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Spicy Turmeric Rice. One versatile side dish!

Spicy Turmeric Rice. A tasty side dish that goes well with everything from grilled fish to BBQ pork chops. Terrific with added back beans in burritos too.

Spicy Turmeric Fried Rice close up photo in a frying pan

Spicy Turmeric Fried Rice

This turmeric rice has been almost a permanent resident in our house this summer, it seems. Our two teenage kids in particular like to have it made and at the ready in the fridge.

They combine it with black beans, grilled chicken avocado and tomato in the delicious burritos pictured below which they seem to be eating all the time these days.

If I’m cooking plain rice on one night, I generally cook twice as much as needed and then just store the cooked rice in the fridge.

Then, over the next few days, some form of fried rice, like this Spicy Egg and Vegetable Fried Rice, can easily be whipped up as a side dish for whatever’s cooking.

BBQ Chicken Burrito with Spicy Rice and Black Beans

This turmeric rice recipe came about in just that way as Spouse was remembering the spicy rice she had at Nando’s in Ottawa earlier this summer.

Trying to replicate the flavour, she threw in some smoky spices plus turmeric for colour and the result was very tasty indeed; probably even better than Nando’s. 

Spicy Rice Burrito

Spicy Rice Burrito

We mostly use jasmine rice for this turmeric rice recipe, but any will do, really. The rice can be cooked in water if you like but for extra flavour, try using chicken stock instead or vegetable stock if you want to serve this as a vegetarian side dish.

Originally published July 2016.

Looking for more great side dishes?

We have plenty more summer side dish inspiration to explore. Everything from baked beans & corn bread to deliciously different potato and pasta salads. Be sure to check out our collection of 35 Best BBQ Side Dishes

26 Best Barbecue Side Dishes photo collage for Pinterest

Like this Turmeric Rice recipe?

Get plenty of other great ideas like this by browsing through our Side Dishes Category.

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Spicy Turmeric Fried Rice close up photo in a frying pan
Yield: 8 Servings as a side dish.

Spicy Turmeric Rice - one versatile side dish!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Spicy Turmeric Rice - a tasty side dish that goes well with everything from grilled fish to BBQ pork chops; terrific with added back beans in burritos too.


  • 2 1/4 cups water, chicken stock or vegetable stock.
  • 1/2 tsp salt, do not add salt if the stock is already salted
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil or olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small red pepper, diced small
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika, or smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


  1. Bring the water (& salt) or stock to a boil and stir in the rice. Cover and simmer on minimum heat for 15 - 18 minutes or until the liquid is all but disappeared.
  2. Remove from heat but do not take off the cover. Let stand, covered for 5 minutes before cuffing the rice with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile in a wok or large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper and sauté until the onions soften but do not brown.
  4. Add the pepper, salt, turmeric, paprika, cumin and chili powder and saute with the onions and peppers for a minute before adding the cooked rice to the pan.
  5. Sir fry on high for just a few minutes until the rice is thoroughly heated and coated with the spices. Serve immediately.
  6. Garnish with chopped chives or green onion if you like.


To make the burritos as pictured, stir a 14 ounce can of rinsed black beans (or red beans) into the rice while stir frying.
Wrap the rice and beans along with pieces of avocado, tomato and grilled BBQ chicken (grated cheese is optional) in 10 or 12 inch flour tortillas.
Wrap the burritos in aluminum foil and warm them in a 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes before serving with your favourite salsa.

The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1/8 of recipe

Amount Per Serving Calories 192Total Fat 5gSaturated Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 0gSodium 330mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 3g

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Sunday 5th of September 2021

I made this rice at home, but since we didn’t have bell pepper stocked up at home I substituted it with dried chillies and as it is hard for us to find paprika in our country I substituted that with tomato purée, and it turned out so so good!!! The whole family absolutely loved it. It’s definitely going in to my list of food for special occasions as it’s so easy to make for a large number of people.


Tuesday 31st of August 2021

Is 1 1/2 tbsp of chili powder an error? That's a heck of a lot for this amount of rice.


Monday 26th of April 2021

Has anyone tried this as a baked rice?

Julie McNutt

Wednesday 21st of April 2021

This rice recipe is a keeper!! So many adaptations. We will have it tonight in a wrap with black beans and chicken as suggested. I was worried about the amount of spices added but it is perfect.

Spicy Turmeric Rice. One versatile side dish! - All Foods Magazine

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

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