Easy Flavorful Yellow Rice

6 servings
25 min

This easy, seasoned flavorful yellow rice recipe is made with turmeric, lots of onion, garlic, curry powder, and cilantro, giving it a vibrant color and a taste that will have you craving a second helping. Jasmine rice can be swapped for basmati rice or another aromatic white rice of choice!

This recipe also includes instructions for cooking the rice on the stovetop or in your rice cooker!

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easy yellow rice

Why You’ll Love This Yellow Rice

This flavorful yellow rice is inspired by Indian spices and is a tasty yet easy alternative to plain white rice. It’s also an amazing way to add some color to your dinner. It can be served as a main dish or as a side.

  • Flavor-Packed: The addition of turmeric, curry powder, cumin, and vegetable broth not only gives the rice a vibrant color but also a TON of flavor. The rice is toasted on the stove top, giving it a slightly nutty flavor.
  • Customizable: no Jasmine rice on hand? Feel free to sub in basmati rice or another white rice of your choice. You could even make this with brown rice, but the cooking times will vary slightly.
  • Stovetop or Rice Cooker Instructions: this turmeric rice recipe has been tested on the stovetop and in the rice cooker. Making this recipe in the rice cooker makes it insanely easy!
ingredients for the turmeric rice


This yellow rice recipe is made with a few main ingredients plus a handful of essential spices that give the rice its color and flavor. You’ll need the following:

  • Jasmine Rice
  • Yellow Onion
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Curry Powder: for an Indian-inspired flavor
  • Turmeric Powder: this key ingredient gives the rice its vibrant yellow color
  • Ground Cumin, or cumin seeds
  • Bay Leaf
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Vegetable Broth
  • Salt and Fresh Black Pepper

Substitutions & Add-ins

  • Aromatic White Rice: If you don’t have jasmine rice, you can substitute it for your favorite aromatic rice. Aromatic rice is a category of rice with a nutty aroma and includes white basmati rice, Ambemohar, and other long grain rice.
  • Other Veggies: feel free to add in other vegetables like green or red bell peppers or green peas.
  • Flavorings: The spices can be adjusted to your liking. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount of curry powder by half or omit it. If you’d like to add some spiciness, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes after cooking the rice. You can make a Mexican or Spanish-inspired arroz amarillo by swapping the curry powder for 1 tsp of paprika.
  • Fresh Garlic and Onion: if you don’t have fresh aromatics on hand, they can be subbed for 1 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder.

Helpful Equipment

  • Rice Cooker OR Large Saucepan (with a lid)
  • Fine Mesh Strainer– to rinse the rice
  • Measuring Cups OR Digital Scale
  • Cutting Board & Knife

the easy yellow rice with baked tofu on top

Pro Tips

Follow these tips to ensure that this easy recipe creates the best rice!

  • Rinse the rice well: make sure to rinse the rice thoroughly to remove extra starch which helps to prevent the rice granules from sticking together.
  • Make sure to cover the rice with a lid: this helps to trap the steam and cook the yellow rice evenly.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork when done: this will help separate the granules and make the rice fluffy.
  • Season to taste: add more salt and pepper to your liking!
Easy Flavorful Yellow Rice
Recipe details
  • 6  servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 25 min
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  • 1 tbsp (14g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (370g) uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (7g) turmeric powder
  • ½ tbsp (4g) curry powder
  • ½ tsp (1.5g) ground cumin, or 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp each sea salt and black pepper- to taste
  • 3 cups (710mL) vegetable broth
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Red pepper flakes, salt & pepper, to taste

Rinse the jasmine rice well in a fine mesh strainer under cold water until the water runs clear.
Stove Top
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until it's soft and translucent. Then add the garlic and bell pepper (if using) and cook for another minute, until aromatic.
Add the turmeric, curry powder, cumin and bay leaf. Stir to coat the veggies. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant, stirring constantly.
Add the rinsed jasmine rice and stir to combine with the spices and onions. Cook for 1 minute to slightly toast the rice.
Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Note: the rice and broth should not come up more than halfway up the sides of the pot.
Then reduce the heat to low, cover the saucepan, and let the rice simmer for about 15-18 minutes, or until the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in the chopped cilantro.
Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
Rice Cooker
Add the rinsed rice, onion, garlic, and bell pepper (if using) to the rice cooker pot.
Pour the vegetable broth into a glass measuring cup or bowl, and whisk in the turmeric, curry powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
Pour the broth and spice mixture into the rice. Add the ½ tbsp of olive oil.
Close the rice cooker. Cook the rice using the rice cooker’s white rice setting.
Fluff the rice with a fork when done and mix in the cilantro.
Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Rinse the rice well: Make sure to rinse the rice thoroughly to remove extra starch which helps to prevent the rice granules from sticking together.
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