Indian Style Vegetarian Yellow Turmeric Rice
Yellow rice is popular in many cuisines around the word including Spanish, Mexican cuisines where it is popularly known as arroz amarillo which makes a delicious rice side dish for any lunch or dinner!
This is an easy Indian style yellow rice recipe where we use basmati rice and turmeric spice as the 2 main ingredients.
All these yellow rice preparations in different cuisines are slightly different but they all look bright and colorful in golden yellow and also the rice tastes delicious.
This is so easy to make from scratch that you wouldn't need a packaged yellow rice at all, or if you are used to the packaged variety and if you do not have it right now, try this homemade yellow rice from scratch in your instant pot.
I used 2 cups basmati rice in this yellow rice recipe but will explain the method for different amounts of ingredients in the notes.
You can see from the images of the yellow rice that each grain is separate and not sticking together or too soft or mushy, but its cooked perfectly to the right consistency!
What Is Yellow Rice?
Yellow rice is simple, colorful, flavored rice that is popular in many cuisines.
As you can understand, yellow rice looks yellow in color and usually spices are used to add the natural color to the rice to make it look yellow.
Yellow rice is easy to prepare at home & delicious and makes the perfect side dish with any meal or as a main dish itself if you pair it with sides like curry, chutney, pickles, veggies etc.
Yellow rice is popular in Mexican, Indian & Cuban cuisines.
Though the preparations are different, they all are delicious rice dishes enjoyed throughout the world.
In India, usually spices like turmeric powder and saffron strands are used to make yellow rice although using turmeric powder is more common, less expensive method and also more easy to do.
With turmeric powder, you just need to add the turmeric while you cook the rice and the cooked rice will have a natural, deep, yellow color which will make the rice look golden yellow in color.
With saffron (which is more expensive spice), you need to dissolve the saffron in little warm milk for few minutes before adding to the rice, and also the resulting color will be not as deep as turmeric.
So if you want a light yellow color, saffron is a more good choice, but as said, saffron is more expensive.
As I told, we use turmeric in the yellow rice recipe, to make it look golden yellow in color.
Turmeric has a lot of health benefits and its a great idea to use it in a variety of dishes that you use in your daily diet.
To make simple and easy yellow rice, we use white rice and turmeric spice powder to add the yellow color to the rice, which makes this a very colorful and bright side dish or main dish that will make your dinner party or table look so decorative.
Another way to make yellow rice is to use saffron strands, which is also a very good spice to use but its little more expensive spice than turmeric powder. If using saffron strands instead of turmeric powder, you only need to use 4 to 5 strands of saffron spice.
To make yellow rice using saffron, add the 4 to 5 saffron strands to about ¼ cup of milk and let it dissolve for about 30 minutes.
You can add this prepared saffron milk mixture instead of turmeric powder to prepare yellow rice if you do not have turmeric.
However, using turmeric powder to make yellow rice is so easy and simple (in fact I use turmeric powder in a lot of recipes like curry dishes, so I always have it at home) and we use good quality turmeric powder to make this simple and easy yellow rice.
Yellow rice can also be easily prepared on the stove top using a pan (recipe here), but using the instant pot makes this super easy to do!
How To Make Yellow Rice In Instant Pot?
We use the following ingredients to make easy and delicious yellow rice in the instant pot.
2 cups white basmati rice
2.5 cups water or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter
salt as needed
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves chopped
1 string curry leaves optional
Step By Step Instructions
Rinse the rice very well in water two to three times and discard the water used for washing the rice. Add the rice to the instant pot.
Also add the water (or broth), salt and turmeric powder, mix well.
Place the butter and bay leaves on top, gently mix to make sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Close the instant pot with lid in sealing position and cook in high pressure for 5 minutes.
Once the cooking is done, the instant pot will beep and then do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After ten minutes of natural pressure release, do a slow and gradual manual pressure release carefully.
Once the pressure is all released, carefully open the lid of the pot and gently fluff the rice with a fork or gently stir using a good quality spatula.
Garnish with cilantro leaves & curry leaves (if using). Serve the delicious rice with any curry or side dishes as you like.
If serving at a later time, keep it closed, but gently stir in between at regular intervals for a couple of times which will help the rice not to stick to each other as it cools down.
You may discard the bay leaves before serving the rice, but keeping the bay leaves inside the cooked rice will help enhance the flavor of the rice.
More Instant Pot Rice Recipes:
Instant Pot Yellow Rice Story:
Tips To Make The Best Yellow Rice
Make sure to use a good quality long grain rice like white basmati rice for this recipe.
I recommend using long grain chef's secret brand of white basmati rice.
Make sure to use good quality ingredients including the best turmeric powder. If any of the ingredients are past date, I do not suggest using them.
You may add more flavors to the yellow rice to make more seasoned yellow rice if you wish.
For example, you may like to add a little lemon juice or lime juice (filtered lemon juice or lime juice from about half of a medium sized lemon or lime) or even add black pepper powder or little parika if you wish to spice it up at bit.
You may also add more flavors like garlic, onion powders which are easy to add and will add great flavors to the rice.
Also make sure to use fresh and clean cilantro leaves and/or curry leaves for garnishing!
To add even more flavor to the yellow rice, you may use broth like vegetable broth instead of plain water to add even more flavor to the yellow rice and to make it even more delicious and healthy!
Can You Make This Yellow Rice Vegan?
This yellow rice is a vegetarian rice recipe, but you can easily make this vegan if you skip the butter in the recipe.
Instead of butter, just use an oil like olive oil or coconut oil or canola oil to make this recipe vegan.
However, it may change the flavor based on what oil you are using.
So here is the detailed recipe for instant pot yellow rice using basmati rice & turmeric powder.
Instant Pot Yellow Rice With Turmeric Spice
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves chopped
- 1 string curry leaves optional
- Rinse the rice very well in water two to three times and discard the water used for washing the rice.
- Add the rice to the instant pot and also add the water (or broth), salt and turmeric powder, mix well.
- Place the butter and bay leaves on top, gently mix to make sure the rice is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Close the instant pot with lid in sealing position and cook in high pressure for 5 minutes.Once the cooking is done, the instant pot will beep and then do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. After ten minutes of natural pressure release, do a slow and gradual manual pressure release carefully.Once the pressure is all released, carefully open the lid of the pot.
- Gently fluff the rice with a fork or gently stir using a good quality spatula.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves & curry leaves (if using).
- If serving at a later time, keep it closed, but gently stir in between at regular intervals for a couple of times which will help the rice not to stick to each other as it cools down. You may discard the bay leaves before serving the rice, but keeping the bay leaves inside the cooked rice will help enhance the flavor of the rice. Serve the delicious rice with any curry or side dishes as you like.