Curried Rice

This pilaf-style fluffy basmati rice recipe is flavoured with everyday curry powder plus extra spices to give it a punch of flavour.

With sweetness from carrots and peas, a sprinkle of cashews and a garlic flavour base, this is a rice side dish that will jazz up any meal. Or serve it with crispy fried eggs for a super quick meal!

This recipe starts like any usual pilaf, sautéing aromatics – in this case garlic, ginger (optional), onion and carrot. After this, the raw rinsed basmati rice is added, the spices, then chicken or vegetable broth/stock.

This recipe calls for a few more spices than just Curry Powder because I typically find that things made with just curry powder sometimes lack flavour (though this simple Everyday Chicken Curry and Curried Sausages are an exception to that rule!)

Curried Rice

You need more than just curry powder for a great Curried Rice! Basmati adds a beautifully nutty aroma to this rice recipe. Spiciness: Warm hum, not overly spicy. Not intended to be a full-on authentic Indian recipe, but leans more towards Indian than unflavourful Western curry recipes (you know the type I mean!)



  • 3 tsp yellow curry powder (Note 1)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder (adjust spiciness to taste) (Note 2)


  • 40 g / 3 tbsp butter (or ghee or oil) (Note 3)
  • 1 onion , finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 2 tsp ginger , finely chopped or grated
  • 1 1/2 cups (275g) basmati rice, uncooked (Note 4)
  • 2 small carrot , peeled and grated
  • 2 1/4 cups (560ml) chicken or vegetable broth, low sodium (Note 5)
  • 2 cups (300g) frozen peas
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • 1 cup (150g) cashews , roasted, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup coriander/cilantro leaves , finely chopped
  • Yogurt , for serving (optional)


  • Rinse rice until water runs pretty clear, then drain well. (Note 4)
  • Melt butter in a small to medium pot (or large saucepan) over medium high heat.
  • Add garlic and ginger, cook 30 seconds. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes until partly translucent.
  • Add carrot and cook for 2 - 3 minutes until softened and sweet.
  • Add rice and stir to coat all the grains in the oil.
  • Add Spices and mix to coat the rice.
  • Add broth, peas, salt and pepper, stir. If any rice is protruding above the surface, poke it under the liquid.
  • When the entire surface of the liquid is simmering, stir once, place lid on and immediately turn heat down to LOW.
  • Cook for 14 minutes, do not peek while cooking!
  • Lift lid slightly and quickly tilt pot to check to ensure liquid has been absorbed. Clamp lid back on and remove from heat.
  • Stand for 10 minutes, undisturbed.
  • Use a rubber spatula to gently fluff the rice. (Note 6)
  • Add most of the cashews and coriander, stir through.
  • Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with remaining cashews and coriander. See in post for serving ideas.

Recipe Notes:

1. Curry powder - Use HOT if you want it spicy, or mild if not. Use any curry powder - not intended to be a full on authentic Indian recipe. I've used all the major brands sold at Australian supermarkets (Keens, Clives, Hoyts, Masterfoods) and they're all tasty.
2. Chilli powder - this is pure ground chilli, for spiciness so adjust to taste. Chili powder in the US is a spice mix that's not very spicy. If you can't get pure ground chilli powder, sub with cayenne pepper.
3. Ghee is clarified butter used in Indian cooking. Tastes like rich butter. Not essential in this recipe.
4. Rice - basmati is ideal for this recipe, the nutty aroma adds to the overall flavour. Can also use other plain white rice - long grain or jasmine (best subs), medium*, short grain* or sushi rice*. Not suitable for: Brown rice, black rice, wild rice, paella, or risotto rice. Not tried with quinoa.
* Rice is stickier, such is the nature of those rices.
How I rinse rice: Either place in colander and run under water for 30 seconds, moving rice about with your hands, until water runs pretty clear. Or do this in a bowl, swishing rice around and changing water 4 times or so. Drain rice well before using. No need to soak rice for this recipe - I found it didn't make a difference to fluffiness.
5. Broth/stock - Be sure to use low sodium broth (stock), otherwise it will end up too salty. If you use a stock powder, bouillon cube or concentrate + hot water to make broth, then omit the salt completely.
- Scaling recipe: If you scale down, be sure to use a smaller pot otherwise the rice won't cook evenly.
- Don't use a fork to fluff basmati rice, it breaks the long grains.

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