This soft & fluffy garlic turmeric rice is full of delicious aromas and makes for the perfect dish to complement any meal. Fragranced with butter, turmeric, garlic, and onion, this incredibly flavorful rice comes together in just 20 minutes on the stovetop.
Paying homage to my Asian heritage, there is not a single day I go without rice, and this yellow rice is on constant rotation in the house due to its versatility and divine taste.
This tasty middle eastern rice is made with a base of turmeric and aromatic vegetables and simmered down in chicken stock to further infuse the flavors into each grain of rice.
Best of all, it comes together quickly and easily in just 20 minutes and can be served as a side dish or as a satisfying meal of its own.
What is Turmeric Rice?
Turmeric rice, also known as yellow rice, is made in various cuisines around the globe but calls for different ingredients and processes depending on the region.
The yellow color of middle eastern rice stems from using naturally-colored spices including annatto, saffron, and turmeric, which are used interchangeably to give white rice its vibrant color.
The spices and aromatics used in yellow rice truly elevates the plain, white rice to have incredible and highly addictive flavors, but versatile enough that you can serve it alongside a million different recipes, and makes for a healthier alternative to pasta or bread.
I first fell in love with middle eastern rice on my frequent visits to one of our local Middle Eastern restaurants, where a generous bed of shawarma rice was served to complement the meat and vegetables in which for me, the rice truly elevated the dish to the next level.
This garlic turmeric rice recipe is not exclusive to one type of cuisine but derived from many of my experiences with this dish to create the most simple and flavorful rice that you can make using just one pot.
What do I need to make Turmeric Rice?
This yellow rice recipe is delightfully easy and calls for a handful of ingredients that are easily found in your pantry. Here is a list of ingredients you will need:
- Butter: I personally adore the flavors that butter adds to the rice, but you can also use coconut oil for a healthier alternative. The key is to soften the rice and make it as fluffy as you can!
- This recipe calls for unsalted butter, but you can also use salted butter and reduce the amount of salt if needed.
- Onion + Garlic: for the aromatics. I prefer sautéing these vegetables to really bring out their flavor, but you can also opt for powdered alternatives if you are in a time crunch!
- Ground turmeric: This is a key ingredient in this recipe to give flavor and vibrant yellow color to the dish.
- Basmati rice: I prefer using basmati rice, but please feel free to use any long-grain white rice that you prefer. If you use brown rice, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Stock: chicken stock or vegetable stock pairs wonderfully with this recipe.
- Salt + pepper: to season the rice, as well as to enhance the flavors of the onion and garlic.
Tips to make the best Turmeric Rice
- Always rinse your rice prior to cooking. This helps to remove extra starch from the surface of the rice grains, preventing them from sticking together to achieve that perfect fluffy texture.
- To rinse your rice, you can either use a colander to rinse under the tap, or add the rice into a pot or bowl and cover with water, swirl, then carefully pour out the water.
- Repeat this process 3-4 times until the water is clear, drain excess water, and your rice is good to go!
- Sauté the vegetables first. This will help bring out all the aromas and flavors of the onion and garlic to be infused into the rice.
- If you prefer an easier method or prefer to use a rice cooker, you can also use powdered alternatives, but using natural ingredients is well worth it in my opinion!
- I am using my nifty stainless steel sauté pan in the video, which is perfect for making rice and for so many other dishes that are frequent in my kitchen.
- Rest the rice for at least 5 minutes, after cooking. This is an essential step in achieving that perfect texture, as it allows the rice to absorb all the moisture inside the pot.
- After the cooking time, remove from heat with the lid on, and allow to sit for at least 5-10 minutes. When the time is up, fluff your rice with a fork or a rice paddle and enjoy!
- This is an important step in cooking rice on the stovetop, as the same resting process is built into the last few minutes of using the rice cooker.
And that’s it! All the tips and tricks on how to make yellow rice, all in the comfort of your home. The only fun part that’s left is to pair this with any dish of choice and trust me, it goes well with anything and everything!
For visual instructions, please refer to the video tutorial above (you will need to disable AdBlock if you are on your computer!).
This is one of my favorite rice recipes, which made it that more exciting to share with you all. I hope this recipe brightens up your week, and please do leave me a comment below or send me a message on Instagram if you have any questions!
Other easy Dinner recipes you may like:
- 15-Minute Yaki Udon (Stir-Fried Udon Noodles)
- Mayak Eggs (Korean Marinated Eggs)
- Easy Shrimp Fried Rice
- 15-Minute Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles)
- Chinese Tomato Egg Stir Fry
- 15-Minute Creamy Shrimp Pasta
Garlic Turmeric Rice (Yellow Rice)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter or coconut oil
- 1/2 medium onion finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp turmeric ground
- 2 cups basmati rice or your choice of long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
- 3 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
- chicken kebabs or any grilled veggies, seafood, or meat to serve
- Heat butter over medium heat, until completely melted and bubbling. Add onion and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add turmeric and stir to incorporate. Mix in the rice until the grains are evenly coated.
- Add stock, salt, and pepper over the mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside for at least 5 minutes before fluffing the rice with a fork. Enjoy!