This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
This delicious turmeric rice is made with fluffy jasmine rice, aromatic spices, and creamy coconut milk. Naturally dairy-free, nutritious, and ready in less than 30 minutes for the easiest Indian-inspired side dish for any main meal!
You'll love turmeric rice
If you want to get fancy you can call this golden rice or yellow rice, but no matter what you call it, turmeric rice is unbelievably delicious. It's made with rice cooked in coconut milk and Indian spices and is the perfect side dish for almost any meal.
Serve it as a side to curry, add a baked chicken breast, or turn it into an Indian-inspired rice bowl with some chickpeas and sauteed veggies.
Ingredients in Turmeric Rice
Jasmine rice: This is a long-grain white rice that cooks up nice and fluffy, making it perfect for this turmeric rice recipe. It also has a wonderful fragrant smell—almost like popcorn!
Turmeric: we used ground turmeric to give the rice a warm, peppery flavor, while also turning it a vibrant yellow color.
Ginger, bay leaf, and cinnamon: This blend of Indian-inspired aromatics are going to make the rice even more delicious. Freshly ground ginger works best here, while a whole cinnamon stick and dried bay leaf help infuse the rice with flavor as it cooks
Coconut milk: Full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk makes this turmeric rice rich and slightly creamy. Make sure you use a good blend of the solid white cream and water found in each can.
Olive oil: We use olive oil to toast the aromatics before cooking the rice. You could also use coconut oil, ghee, or butter for a slightly different flavor.
Salt and Pepper: don't skimp on these seasonings! They are key in bringing out the other flavors in this turmeric rice recipe.
How to Make Turmeric Rice
This turmeric rice recipe is simple and easy to make. It comes together in under 30 minutes on the stove, making it the perfect side dish or quick dinner.
- To make turmeric rice, start by rinsing your rice under cool water until it runs clear. This not only ensures there is no debris but also removes some of the starch that naturally coats the outside of each grain, yielding fluffier rice.
- Heat a medium saucepan that can be covered by a tight-fitting lid. Add the oil and when it's shimmering, sauté the turmeric, cinnamon stick, and ginger until fragrant. This helps release their flavor and adds a nice toasty flavor to the rice. Make sure to turn the heat on pretty low and keep your spices cooking for no longer than a minute, so they don’t burn and become bitter.
- After the spices begin smelling nice, add the rice, coconut milk, water, bay leaf, and salt. Bring everything up to a boil then cover the pot with a lid. Cook the turmeric rice for 12 minutes then let it sit for another 10 minutes off the heat. Try not to take the lid off for more than a few seconds to keep the steam from escaping.
- When it's time to serve, remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and fluff the rice with a fork. Enjoy it warm with some chopped cilantro and a grind of black pepper.
Want more turmeric?
Turmeric is wonderfully healthy so we try to incorporate it into our food as often as we can. One great way to enjoy more turmeric is by adding it to a drink. Here are a few of our favorite turmeric drinks:
Tips and Substitutions
- This turmeric rice recipe uses white rice, but long-grain brown rice may be substituted. Keep in mind that it will take longer to cook (about 35-40 minutes) and may not become as fluffy as white rice.
- Ground turmeric is a lot easier to find and work with, but fresh turmeric can also be used instead for a stronger flavor. Use 1 tablespoon of freshly grated turmeric for every 1 teaspoon of ground. Be careful, fresh turmeric may stain your fingers, clothes, and countertop!
- For an even creamier, almost risotto-like consistency, use 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk and ¾ cup of water. (Note: this does not work as well if using brown rice)
Love rice side dishes?
So do we! And we have plenty of rice recipes for you to choose from. Once you try this golden turmeric rice, make sure to these others:
More recipes to try
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (grated)
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup jasmine rice (rinsed)
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup full fat, unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper and chopped cilantro (for serving)
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan to which you have a lid. When shimmering, add the ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon stick. Toast over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, 1 ½ teaspoons ground turmeric, 1 cinnamon stick
- Add the rice, water, coconut milk, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for 12 minutes then turn off the heat and let it sit, covered, for 10 more minutes.1 cup jasmine rice, 1 cup water, ½ cup full fat, unsweetened coconut milk, 1 bay leaf, ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Fluff the rice with a fork and remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Serve warm with a few grinds of black pepper and some chopped cilantro.
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.