Spicy Indian rice

Spicy Indian rice

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(37 ratings)

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

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 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, questions and tips

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Claudia Marsh's picture
Claudia Marsh
20th May, 2019
Absolutely delicious accompaniment to a curry. I use brown rice to up my fibre intake, and it works really nicely (just takes longer to cook the rice).
Kaytey Hurman's picture
Kaytey Hurman
14th Aug, 2018
This is super easy and delicious!! I added some chilli seeds as well and I would 100% recommend!
Tony Ennis
21st Jun, 2015
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.
12th May, 2015
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
18th Nov, 2014
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.
1st Sep, 2014
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.
5th Mar, 2014
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.
3rd Nov, 2013
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.
21st Aug, 2013
Lovely rice dish, really improves boring old rice and is super easy! Rice for Indian curries will never be dull again.
23rd Jul, 2013
absolutely the best rice accompaniment to indian style dishes i've ever tasted!!!!


Lyme Regis
13th Dec, 2019
Can this be prepared in advance?
lulu_grimes's picture
16th Dec, 2019
Hello, Yes you can make this head and either chill it or freeze it. I hope this helps.
Tony Ennis
20th Jun, 2015
Green or black cardamom?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Aug, 2015
Hi there, thanks for your question - this recipe uses green cardamom.
Tony Ennis
20th Jun, 2015
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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