Looking to add an exotic twist to your usual weekly meals? Look no further than these Indian rice recipes!
Just like in most Asian countries, rice is a staple in Indian cuisine.
The grain comes in many shapes, sizes, fragrances, and flavors. That’s what makes every Indian rice dish delicious in its own unique way.
Plus, with varying recipes from region to region, you really won’t run out of Indian rice dishes to try.
Looking for a savory side dish to pair with your main? Or how about a hearty dessert to end the meal?
Whatever you’re in the mood for, this round-up has everything your tastebuds can ask for.
1. Mango Rice
Not to be confused with Thailand’s sweet mango sticky rice, this Southern Indian dish comprises rice, raw green mangoes, spices, and curry leaves.
It’s also garnished with roasted peanuts for added flavor and crunch.
The resulting flavor profile is tangy and savory with a bit of a kick.
While it can be enjoyed on its own as a complete meal, it’s also not uncommon to serve it with chips, papads, or pakora.
Coriander rice or pulao is a South Indian breakfast dish.
It’s basically a stir-fry, but with 10 times the flavor.
Cooked with TONS of herbs, spices, and coriander, this rice dish is unbelievably fragrant and packed with flavor.
There’s even ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, cashews, carrots, bell peppers, and peas in it!
It’s rice cooked with coconut, tempered spices, and curry leaves.
Now, let’s talk about tempering spices for a bit.
The process of roasting spices in oil or ghee results in a significantly more fragrant and flavorful spice blend.
It’s a simple technique, but it has the magical ability to transform anything it touches delicious beyond belief.
In this dish, the rice gets a predominantly tangy taste with tamarind extract.
It also gets flavors from curry, chilies, mustard, and grated coconut.
Because of the way it’s prepared, this rice dish keeps well for up to two days.
For this reason, it’s a common dish packed by travelers who go on long journeys.
It’s a kind of Indian biryani that comprises basmati rice and potatoes, as well as chicken, mutton, lamb, or vegetables.
It’s also filled with fried onions, dried plums, and mint leaves for extra flavors and textures.
It’s garnished with melted ghee on top for the perfect finish.
Unlike Indian biryani, Bombay biryani has a mild sweetness care of the plums and fried onions.
Mughlai biryani is another kind of Indian biryani made of rice, spiced browned meat, sultanas (golden raisins), and almonds.
Cooked with saffron, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, and nutmeg, this dish has a highly intense fragrance and flavors.
That, together with all its accouterments, this dish is believed to have been reserved only for Mughal emperors.
7. Sambar Rice
This next dish features rice, lentils, and mixed vegetables flavored with tons of herbs and spices.
Packed with protein and vegetables, this dish is a great source of nutrients.
Serve it with papad (deep-fried dough) and lassi for a complete Indian meal.
It’s a relatively simple dish of rice cooked with roasted sesame seeds and lentils.
This dish, in particular, gets extra flavor from roasted dried red chilies and curry leaves.
Because it comes together pretty quickly, it makes for an ideal everyday dish. But because it’s full of flavor, it’s also excellent for special occasions.
9. Lemon Rice
You don’t have to be an Indian cuisine enthusiast to appreciate lemon rice.
But while lemon is a predominant flavor in this dish, it also features other amazing ingredients that make it more enticing.
These include tempered mustard seeds, lentils, peanuts, chilies, ginger, and curry leaves.
Between the zesty lemon, nutty lentils, and aromatic spices, this rice dish is impossible to resist.
You can’t go wrong with plain biryani cooked to perfection!
In case you’re not familiar, biryani is rice cooked in a tomato broth seasoned with spices, mint, and cilantro.
Relative to other rice dishes on this list, biryani is pretty simple. The flavor and fragrances, however, are spot on.
11. Curd Rice
Curd rice is a vegetarian dish of rice and yogurt seasoned with green chilies, ginger, curry leaves, and mustard seeds.
That’s not all.
Also packed with carrots, cucumbers, calabash, nuts, grapes, and pineapple, this dish is Indian comfort food at its best.
