turmeric - the flavor, the color - and am always looking for new recipes to use it. This looks like an easy enough dish for weeknight dinners. Fabulous!
I made this with your rogan josh and it was perfect. Just as good as any takeaway meal I have had.
This is a perfect side dish and really like the idea of having it with curry. Yum!
I'm happy to have another rice recipe in my rotation. I make a lot of cilantro rice, but it gets boring. This turmeric rice is great and goes with everything.
Turmeric rice is so flavorful. We make this all the time.
I'm seriously craving this right now! That colour is stunning! We're having curry tonight, definitely making this rice to go with it.
Lisa | Garlic & Zest
I make a version of this turmeric rice at home and it's one of my family's favorites. Can't wait to try your recipe -- and isn't that color glorious?