Indian Style Rice
Indian Style Rice

Aromatic basmati rice cooked with onions and flavored with cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, mustard seed, chili and turmeric.

The blessing of a well-stocked pantry is that you have so many more dishes available in no time!

There are a few ingredients in this classic Indian-style rice that you might not have in your cupboard, but I suggest they would be excellent additions if you don’t already have them.

Mustard seeds are tiny, but they pack a punch. I have an Indian friend who used to make dinner for me when I lived in San Francisco; He would often throw a few mustard seeds in anything he made to spice it up. (Try adding some to lentils.)

Most of us have ground cumin, but like other ground spices, ground cumin comes out flat. Whole seeds last longer. Also, cumin is better if the seeds are roasted first.

Turmeric gives this rice its bright yellow color. In addition to having many health benefits, turmeric is the main ingredient in yellow curry powder.

Now for the rice. please do it This rice was one of those OMG food epiphanies for me. As in, “This is so easy and so incredibly good, why haven’t I done it my whole life?” Serious!

We made this for an upcoming chicken dish and thank goodness we made a large batch. The technique for making the rice is a little different from the way I usually make rice.

For this recipe, you’ll cook the rice in more water than the rice can hold, then drain the water from the rice when it’s done.

The rice is cooked with cinnamon stick, cardamom, and cloves so it absorbs those flavors as it cooks. Then it’s tossed with sautéed spices and onions.

Indian style rice

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
25 minutes

soak rice
30 minutes

total time
60 minutes

up to 6 servings

If you don’t have whole cardamom pods or cinnamon sticks, add a pinch of ground cardamom and ground cinnamon with the cumin in step 4.


  • 2 cups long grain basmati rice

  • 8th cups water

  • 2 teaspoon Salt

  • 2 cloves

  • 2 green cardamom Pods

  • one 2 inches piece Cinammon

  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil (or ghee if you have it)

  • 1/2 teaspoon dark mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1/4 teaspoon Chili Flakes

  • 1 Middle onion, chopped

  • 3 chopped garlic cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric


  1. Rinse and soak rice:

    Place rice in a colander and run cool water through to rinse until water runs clear. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes. drain.

  2. Cooking rice with cloves, cardamom, cinnamon:

    Bring 8 cups of water and the salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the rice and stir. Add the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.

    Note that not all of the water is absorbed!

    After 8 minutes taste the rice and see if it suits your taste. Rice may take more or less time to cook depending on how old it is. If it’s still too firm, cook a few minutes longer.

  3. Drain the rice and rinse in cold water, remove the spices:

    When the rice is cooked to your liking, drain the rice into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

    Remove and discard the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon. Set the rice aside to drain.

  4. Sauté mustard seeds, cumin, chilli flakes, then onion:

    In a pan large enough for the rice, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and the chilli flakes.

    Cook until the mustard seeds start to pop, then add the chopped onion. Cook until onions start to brown, about 5-7 minutes.

  5. Add garlic, then rice and turmeric:

    Add the garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add the rice and mix well. Sprinkle the turmeric over the rice and mix well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.


Savory Coconut Rice here on Simply Recipes

Saffron Rice Pilaf here on Simply Recipes

More Indian cuisine recipes!

nutritional information (per serving)
140 calories
7g Fat
17g carbohydrates
2g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!