While technically not a dessert, the dish is often served at the end of a meal as a palate cleanser.
This next rice dish hails from the Hyderabad cuisine. It’s basmati rice and a medley of veggies flavored with tempered spices and herbs.
Because of its festive colors, this dish is often served at weddings and special occasions.
That, and the fact that it pairs well with all kinds of entrees, vegetarian or otherwise.
This one-pot recipe combines long-grain rice and sweet peas to make one hearty dish.
Just like most dishes in this selection, matar pulao is flavored with an array of tempered spices.
Ready in just 30 minutes, this dish comes together relatively quickly despite its wonderfully complex flavors.
Here, basmati rice is tossed with tempered cumin seeds and made extra flavorful with onions, ginger, garlic, mint, chili, and coriander.
It’s hearty and flavorful enough to be enjoyed on its own. It makes for a great side to a wide array of Indian entrees, like paneer and masala.
A mix of rice, potatoes, spinach, herbs, and spices, this dish is wholesome and toothsome at the same time.
The combination of rice and potatoes makes this dish super hearty.
The spinach adds nutrition, while the herbs and spices pack it with immense flavors.
If you’re looking for an Indian rice dish for the kids, this recipe has you covered.
A combination of rice, spinach, green peas, and tomatoes, this dish is a great way to incorporate vegetables into your kids’ diet.
Flavored with mild spices such as bay leaves, cloves, cumin, and cinnamon, it’s perfect for a young one’s palate.
A colorful stir-fry of rice, bell peppers, carrots, and cabbage, this pulao is as nutritious as it is delicious.
Of course, it’s flavored with tons of spices, too, including cumin, curry, and garam masala.
It’s mostly savory and spicy, but it also gets a slightly sweet and nutty flavor from grated coconut.
18. Ven Pongal
Here’s a scrumptious porridge perfect for a rainy or wintery day. It’s up to you if you want it sweet or savory. It’s easy to make either way.
It uses rice and yellow moong lentils for its base, with the usual Indian spices and ghee for flavor for a savory dish.
If you want it sweet, you’ll flavor it with nuts, ghee, and jaggery.
This one’s a combo of rice and green and purple eggplant cooked in vangi bath masala powder.
Said powder is a mix of whole spices and lentils, and it lends the dish such a powerful flavor.
As do most Indian rice dishes, vangi bath is also cooked with tempered spices.
These include curry leaves, red chili powder, turmeric, and mustard seeds.
Rice and lentils once again join forces to make a hearty vegetarian porridge.
This dish isn’t just popular in India, but in many South Asian countries, too, such as Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka.
Seasoned with cinnamon, peppercorns, bay leaves, and cloves, this dish is earthy and savory with a subtle warmth.
21. Paneer Biryani
It’s marinated paneer (cottage cheese) cubes and biryani (spiced rice) together in one dish.
Each component has something special to bring to the table.
The paneer is marinated in yogurt, ginger garlic paste, masala, and coriander, among others.
The rice is seasoned with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves.
The two are then combined and cooked with tempered spices. Talk about an explosion of flavors!
Rice and roasted baby potatoes combine to make this next hearty dish.
Flavored with a glorious blend of coriander seeds, red chili, coconut, and ginger, this dish may look basic, but its flavors definitely deliver.
23. Beetroot Rice
Basmati rice, green peas, potatoes, and beetroots combine with herbs and spices for a simple yet satisfying dish.
First of all, the color contrast is gorgeous.
More importantly, it’s delicious. Flavored with mild spices, this is one dish the whole family will enjoy.
24. Kashmiri Pulao
This next pulao (pilaf) is studded with a variety of toasted nuts and infused with warming spices.
The use of mild spices means this dish isn’t too overpowering. In fact, it even has a subtle sweetness.
25. Methi Pulao
Last but not least is a pilaf filled with vegetables, fenugreek leaves (methi), herbs, and spices.
The veggies can include cauliflower, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and anything else you find in your fridge.
Thanks to all these vegetables, this pilaf is as healthy as it is tasty.
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