Turmeric Rice

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This vibrant turmeric rice is bursting with flavor and packed with spices. A delicious show-stealing side dish that’s super easy to make!

I’m not much of a takeout person, but I was recently forced to order quite a bit of takeout while having some work done on my kitchen. Maybe this was a good thing, as it got me to try a few new dishes, some of which were really good!

Zoe’s Kitchen turmeric rice became a favorite during my streak of ordering in. It’s so good! And since I mostly cook my meals at home, I felt like I had to reverse engineer the dish so I could make it myself. I think I nailed it!

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  • What You’ll Need
  • How to Make Turmeric Rice
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Rice Recipes
  • Turmeric Rice

What You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. Any high-heat oil will technically work, but olive will give you the best flavor.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Spices. We’re using ground cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, and cloves.
  • Vegetable broth. I’m a big fan of Better Than Bouillon in seasoned vegetable flavor.
  • Basmati rice. You could substitute another variety of rice, but basmati will give the dish the perfect texture and flavor. If you do use another variety, be sure to check the cooking instructions, as you might need to change the cook time and/or amount of liquid used.
  • Lemon juice. Use freshly squeezed juice for the best flavor.
  • Salt & pepper.

How to Make Turmeric Rice

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  1. Heat up some olive oil in a saucepan, then add diced onion. Sweat the onion for a few minutes, until it begins to soften up.
  2. Add garlic and all of your spices. Cook them with the onion for about a minute. Be sure to stir everything constantly during this process to prevent the spices from burning.
  3. Stir in the broth, rice, and lemon juice. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.
  4. Lower the heat until the liquid is at a low simmer and cover the pot. Let the rice simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed — this should take 15 to 20 minutes. No peeking! Rice cooks best with the lid on the pot the whole time. Use a pot with a clear lid if you feel like you need to keep an eye on the rice.

After your rice finishes cooking, let it sit with the lid on the pot for about 5 minutes. Then uncover, fluff the rice with a fork or rice paddle, and season it with some salt.

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover turmeric rice will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this dish gluten-free?

It is!

Can I make this recipe without oil? Or with less oil?

I’ve made it with half the oil and it comes out just fine (though I like the texture best with the full amount). I’m sure you could make it oil free — just sweat the onion in a bit of broth instead of oil, then add the garlic and spices at the same time as the broth.

How is turmeric rice served?

It makes a great side dish that you could serve with just about anything, though I think it really shines when paired with Mediterranean-inspired mains like baked falafel, tofu kebabs, or vegan eggplant moussaka.

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