A Spicy Perspective

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.

Indian Rice goes well with

Indian Spiced Fish

Grilled Indian Chicken

Butter Chicken Sliders

Chicken Tikka Masala – Indian Simmer

Kale Pakora – Kiran Tarun

Indian Rice
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5 from 9 votes
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Indian Rice

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Fragrant exotic Indian Rice recipe using toasted whole spices, just like they use in India!
Servings: 8



  • Heat a large pot over medium to medium-low heat. Add the ghee, onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom pods, cinnamon, chile, fenugreek, and cumin seeds. Saute until the onions are soft and the fenugreek seeds have started to soften, about 12-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add the rice, turmeric, salt and water. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and lower the heat again to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the rice has absorbed the water and there are steam holes in the top of the rice. Fluff the rice with a fork, cover and set aside to steam for 5-10 more minutes.
  • Add the oil to a small skillet. Place the skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's very hot, add the curry leaves and step back--herbs contain a lot of moisture and will pop when frying. Fry the curry leaves for 10-20 seconds, just long enough for the popping to stop. Then scoop them out of the oil and and place them on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle the curry leaves with salt. When ready to serve, scoop the rice into a large bowl, removing the cardamom pods, chile, and cinnamon stick. Top with flash fried curry leaves and serve warm.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 298kcal, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 447mg, Potassium: 113mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 15IU, Vitamin C: 3.6mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Sommer Collier

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28 comments on “Aromatic Indian Rice Recipe”

  1. Great 👍 food 🥘 yum 😋 🤤 

  2. I love this recipe! The rice has a beautiful color and is spectacularly delicious. I served this rice with another one of your recipes: Roasted Indian Fish and Creamy Curried Cauliflower. Both recipes have become a repeat on our monthly menu. Thank You for sharing.

  3. delicious rice recipe I loved it.

  4. I didn’t have curry leaves M, cumin seeds, or chilies but it still turned out great! 

  5. I just came across this delicious sounding recipe.  Can one use dried curry leaves (that’s what I have at the moment).  Can I make rice the day before and do fried dry curry leaves before I serve?  I’m doing an Indian feast for my friends birthday and am trying to cook a little before the big day..(one day before)

  6. Most Delicious.

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  8. Pingback: What Goes with Meatloaf? – Big Evaluate

  9. I stumbled upon this recipe on the internet today and just made it. It turned out brilliant!

  10. 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! 

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

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

  15. Can’t wait to try this!

  16. Pingback: Cooking Chica

  17. 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!

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

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

  20. One of my favorite rice recipes!

  21. 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!

  22. Love this rice! So pretty too!

  23. 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 :-)

    • 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?

  24. Love a good rice! This one looks perfect!!

  25. 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!

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

  27. 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!