bowl of yellow rice with parsley and two spoons

TURMERIC RICE (INSTANT POT OR STOVE TOP)

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Not only is this Turmeric Rice gorgeous and vibrant but it’s flavourful and healthy, too! It’s easily made in the Instant Pot but I’ve included instructions for how to make it on the stove top as well.

On any Caribbean vacation I’ve ever been on, one of my main priorities is obviously the food. Heck, let’s be real. The food is ALWAYS my main priority – vacation or not… Caribbean or not. But, if it happens to be the Caribbean in which I am vacationing, then one of my main priorities within the main priority is immediately finding a plate of coconut rice. It’s just that simple. You can’t be on a Caribbean Island somewhere and not indulge in at least some form of coconut rice. It’s feels so tropical and makes me feel so special. And it’s super flavorful, dang it. Not to mention that it pairs SO well with anything from Jerk Chicken to seafood. What’s not to love?!

bowl of turmeric rice garnished with green onions and parsley

So, why am I going on about coconut rice and Caribbean vacations in a post about turmeric rice? Because this yellow rice is just as good, tastes just as tropical AND, thanks to the addition of coconut milk and coconut oil, takes me right back to the sand and sunshine. It’s basically a version of coconut rice but with the addition of turmeric – one of my all time favourite spices. This turmeric rice recipe, much like its coconut rice cousin, is a breeze to make. With a few simple steps and the magic of the Instant Pot (or stove-top, if you prefer), you can have a flavourful side dish ready to complement all of your favourite main courses.

So, whether you’re reminiscing about a Caribbean vacation, craving a taste of the tropics, or simply looking to add a burst of colour and flavour to your meals, turmeric rice is the answer. It’s a versatile, crowd-pleasing dish that never fails to bring a smile to my face and a touch of exotic flair to my dinner table. And no one says I can’t close my eyes and pretend to be in the tropics. Am I right?! Try it for yourself, and let the golden goodness of turmeric rice transport you to a world of sand, sunshine and flavour!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE TURMERIC RICE

ingredients for rice turmeric - rice, green onions, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, coconut milk, coconut oil, turmeric
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

The thing I love most about this rice with turmeric is that the ingredients are simple, few and wholesome! Let’s get into them in a little bit more detail down below:

  • Rice: Choose a good quality rice such as basmati or jasmine. I used long grain white jasmine rice but you can use a different kind of rice instead, if you prefer. However, keep in mind that you may have to adjust the cooking time accordingly. PRO TIP: Rinsing the rice before cooking helps remove excess starch and prevents it from becoming too sticky.
  • Coconut Milk: Adds a rich and creamy texture to the rice. It also imparts a subtle coconut flavour. You can use full-fat coconut milk for a richer taste or light coconut milk for a lighter version.
  • Turmeric: Not only provides a vibrant yellow color to the rice but also adds a warm and earthy flavor. It’s known for its health benefits and is a common spice in many South Asian dishes. Ground turmeric works best in this recipe.
  • Garlic: Adds a savoury and aromatic element to the dish. Fresh garlic works best in this recipe. PRO TIP: Mince it finely to distribute the flavour evenly throughout the rice.
  • Ginger: Provides a zesty and slightly spicy kick to this turmeric rice dish. Grating it releases its juices, infusing the rice with a delightful ginger flavor. Therefore, fresh ginger works best in this recipe.
  • Green Onions: Contribute a mild onion flavour and a pop of colour to the final dish. Adding them at the end keeps their freshness and adds a subtle crunch.
  • Coconut Oil: Used to sautée the garlic and ginger adding an extra layer of light coconut flavour to the dish. However, you can use a different oil (such as olive or avocado) instead, if you prefer.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavour of the dish and balances out the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pepper: Adds a bit of a spicy/peppery kick to the dish. Also helps to activate the health benefits of the turmeric.
  • Parsley (not pictured): Optional but adds a vibrant pop of colour to an already vibrant dish! Used at the end for a garnish. You can use cilantro instead, if you prefer. However, fresh herbs (as opposed to dry) work best in this recipe.
hands holding a bowl of turmeric rice garnished with parsley and green onions

HOW TO MAKE TURMERIC RICE IN THE INSTANT POT (KEY TIPS)

