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Best Yellow Rice Recipe

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This Fluffy yellow rice is an amazingly flavorful way to serve an easy side dish. It compliments most proteins including tofu and dal nicely, which allows you to make a full meal. And since our recipe uses the Instant Pot, you can save time and get the rice ready just about any night you want to serve some rice.

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yellow rice

This Recipe's Index

What is Yellow Rice?

Yellow rice is an Indian dish that uses long grain white rice and turmeric and saffron to create a flavorful, yellow hued rice dish. The yellow rice has an earthy flavor with some mild heat in the background. You can also add additional flavors to the rice along with other ingredients to give it more flavor or to make it a fuller meal.

Does yellow rice have a flavor?

Yes, yellow rice has an amazing, earthy flavor with some mild heat. The heat comes from the turmeric, while both turmeric and saffron can add an earthy undertone to the yellow rice.

Is yellow rice the same as saffron rice?

Saffron rice and yellow rice are basically the same. In our recipe, we use turmeric and skip the saffron, but you could easily add both spices to the yellow rice recipe and still call it yellow rice. Of course, you could add both spices to the rice and call it saffron rice too, so really its two different names for essentially the same dish.

What is yellow rice used for?

Yellow rice makes a great side dish. It is also a great base for your favorite main dishes. You could serve it with your favorite curries, gravies, or sauces to help soak up all the extra flavor if you like. Or could serve it on its own if you add in a few veggies and protein sources, like tofu or beans.

yellow rice

 

How to Make Yellow Rice Yellow

Yellow rice starts with long grained white rice, which means its natural color is white. When you make yellow rice, you can use two different spices to make the rice yellow.

In our recipe, we use turmeric, which gives the rice a nice yellow hue as well as a bit of heat.

You can also use saffron to add a bit of extra yellow color. The saffron adds a bit of an earthy flavor to the rice.

Best Rice to Make Yellow Rice

Yellow rice uses long grain white rice. You can use any variety of long grain rice you like, such as jasmine rice. We recommend staying away from short or medium grain rice, but in a pinch, they could work. 

If you love rice and are looking for other varieties to make with dinner, check out these other favorites of ours:

Yellow rice/ saffron rice

What is Yellow Rice Made Of?

When you make this yellow rice recipe, here is what you’ll need to use:

  • Long grain rice
  • Vegetable stock - You could use water, but we find the stock adds a bit more flavor.
  • Olive oil - You could replace olive oil with another light tasting oil.
  • Spices - You’ll need onion powder, turmeric, garlic powder, salt to taste, black pepper powder, and a bay leaf.
  • For garnish - You can use chopped cilantro or parsley.

Easy Yellow Rice Recipe Variations

If you want to spice things up a bit, here are a few easy variations you can make to the yellow rice to give it a bit of a different flavor:

  • Add frozen peas, carrots, or kernels of corn
  • Mix in fresh herbs like basil, thyme, or oregano to give it a more Italian flavor
  • Add in a splash of soy sauce to give it a bit more of an Asian inspired flavor
  • Mix in your favorite curry
  • Serve with fried tofu or beans for some added protein

How To Cook Yellow Rice

In our recipe, we use the Instant Pot to make the process super easy. Here’s what you need to do:

Yellow rice

  • First, set the Instant Pot on saute mode and when HOT pops up, add in oil and the rice.
  • Once added, keep stirring it frequently to keep the rice from sticking to the pot.
  • Next, saute the rice for about 2 minutes or until they begin to turn a light golden color.
  • Once they start to change color, add in the salt to taste, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, black pepper powder,  bay leaf  and vegetable stock or water

yellow rice

 

  • Close and lock the lid and then turn the Instant Pot to Manual pressure for 5 minutes.
  • When 5 minutes is up and Instant Pot beeps, let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes before doing a quick release of the remaining pressure.. Be careful, it will be very hot!
  • Finally, lightly stir it with a fork and add chopped cilantro or parsley before serving in bowls with your favorite protein and garnishments.

