A really great Curried Rice that won’t disappoint! This pilaf-style fluffy basmati rice recipe is flavoured with everyday curry powder plus extra spices to give it a punch of flavour.
With sweetness from carrots and peas, a sprinkle of cashews and a garlic flavour base, this is a rice side dish that will jazz up any meal. Or serve it with crispy fried eggs for a super quick meal!
Curried Rice – think of the possibilities!
Just 2 hours ago, I left 8 big containers of this Curried Rice with the wonderful team at my local veterinary clinic (one of the regular places to which I take surplus food) along with a note that went along the lines of this:
“Curried basmati rice, not too spicy, fab rice side but can also eat plain. Use to make quick meal eg. eggs sunny side up or slice hard boiled, simple Crispy Pan Fried Fish or Garlic Prawns (recipes on my site!!!), even a can of tuna, salmon etc Yogurt highly recommended.”
And in that shorthand note I left with the food, I’ve just hit up all the high points about this recipe. I should do that more often! 😂
What you’ll need
This recipe calls for a few more spices than just Curry Powder because I typically find that things made with just curry powder sometimes lack flavour (though this simple Everyday Chicken Curry and Curried Sausages are an exception to that rule!)
So I dial up the curry flavour with a few extra spices – cumin, coriander and paprika, plus chilli powder for spiciness which is optional.
This Curried Rice is a basmati rice recipe because it’s on-point. The nutty flavour is ideal for the flavours in this recipe, but there’s plenty of other rice options that I’ve covered in the recipe notes.
I added grated carrots and peas for extra flavour and texture – they add sweetness which really elevates this from your usual pilaf recipe. Plus cashews and fresh coriander/cilantro.
Look at these ingredients. You know this is going to be a winner! 😇
The secret to fluffy, tender Basmati rice
This recipe starts like any usual pilaf, sautéing aromatics – in this case garlic, ginger (optional), onion and carrot. After this, the raw rinsed basmati rice is added, the spices, then chicken or vegetable broth/stock.
The next steps are the key to ensure you have fluffy tender rice that’s not gluey or unevenly cooked:
Push any protruding rice grains under the surface of the liquid;
Bring the liquid to a simmer.
When there are bubbles across the entire surface of the liquid (not just around the edges of the pot), clamp the lid on, turn the heat down to LOW and cook for 14 minutes. No peeking!
Remove from heat and rest undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes. The rice continues to cook and absorbs any residual liquid.
Fluff with a rubber spatular NOT a fork (breaks the long grains), marvel at how soft yet fluffy the rice is, and serve!
Why do you rinse the basmati rice? You don’t usually do that!
The step of rinsing the rice is called for because in this pilaf style rice, there are vegetables which leech liquid that can cause the basmati rice to become a bit gluier than ideal.
This is unique to basmati rice. Other flavoured rice recipes like Greek Lemon Rice, Coconut Rice and Mexican Red Rice are made with other types of white rice that are not as sensitive when cooking with vegetables.
You do not need to rinse basmati rice when cooking it plain because there’s no other ingredients to affect the cooking process, so it can be cooked without rinsing and it will come out fluffy.
I’m a big fan of flavoured rice recipes because it makes mealtime interesting / quick and easy. When you’ve got a side with this much flavour, it takes centre stage so it’s just about rounding out the meal with some easy vegetables and protein. I’ve popped some ideas below! – Nagi x
How / what to serve with Curried Rice
Great to take to gatherings as part of a banquet (reheats very well)
Dollop of plain yogurt – essential!
Add some plain tomato and cucumber wedges for juicy freshness, or this Everyday Cabbage Salad
Some cooked protein suggestions:
Super quick meal – eggs sunny side up or boiled (very typical Asian/Indian sub-continent way of adding protein to meals)
Add a can of tuna or salmon, or try hot smoked salmon or trout
Curried Basmati Rice Recipe
Watch how to make it
Curried Rice (Basmati rice)
- 3 tsp yellow curry powder (Note 1)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder (adjust spiciness to taste) (Note 2)
- 40g (3 tbsp) butter (or ghee or oil) (Note 3)
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 2 tsp ginger , finely chopped or grated
- 1 1/2 cups (275g) uncooked basmati rice (Note 4)
- 2 small carrot , peeled and grated
- 2 1/4 cups (560 ml) chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium (Note 5)
- 2 cups (300g) frozen peas
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup (150g) cashews , roasted, unsalted
- 1/2 cup coriander/cilantro leaves , finely chopped
- Yogurt , for serving (optional)
- Rinse rice until water runs pretty clear, then drain well. (Note 4)
- Melt butter in a small to medium pot (or large saucepan) over medium high heat.
- Add garlic and ginger, cook 30 seconds. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes until partly translucent.
- Add carrot and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until softened and sweet.
- Add rice and stir to coat all the grains in the oil.
- Add Spices and mix to coat the rice.
- Add broth, peas, salt and pepper, stir. If any rice is protruding above the surface, poke it under the liquid.
- When the entire surface of the liquid is simmering, stir once, place lid on and immediately turn heat down to LOW.
- Cook for 14 minutes, do not peek while cooking!
- Lift lid slightly and quickly tilt pot to check to ensure liquid has been absorbed. Clamp lid back on and remove from heat.
- Stand for 10 minutes, undisturbed.
- Use a rubber spatula to gently fluff the rice. (Note 6)
- Add most of the cashews and coriander, stir through.
- Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with remaining cashews and coriander. See in post for serving ideas.
* Rice is stickier, such is the nature of those rices. How I rinse rice: Either place in colander and run under water for 30 seconds, moving rice about with your hands, until water runs pretty clear. Or do this in a bowl, swishing rice around and changing water 4 times or so. Drain rice well before using. No need to soak rice for this recipe - I found it didn't make a difference to fluffiness. 5. Broth/stock - Be sure to use low sodium broth (stock), otherwise it will end up too salty. If you use a stock powder, bouillon cube or concentrate + hot water to make broth, then omit the salt completely. 6. GENERAL:
- Scaling recipe: If you scale down, be sure to use a smaller pot otherwise the rice won't cook evenly.
- Don't use a fork to fluff basmati rice, it breaks the long grains.
Life of Dozer
I shared this flashback Dozer puppy photo on Instagram over the weekend. It got more likes than my recipes do!! I’m so offended – he’s stealing my thunder! 😂