yellow rice with parsley on a spoon over a bowl with more

You can find full instructions for how to make this healthy recipe for turmeric rice in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Rinse the rice. Rinsing the rice thoroughly before cooking removes excess starch, preventing it from becoming overly sticky. This step also helps achieve a fluffier texture. Use cold water for best results. The rice is ready to use when the water turns clear instead of cloudy.
  • Sautée the garlic and ginger in the coconut oil (right in the instant pot) before adding the rice. This will enhance the flavour and aroma of the dish. However, If you prefer a more subtle garlic and ginger flavour, you can experiment with skipping the sautéing step and adding them directly to the Instant Pot with the other ingredients.
  • Choose a good quality coconut milk for rich and authentic flavour. Full-fat coconut milk provides a creamier texture, while light coconut milk reduces the overall richness if desired. EXTRA TIP: If you prefer a lighter coconut flavour or want to reduce the overall richness, you can replace part of the coconut milk with water. This gives you control over the balance of flavours and richness in the dish.
  • Allow the Instant Pot to undergo a natural pressure release for about 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure. This helps ensure that the rice continues to cook gently and results in a better texture. EXTRA TIP: After opening the Instant Pot, fluff the rice with a fork rather than stirring it vigorously. This helps maintain the individual grain structure and prevents the rice from becoming mushy.
  • Stir the green onions in at the end instead of adding them at the beginning. This preserves their freshness, and ensure that their colour remains vibrant. Overcooking green onions can cause them to lose their crispness and become limp, so incorporating them at the end helps maintain their desirable texture.
side view of a bowl of yellow rice with parsley
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT DOES TURMERIC TASTE LIKE?

Turmeric has a warm, bitter, and slightly peppery flavour with a hint of earthiness. Its taste is often described as mildly spicy and somewhat reminiscent of ginger, which is not surprising considering that turmeric and ginger are botanical relatives. The overall profile is warm and aromatic, making turmeric a popular spice in various cuisines around the world.

WHAT COUNTRY IS TURMERIC RICE FROM?

Turmeric rice is not specifically associated with a particular country, as it is a versatile dish found in various cuisines around the world. You can find turmeric, the key ingredient that gives the rice its yellow colour and distinctive flavour, in many Asian, Middle Eastern, and South American cuisines.

In South Asia, particularly in countries like India, turmeric rice is a common preparation. It often goes by different names, such as “turmeric rice,” “yellow rice,” or “golden rice.” Turmeric is a staple spice in Indian cooking and is frequently used to add both colour and flavour to rice dishes. In Southeast Asia, you may find variations of turmeric rice in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand, where turmeric is also a commonly used spice. Additionally, turmeric rice is enjoyed in Middle Eastern cuisine, where it might be part of dishes like pilaf or served as a side dish alongside various main courses.

DOES TURMERIC CHANGE THE COLOR OF RICE?

Yes, turmeric is known for imparting a vibrant yellow or golden colour to rice when used as a spice. When turmeric is added to rice dishes, it not only adds a unique flavour but also enhances the visual appeal of the dish. The bright yellow color is particularly noticeable in dishes such as this one, where the spice is a primary ingredient.

WHY IS TURMERIC RICE GOOD FOR YOU?

Turmeric rice can be considered a nutritious and healthful dish for several reasons, primarily due to the inclusion of turmeric and other wholesome ingredients. Turmeric, the key ingredient in turmeric rice, contains a compound called curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also a rich source of antioxidants that help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Adding other wholesome ingredients such as coconut milk, coconut oil, garlic and ginger, turmeric rice can contribute additional health benefits and provide essential nutrients.

HOW LONG DOES TURMERIC RICE LAST?

If stored in an airtight container and kept in the fridge, your turmeric rice should be good for up to 4 days. Cool completely before storing for best results. To reheat, simply do so in a skillet with a little bit of oil or a microwave.

two spoons in a bowl of turmeric rice with green onions and parsley
bowl of yellow rice with parsley and two spoons

TURMERIC RICE (INSTANT POT OR STOVE TOP)

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Not only is this Turmeric Rice gorgeous and vibrant but it's flavourful and healthy, too! It's easily made in the Instant Pot but I've included instructions for how to make it on the stove top as well.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Long Grain White Rice
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tbsp Ginger, grated
  • 4 Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh Chopped Parsley, optional, for garnish

Instructions

Instant Pot

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.
    white rice in a fine mesh strainer
  2. Add the coconut oil to the instant pot and hit the sautée button. Once hot and melted, add the ginger and garlic. Sautée, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
    garlic and ginger sauteeing in the instant pot
  3. Add the rice and stir to coat.
    white rice in the instant pot
  4. Add the turmeric, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
    milk, spices and rice in the instant pot
    yellow creamy liquid in the instant pot
  5. Close the Instant Pot lid and set the valve to the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. Once the cooking cycle is complete, allow for a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure. Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
    cooked yellow rice in the instant pot
  6. Stir in the sliced green onions and adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a dish and garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Serve immediately.
    pile of green onions on top of rice in the instant pot
    rice and green onions in the instant pot

Stove Top

1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear.

2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rinsed rice, coconut milk, turmeric powder, minced garlic, grated ginger, and a pinch of salt. Stir well.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.

4. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and has absorbed the liquid. Check the package instructions for your specific rice variety for more accurate cooking times.

5. While the rice is cooking, stir occasionally to prevent sticking, and check for doneness toward the end of the cooking time.

6. Once the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes to allow the rice to steam and become fluffier. Fluff the rice with a fork, then stir in the sliced green onions. Adjust salt to taste. Transfer to a dish and garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 205Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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