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Sri Lankan Yellow Rice(turmeric rice)

A Fragrant, Sri Lankan yellow rice, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make traditional yellow rice for any occasion.

Yellow rice is also known as “Kaha bath” which translates to yellow rice, is an easy rice dish that’s cooked for special occasions.

You’ll love the fragrance that takes over the house as you fry the spices.
It should take you back to your mom’s kitchen reminding you of forgotten festivities.
Once you make the following recipe, you’ll experience how a plain bowl of rice changes into a dish worthy of any occasion.

The colorful plate of yellow rice cooked in aromatic spices and garnished with fried onions and curry leaves taking center stage in a table full of food is a welcoming sight to your family and friends.

What to serve with yellow rice

You have so may options to choose from the blog but here are a few you can serve with the yellow rice(turmeric rice).

Frequently asked questions about yellow rice(turmeric rice).

  • How much water should I use to cook rice?
    • 1:2 ratio which means, for every 1 cup of rice add 2 cups of water. In turn, you will get 3 cups of cooked rice. 1:2:3 ratio.
  • What type of rice to choose?
    • If this is your first time cooking rice, choose rice that you are familiar with, I have used a medium grain rice(keeri samba)but you can also use Basmati rice.

Utensils and appliances needed.

  • Large pan to cook the rice.
  • A small frying pan to fry the onions.

More rice recipes for you to try.

Saudi Chicken kabsa.
Mandi rice.
Hyderabadi chicken biryani.
Chicken fried rice.
Egg biryani.

RECIPE DIFFICULTY-LITTLE CARE NEEDED

How to make yellow rice

Please make sure to read the recipe instructions carefully to avoid mistakes.

The ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.

Ingredients

4 tablespoon ghee(substitute with oil or butter)

4 large onions sliced thin (used for both cooking and frying as garnish)

2 tablespoons of minced garlic(about 5 cloves crushed or minced)

5″ pandan cut into two(if you are unable to find pandan leaf then substitute with 2 bay leaves).

2 sprigs of curry leaves(about 14 leaves, used for tempering as well as fried garnishing).

2″ Cinnamon stick

4 Cloves 

5 Cardamom pods

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 cups of medium grain rice(keeri samba, refer above for correct ratio for rice to water, you can also use Basmati rice)

4 cups of water

Salt to season

To fry the onions

1/2-1 cup of oil to fry the onions

To garnish(optional)

1/4 cup cashews

1/4 cup golden raisins

 

Method

Prepwork before making the yellow rice

  • Have all the spices ready.
  • Slice the onions and mince the garlic.
  • Measure the correct amount of water to cook the rice(ratio given above on recipe notes).

Wash the rice until clear water runs through, drain and set aside.

Set a large cooking pan over low medium fire and pour in the oil(4 tbsp, substitute with ghee or butter).

Take a handful of the onions sliced(amount of 1 onion sliced), garlic(2 tbsp, about 5 cloves), add to the oil.

Cook for a minute then add pandan strips, curry leaves(1/2 of the curry leaves), cinnamon stick(2″ piece), cloves(4), cardamom(5).

Cook for 2 minutes until you smell the aroma of the spices. this should take about 2-3 minutes. move the ingredients frequently to avoid burning.

Once you notice the onions turning golden in colour, add the turmeric powder(1 tsp).

Stir the ingredients and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the washed and drained rice into the cooking pan.

Over low-medium heat, fry the rice with the spices for 60 seconds, you can add 1 tablespoon of oil to ease the frying.

Pour in the water(4 cups, the recommended amount of water for 2 cups of rice). Season with salt.

Cook the rice over a low-medium fire until water evaporates.

Once the water evaporates and the rice is cooked through, remove the pot of rice from the stove. use a fork to fluff the rice.

How to fry the onions.

Place a small frying pan over low medium fire and pour in the oil(1/2-1 cup).

Let the oil heat for 30 seconds and then add the sliced onions, let the onions fry until they are golden brown in color, this should take 7 minutes depending on the heat used.

Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the fried onions and place them in kitchen paper towels to drain excess oil.

If you are garnishing the yellow rice with cashews and raisins, fry them as well, not more than 30 seconds then transfer them to drain excess oil.

Transfer rice to a large platter, garnish with the fried onions, followed by cashews and raisins.

Serve warm.

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Sri lankan yellow rice or turmeric rice served on a plate

Sri Lankan Yellow Rice(turmeric rice)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
A Fragrant, Sri Lankan yellow rice, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make traditional yellow rice for any occasion. Yellow rice is also known as “Kaha bath” which translates to yellow rice, is an easy rice dish that’s cooked for special occasions.

Ingredients

  • The ingredients mentioned below use standard measuring cups and spoons.
  • To fry the onions
  • To garnish(optional)
  • 4 tablespoon ghee(substitute with oil or butter)
  • 4 large onions sliced thin (used for both cooking and frying as garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons of minced garlic(about 5 cloves crushed or minced)
  • 5″ pandan cut into two(if you are unable to find pandan leaf then substitute with 2 bay leaves).
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves(about 14 leaves, used for tempering as well as fried garnishing).
  • 2″ Cinnamon stick
  • 4 Cloves
  • 5 Cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 cups of medium grain rice(keeri samba, refer above for correct ratio for rice to water, you can also use Basmati rice)
  • 4 cups of water
  • Salt to season
  • 1/2-1 cup of oil to fry the onions
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

Instructions

  1. Prepwork before making the yellow rice
  2. Have all the spices ready.
  3. Slice the onions and mince the garlic.
  4. Measure the correct amount of water to cook the rice(ratio given above on recipe notes).
  5. Wash the rice until clear water runs through, drain and set aside.
  6. Set a large cooking pan over low medium fire and pour in the oil(4 tbsp, substitute with ghee or butter).
  7. Take a handful of the onions sliced(amount of 1 onion sliced), garlic(2 tbsp, about 5 cloves), add to the oil.
  8. Cook for a minute then add pandan strips, curry leaves(1/2 of the curry leaves), cinnamon stick(2″ piece), cloves(4), cardamom(5).
  9. Cook for 2 minutes until you smell the aroma of the spices. this should take about 2-3 minutes. move the ingredients frequently to avoid burning.
  10. Once you notice the onions turning golden in colour, add the turmeric powder(1 tsp).
  11. Stir the ingredients and cook for 30 seconds.
  12. Add the washed and drained rice into the cooking pan.
  13. Over low-medium heat, fry the rice with the spices for 60 seconds, you can add 1 tablespoon of oil to ease the frying.
  14. Pour in the water(4 cups, the recommended amount of water for 2 cups of rice). Season with salt.
  15. Cook the rice over a low-medium fire until water evaporates.
  16. Once the water evaporates and the rice is cooked through, remove the pot of rice from the stove. use a fork to fluff the rice.

How to fry the onions.

  1. Place a small frying pan over low medium fire and pour in the oil(1/2-1 cup).
  2. Let the oil heat for 30 seconds and then add the sliced onions, let the onions fry until they are golden brown in color, this should take 7 minutes depending on the heat used.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to scoop up the fried onions and place them in kitchen paper towels to drain excess oil.
  4. If you are garnishing the yellow rice with cashews and raisins, fry them as well, not more than 30 seconds then transfer them to drain excess oil.
  5. Transfer rice to a large platter, garnish with the fried onions, followed by cashews and raisins.
  6. Serve warm.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 817Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 39gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 347mgCarbohydrates: 79gFiber: 7gSugar: 15gProtein: 9g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

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Each recipe on this blog has been written with great care and love to the best of my ability with you in mind.

It’s free and on the blog, for you to try anytime.


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