How To Make Yellow Rice in Rice Cooker

The process is basically the same for your rice cooker as it is for the Instant Pot. The main difference from the above steps is you need to skip browning the rice and follow the process to start your rice cooker cooking once you have added in all the ingredients. 

When it is cooked, you’ll need to use a fork to fluff the rice and serve with your favorite protein and other garnishments.

How to Serve this Yellow Rice Recipe

Yellow rice goes great with a variety of different main dishes. You can mix it in with your favorite gravies or sauces, serve the dish on top of the rice, or serve it alongside the rice. Here are a few recipes we often make with yellow rice to make it a meal:

yellow rice

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating Yellow Rice

In general, its best to serve rice fresh when you make it. Rice does not always do well when you reheat it or store it.

But if you want to make a larger batch or have leftovers, you can store the cooled rice in an air tight container and place in your fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

To reheat, you can place the container in the microwave and cook until the rice is warmed through. The time will vary based on your microwave. Before heating frozen rice, allow it to cool in the fridge overnight.

yellow rice

Indian Yellow Rice Recipe FAQ

When you make this recipe, here are some answers to a few frequently asked questions that you might find helpful.

What can I add to rice to give it some flavor?

You can add lots of extra spice and flavors if you like to yellow rice. The more seasonings you add, the more flavor you can get. Some variations include:

  • Saffron only
  • Turmeric only
  • Garlic powder
  • Yellow curry
  • Onion powder
  • Red pepper or chili flakes

What is Spanish Yellow Rice ?

Spanish Yellow Rice is similar to yellow rice. The primary difference is the type of rice used. You can use parboiled rice to get Arroz Amarillo or Spanish Rice. You can add peas to add some additional flavor.  

Is yellow Indian rice healthy?

The addition of turmeric to the yellow rice gives the rice a bit more of a health value compared to plain white rice. While it is still a simple carbohydrate, the turmeric adds additional nutrients that can benefit your body, which makes it a bit healthier for you and your family to enjoy.

yellow rice

Do you have to rinse yellow rice?

When using dried, not instant rice, we recommend soaking it first. This helps to remove excess starch and debris in the rice. It also helps it get fluffier when cooked. 

Is yellow rice the same as white rice?

Yellow rice uses long grained white rice as its base. What makes it yellow is the addition of turmeric or saffron. Without these spices, you are making plain white rice.

Let us know what you think

If you make this delicious recipe, let us know how it went! When you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind or Facebook @thebellyrulesthemind!

yellow rice

Yellow Rice Recipe

Yield: 2-4
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes

This Fluffy yellow rice is an amazingly flavorful way to serve an easy side dish. It compliments most proteins including tofu and dal nicely, which allows you to make a full meal. And since our recipe uses the Instant Pot, you can save time and get the rice ready just about any night you want to serve some rice.

Ingredients

  • Long grain rice - 1 cup
  • Vegetable stock - 1 cup
  • Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Onion powder - 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic powder - 1 teaspoon
  • salt to taste
  • Black Pepper Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Bay Leaf - 1

For Garnish

  • Chopped Cilantro or Parsley

Instructions

  1. First, set the Instant Pot on saute mode and when HOT pops up, add in oil and the rice.
  2. Once added, keep stirring it frequently to keep the rice from sticking to the pot.
  3. Next, saute the rice for about 2 minutes or until they begin to turn a light golden color.
  4. Once they start to change color, add in the salt to taste, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, black pepper powder,  bay leaf  and vegetable stock or water
  5. Close and lock the lid and then turn the Instant Pot to Manual pressure for 5 minutes.
  6. When 5 minutes is up and Instant Pot beeps, let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes before doing a quick release of the remaining pressure.. Be careful, it will be very hot!
  7. Finally, lightly stir it with a fork and add chopped cilantro or parsley before serving in bowls with your favorite protein and garnishments.

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