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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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Thursday 4th of November 2021

This recipe was amazing! Cooked it as is, no additions, and will definitely be making again!


Sunday 9th of September 2018

Love this recipe but will reduce the chilli as it was a bit too hot for me! Thank you!


Tuesday 16th of January 2018

One of the best side/foundation dish I've try. I put 2 cups of uncooked brown rice that I boil for 20 minutes uncover in at least 6 cups of water and drain, instead of salt, sometimes I had tamari in the sautée and before adding the rice you can add any types of legumes and veggies cut in small pieces or even canned clams, top that with green onions and/or parsley and everybody will love this super healthy meal! Very good I do it at least 3 times a week now

plasterer bristol

Tuesday 21st of February 2017

This sounds so good. looks delcious, thanks for posting. Simon

Dwight Arthur

Sunday 11th of December 2016

I decided for a first go at a Rock Recipe I'd try out this rice dish, served alongside a roast pork loin with a Spanish-inspired crust. It was a really great side, with a perfect balance of cumin, turmeric and paprika.

This is a great foundation recipe that could be elaborated on with all kinds of additions. I roasted some cherry tomatoes to toss in along with some finely chopped Chorizo sausage which worked out fantastic. I think that with the addition of black beans it could stand up well as a vegetarian main.

I used half smoked paprika and half hot paprika in order to add a bit of heat without overwhelming the other flavours. I also used a bit more paprika than specified (it's hard to over do paprika). I suspect that I would find the recipe a bit short on heat if I had just used smoked paprika.

I am looking forward to trying more of the dishes in this great collection. Rock on!

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