Aromatic Indian Rice Recipe

Fragrant exotic Indian Rice recipe using toasted whole spices, just like they use in India!

Indian Rice Recipe - #rice #indian

Rice is one of those ingredients that would be very difficult for me to give up.

Whether it’s jasmine, basmati, or wild rice, the smell and texture are endearing and alluring to me. In fact, most of my favorite comfort foods revolve around rice.


There are rice dishes, and then there are rice dishes.

This particular rice dish is the latter… light, fluffy, aromatic, and bursting with intense flavor, making it so much more than a side dish.

To make Indian style rice, you could always boil up a pot of rice and add a little curry powder. The difference in this Indian rice dish, is that we aren’t using curry powder, the blend of dried spices regularly used in Indian cooking.

Instead, we’re using whole individual spices to create vibrant complexity with delicately balanced exotic tones. Sound appealing?

If you like playing with spices, you are going to love this!

Making - Indian Rice Recipe - #rice #indian

I started with whole fenugreek seeks, whole cumin seeds, cardamom pods, ginger, garlic, whole cinnamon and the cherry on top…. Real curry leaves.

You can find curry leaves (along with the fenugreek and cardamom pods) at high-quality grocery chains, and at international markets.

I love digging through those little strip-mall markets for lesser known ingredients like this. Totally worth the drive and time, in my opinion.

Sautéing whole spices to release their flavors into the butter, is the key to building a better Indian rice dish.

How To: Indian Rice Recipe - #rice #indian

Once the fenugreek seeds have softened, add the rice and water. Then boil the rice as directed.

The final touch to this amazing Indian rice dish it to prepare flash-fried curry leaves. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet. Once it’s hot, add the curry leaves and stand back. Fresh herbs contain lots of moisture and will pop! Once the curry leaves have fried for 10-20 seconds, scoop them out of the skillet, drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

Top the Indian rice with the crispy curry leaves, and be ready to breath a deep sign of satisfaction when you taste it.

Fragrant Indian Rice Recipe - #rice #indian

Colorful, rich, and zesty with a deep floral flavor from the basmati rice and tantalizing crispy curry leaves mingled throughout.

You’re welcome.

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19 comments on “Aromatic Indian Rice Recipe

  1. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitnessposted July 25, 2014 at 4:12 am Reply

    I have been thinking that I haven’t made rice in too long. Being a food blogger I feel ALL the pressure to make everything quinoa.
    But, we are hyooooge Indian fans, so you’ve inspired me to get back on the rice train! Pinned!

  2. Julie @ Running in a Skirtposted July 25, 2014 at 5:15 am Reply

    Wow! I love the time and love that goes into the recipe to really get that flavor!

  3. Tieghanposted July 25, 2014 at 6:41 am Reply

    Rice is by far one of my very favorite sides/grains/foods. We love it over here and I am a huge fan of indian so this is some good looking rice!

  4. Jenny Flakeposted July 25, 2014 at 7:10 am Reply

    Love a good rice! This one looks perfect!!

  5. Ambikaposted July 25, 2014 at 7:11 am Reply

    Wow! The rice looks lovely. I am so surprised to see that you like the flavor of fenugreek seeds! I know many many Indians ( including my family) scowling at it. The raw seeds are bitter, but they mellow down beautifully after cooking. Do you know that you can grow fresh fenugreek leaves at home? They also taste wonderful and are extremely aromatic. You can actually sprout fenugreek seeds and add them to your salads. They are a powerhouse of nutrition, especially iron. Happy blogging, and btw, I Love your page :-)

    • HappyForksposted July 25, 2014 at 10:45 am Reply

      Fanugreek seeds are the bomb of vitamin and minerals. They contains all amino acids and as you say iron which is really rare. For more information about fanugreek seeds you can check HappyForks site. Ambika, do you have recipes for other meals in which we can add fanugreek?

  6. Mariaposted July 25, 2014 at 7:19 am Reply

    Love this rice! So pretty too!

  7. Kristin @ Tastefully Gluten Freeposted July 25, 2014 at 8:35 am Reply

    This rice looks amazing and sounds even better! I love the authentic Indian rice but have never tried to make it myself. Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!

  8. Marla Meridithposted July 25, 2014 at 8:41 am Reply

    One of my favorite rice recipes!

  9. Liz @ The Lemon Bowlposted July 25, 2014 at 1:26 pm Reply

    Love roasting whole spices… was just talking to Heather about fenugreek!

  10. Heather Christoposted July 25, 2014 at 5:15 pm Reply

    What gorgeous rice Sommer- I just LOVE all of the spices and flavors that you included!

  11. Kevin | keviniscookingposted July 25, 2014 at 10:50 pm Reply

    Everything in this is right up my alley and I completely agree with your comment, “I love digging through those little strip-mall markets for lesser known ingredients like this. Totally worth the drive and time, in my opinion.” It’s that attention to detail and passion for the final product that drives me, too. Beautiful photos!

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  13. Gabyposted July 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm Reply

    Can’t wait to try this!

  14. jennaposted July 27, 2014 at 10:25 am Reply

    i just adore this rice. The color and flavors are so appealing. I love the idea of crispy curry leaves – brilliant!

  15. Carol at Wild Goose Teaposted July 28, 2014 at 10:12 am Reply

    What a great recipe! I love Indian food. I have to travel 1.5 hrs or more to get
    to an Indian restaurant. So Indian food recipes are on my radar and pin list.

  16. Maahiposted December 18, 2014 at 7:38 am Reply

    Just perfect for me, rice look’s so beautiful.

  17. The Steaming Potposted May 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm Reply

    That’s a beautiful color!

    It made me smile to see curry leaves described as a lesser known ingredient. Where I live, they are omnipresent :-D I sometimes make rice pulao with ground curry leaves and cashew nuts. If curry leaves are your thing, you’ll love that recipe.

  18. Taraposted November 4, 2015 at 8:24 pm Reply

    Thank You for this divine recipe! Delish.  I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to Indian recipes.  I’m not Indian but my hubby is and I lived there for years and most recipes I try from non-Indian cooks often miss the mark.  But this was fabulous and thankfully I had all the ingredients. Lovely!