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Turmeric Rice – Barefeet in the Kitchen


Bright yellow turmeric rice with butter and green peas is a colorful and tasty side dish for Chicken Tikka Masala, or pretty much any other stir fry dinner.

jasmine rice cooked with turmeric in blue bowl on wooden table with white linen

Turmeric Rice

Turmeric is the spice that gives Indian curry its distinctive color and flavor, but it plays nicely with many other flavors.

Despite the very bright color, the flavor is surprisingly subtle in this dish. My boys requested seconds on this rice and they ate every single bite. I’ve also served this rice with roast beef and oven baked chicken.

uncooked rice and spices in pan

Turmeric Rice Recipe

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • Basmati or Jasmine rice
  • kosher salt
  • ground turmeric
  • water
  • frozen peas, optional
  • butter
  • fresh cilantro or Italian parsley, for serving

As written, the recipe below is made on the stovetop. However, it can also be made in a rice cooker. Simply add all the ingredients to the cooker, stir, turn it on, and walk away.

simmering rice on stovetop

How To Make Turmeric Rice

Combine all ingredients in a large flat-bottomed skillet or saucepan. Turn the heat under the pan to high, cover the pan, and bring it to a boil.

After it boils, stir the rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover again and simmer for about 16-17 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

cooked turmeric rice in saucepan on stove

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the frozen peas. The heat of the rice will melt the butter and warm the peas.

Stir to mix the melted butter throughout the rice. Serve warm with a sprinkling of cilantro.

rice with turmeric, butter, and peas on stovetop

Rice with Peas

There’s something extra fun about the pop of baby peas alongside rice, pasta, or potatoes. I rarely resist the urge to add them to any number of recipes.

Easy to make and versatile, Asian rice with peas is another side dish that you’ll never get tired of; it makes the perfect accompaniment to any Asian-inspired meal.

This fried rice with chicken and bacon just begs for a generous scoop of peas to make it perfect. That fried rice has been established in our home as the best “unplanned and amazingly delicious” meal ever.

close up photo of turmeric rice with peas

Creamy pasta with chunks of savory ham and tender sweet peas come together in less than 30 minutes for this pasta night favorite.

Creamed peas and potatoes is a delicious side dish that is wonderfully simple to make. The tender pop of English peas adds a wonderful texture to the softness of baby potatoes in this recipe.

Creamy homemade ranch dressing coats every bite of pasta and vegetables in this Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad. Sprinkled throughout with bacon, peas, and cheddar cheese, my kids go absolutely nuts over this salad.

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Servings: 8 servings

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  • Combine all ingredients in a large flat-bottomed skillet or saucepan. Turn the heat under the pan to high, cover the pan, and bring it to a boil.

  • After it boils, stir the rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover again and simmer for about 16-17 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

  • Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the frozen peas. The heat of the rice will melt the butter and warm the peas. Stir to mix the melted butter throughout the rice. Serve warm with a sprinkling of cilantro.

This recipe can also be made in a rice cooker. Simply add all the ingredients to the cooker, stir, turn it on, and walk away. 

Calories: 237kcal · Carbohydrates: 40g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 6g · Saturated Fat: 4g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g · Monounsaturated Fat: 2g · Trans Fat: 0.2g · Cholesterol: 15mg · Sodium: 346mg · Potassium: 121mg · Fiber: 2g · Sugar: 1g · Vitamin A: 316IU · Vitamin C: 7mg · Calcium: 25mg · Iron: 1mg

{originally published 8/31/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 7/26/23}

recipe lightly adapted from and with thanks to Pastor Ryan

Turmeric Rice

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