Spicy Indian rice

Prep: 20 mins - 30 mins


Serves 4
Sara Buenfeld’s delicious spicy rice is perfect served with your favourite curry

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • a mugful of American long grain rice
  • 2 onions, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • ½ tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • large handful of sultanas and roasted cashew nuts


  1. Fry the onions in the sunflower oil in a large frying pan for 10-12 minutes until golden.

  2. Fill a roomy saucepan with water, bring to the boil and tip in a heaped teaspoon of salt - the water will bubble furiously. Add turmeric and the cinnamon stick to the water. Pour in the rice, stir once and return to the boil, then turn the heat down a little so that the water is boiling steadily, but not vigorously. Boil uncovered, without stirring (this makes for sticky rice) for 10 minutes. Lift some out with a slotted spoon and nibble a grain or two. If they're too crunchy, cook for another minute and taste again. They should be tender but with a little bite. Drain the rice into a large sieve and rinse by pouring over a kettle of very hot water

  3. Stir the crushed seeds of the cardamom pods into the onions with the cumin seeds and fry briefly.

  4. Toss in a large handful of sultanas and roasted cashew nuts, then the hot drained rice. This is great with curry and will also give an exotic edge to grilled meat or fish.

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Comments (33)

Tony Ennis's picture

I made it, it was pretty good. I did not put 2 onions in it; I put about half a medium in and that was plenty.

Chiara123's picture

Really delicious and easy rice dish. Served with Coconut & Squash Dhansak on this site, went really well together and the rice gave the curry a bit of a lift! I used brown rice which did take a bit longer to cook so worth taking a look at the instructions of the rice you use. Only thing I would change if making again would be to grind the cardamon/cumin seeds so that they are a bit finer to avoid getting a whole seed in a mouthful.

Frantic Flapjack's picture

Really good rice to serve with a curry. Far more interesting than plain rice. I served this with the Coconut & Squash Dhansak on this site and would definitely make again.

Pynner's picture

This is my favourite rice recipe we have it with curries, when we have a BBQ or just need a rice salad, good in a lunch box with some leftover Sunday roast meat. Very easy to make.
I make double quantity and freeze half for when I am in a rush or need to leave some for the family to sort themselves out.
I usually mess with recipes but do not need to with this one.

Alessya19's picture

I made this as a side dish for fish. I doubled the quantity of rice, as I had to cook for 7 people, but I think I forgot to double some of the spices, because I had to add more at the end, because it felt like the rice had no taste. I will make it again, but I will use more spices.

lassy's picture

Made this last night. This is a vast improvement on the ready made Indian rice I usually buy.
So easy and quick. Really tasty. Excellent.

fourleafclover73's picture

Lovely rice dish, really improves boring old rice and is super easy! Rice for Indian curries will never be dull again.

wijjy1's picture

absolutely the best rice accompaniment to indian style dishes i've ever tasted!!!!

riddler's picture

Very nice. Kids are not big rice fans but this is tasty so they enjoyed it

aliciawiredu's picture

This is fantastic recipe, quick and easy to prepare.
Absolutely delicious!

jellycatblue's picture

Fantastic! Nuts and sultanas make a delicious rice dish. Please do try!

lozenge's picture

I've just used this recipe as a basis for brown rice. I boiled the rice with cardamom pods and garam masala (didn't have any turmeric) for 25 minutes, and fried onions, adding mustard and cumin seeds once they were brown. Mix it all together, absolutely delicious!

lozenge's picture

I've just used this recipe as a basis for brown rice. I boiled the rice with cardamom pods and garam masala (didn't have any turmeric) for 25 minutes, and fried onions, adding mustard and cumin seeds once they were brown. Mix it all together, absolutely delicious!

fionamair's picture

Delicious, crunchy cashews with spciy rice... wow. Had along with Coconut Chicken Curry, a perfect combo.

kypnut's picture

Loved it what more is there to say

marsgirl's picture

I had no cashews so used flaked almonds instead and loved it!!! Would imagine it would be even better with cashews.

lindeens's picture

Didn't like it. Bland and mushy.

wijjy1's picture

i think you mucked up somewhere..... try again, and follow the recipe!!

annag11's picture

YUM YUM, made this last month for our curry club night....went down a treat and none left over for the next day!! It was really easy to make, I used basmati rice too and the flavours were scrum, went very well with the lamb sagg and chicken balti. Big hit and could easily be eaten on its own its sooooo tasty!! Thx again good food

OvO's picture

Very tasty!.
I'm a bit rubbish at making rice but this turned out perfectly!!


Questions (3)

Tony Ennis's picture

Green or black cardamom?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi there, thanks for your question - this recipe uses green cardamom.

Tony Ennis's picture

Step 4 - So we're adding the cashews and rice to the skillet of 'blossomed' spices. Are we frying the rice too? Or simply mixing with the heat off?

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