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A pan of yellow rice with nuts
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4.88 from 8 votes

Yellow rice

A fragrant, flavorful yellow rice for your holiday feasting table or for a Middle Eastern kick to your everyday dinner table.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, Western
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 179.5kcal
Author: Amira


  • 1 cup (185g) Basmati rice soaked in enough cold water with a pinch of salt for 15 minutes. Note1
  • 1 1/2 liter of tap water.
  • 1 Tablespoon oil.
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • 1 Tablespoon ghee or butter. Note2
  • 1 (90g) small onion.
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste.
  • 1/4 cup hot boiling water.

Spices: Use any combination available (Note3)

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Garnish with:

  • Roasted nuts and fresh parsley


  • Drain rice and set aside.
  • In a pot, pour the tap water and bring to a rapid boil.
  • Add turmeric, oil, spices you are using then rice.
  • let it cook for another 6-7 minutes then drain rice.
  • In the same pot add ghee then sauté onion for 2 minutes until it turns light yellow.
  • Add rice back, salt and the boiling water.
  • Reduce heat to minimum, cover the pot with a paper kitchen towel then put the lid on. Note4
  • Keep on cooking for another 10-15 minutes until the rice is cooked.


Note1: Soaking time differs between brands so read the label first.
Note2: For a vegan dish you may want to use olive oil.
Note3: Use any or a combination or all of the spices above it all adds up to an authentic flavorful rice but if you do not have any of the spice you will still have a tasty fragrant rice. Other spices used may contain cumin, oreganoو a couple strands of saffron and fennel seeds.
Note4: Please watch out and be very careful using this technique as the paper towel might catch fire if not properly watched.
Sodium nutrition is based on 1 teaspoon pink salt.
Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.
Sources: Seasoning is something I created. I got the idea of cooking basmati rice in two stages from Manal Al Alem. A very reputable Arabian chef.


Calories: 179.5kcal | Carbohydrates: 30.1g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 5.6g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 58.4mg | Potassium: 43.4mg | Sugar: 0.8g | Vitamin A: 0.8IU | Vitamin C: 2.4mg | Calcium: 0.7mg | Iron: 1.7mg