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Fragrant, turmeric-infused, Indian Fried Rice full of healthy veggies that can be made in under 30 minutes. Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Vegan adaptable, it is a fast and easy weeknight meal- great for using up leftover rice or stray veggies in the fridge. Serve over a bed of spinach with optional Raita.
One morning in while in India, our lovely host made us the most fragrant Indian Fried Rice for breakfast with all the leftover rice from the night before. I kept thinking to myself that I would happily eat this any time – day or night!
What I love about this recipe is how you can take the basic idea and add whatever veggies you have in the fridge and incorporate them.
How to Make Indian Fried Rice! | 30-second video!
Quick-cooking veggies work easiest here- snap peas, snow peas, bell peppers, asparagus, green beans, shredded cabbage or burssels- but with a little planning other veggies would taste great too, as long as you cook them a bit first (like steamed broccoli or cauliflower, roasted carrots, etc.).
Just try to keep the proportions the same so the spices don’t get lost.
You’ll need 3 cups of cooked basmati rice – which is 1 cup uncooked. Start this first if you are not using leftover rice and I like to cook this up in a pot of salted water, like pasta.
See this Basmati Rice post for more instructions.
Saute onion, garlic and any veggies you want to add. Here I’ve added snap peas and bell pepper.
Set the veggies aside.
Don’t be intimidated by the 3 serrano chilies. This dish is really only mildy spicy- but they do impart a beautiful flavor. Slice them the long way, crisscrossing, leaving the stem side intact. This way they are easy to fish out of the final dish.
In the same pan, you’ll temper the serrano peppers, curry leaves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds in ghee. You can also keep this vegan with olive oil or peanut oil.
If you’ve been here a while, you’ll already know how much more flavorful ghee is- but do as you please. 🙂
If you can track down curry leaves, they really elevate the dish. They are usually available at Asian Markets and can often be found in the frozen food section. I always keep some in my freezer.
You can always leave them out and use a few bay leaves in a pinch.
Then you’ll add the cooked basmati rice to the skillet along with the veggies, tossing to combine. Add the turmeric, salt and other spices. It will smell amazing and turn a lovely golden color.
Other veggies you could add: steamed broccoli or cauliflower, shredded cabbage or brussel sprouts, roasted carrots, sauteed green beans or asparagus. You get the idea!
As a finishing touch I like to add some fried peanuts, sprinkled with chili flakes to the Indian Fried Rice.
Serve the Indian Fried Rice with Raita or Cilantro Mint Chutney, or on its own over a bed of spinach.
Garnish with the peanuts, scallions and cilantro. A squeeze of lime is nice too. A fast and flavorful weeknight dinner that is full of healthy veggies.
Enjoy the Indian Fried Rice and show it to me on Instagram so I can see and share!
Happy, delicious weekend.
For more quick and easy weeknight dinners: Fast and Healthy Weeknight Dinners
Or Top 20 Vegetarian Dinner RecipesPrint
Indian Fried Rice
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: vegetarian, vegan, main
- Method: stirfry
- Cuisine: Indian
This fragrant, turmeric infused, Indian Fried Rice is full of healthy veggies and can be made in under 30 minutes. Vegetarian, Gluten-free and Vegan adaptable, it is a fast and easy weeknight meal- great for using up leftover rice and veggies in the fridge.
- 3 cups cooked basmati rice (1 cup uncooked)
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1–2 tablespoons ghee, or olive oil, or peanut oil.
- 4–6 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 bell pepper (red or yellow), diced (see notes for other veggies)
- 1 1/2 cups snap peas (or snow peas, asparagus or frozen peas)
- pinch salt and pepper
- 1–2 tablespoons ghee, or olive oil
- 3 serrano chilies, split lengthwise (see photo)
- 1/2 cup peanuts (or cashews)
- 10–15 curry leaves (these are really delicious, but if you must leave out, sub 3 bay leaves)
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (or regular)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- pinch chili falkes
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (optional)
- chili flakes to taste
- squeeze of lime (optional)
Cook basmati rice, and drain well if using the pasta method.
In a large skillet, heat ghee over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender about 5 minutes. Add garlic and remaining veggies, cooking until just tender -don’t overdo it here- you want them bright, crisp and vibrant. Season with salt and pepper and set them aside in a bowl.
In the same skillet, over medium heat, add another 2 tablespoons of ghee, coating pan well. Add the 3 split serrano chilies and peanuts. Swirl or stir for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. Add the curry leaves, stir for 1 minute. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and chili flakes, stir until mustard begins to pop, about 30-45 seconds.
Add the drained basmati rice to the same pan, and stir to combine, getting all those seeds and peanuts up from the bottom and edges. Sprinkle in the salt, turmeric, coriander and asafoetida. If you like heat, add more chili flakes. Fold in the sauteed veggies, and saute until heated through, scraping up any crispy browned bits- a metal spatula works well here.
Taste, adjust salt, chili flakes and add a squeeze of lime if you like.
Garnish with scallions, cilantro and lime.
Serve over a bed of spinach ( you can wilt it if you like) with optional raita or mint chutney.
Other veggies: asparagus, green beans, shredded cabbage, shredd brussel sprouts, steamed broccoli, diced carrot, etc. You’ll need 3 cups total.
- Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
- Calories: 464
- Sugar: 8.2 g
- Sodium: 448.5 mg
- Fat: 21.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 8.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 58.7 g
- Fiber: 5.6 g
- Protein: 11.1 g
- Cholesterol: 30.5 mg
Keywords: vegetable fried rice, Indian fried rice, Vagharela bhaat, turmeric fried rice,
just loved this, so quick and easy and tasty
I’m so happy you enjoyed this!
hi there. can this be made ahead and served the next day???
Hi Mim, this is best served the day of- for crispy rice. 🙂 Leftover however taste good.
Hi Sylvia. About to make this dish and am so excited! One question: do I remove the seeds from the Serrano peppers prior to cooking? Thanks!
You can Laurel, but I never bother. Up to you. 🙂
What type of onion did you use? Red, yellow or sweet onions.
You can use any color onion here, but I think I used yellow this time. 🙂
Before finding this blog, I never would have had curry leaves, asafoetida, and mustard seeds in the pantry! Thanks for introducing me to so many new flavors! This was delicious.
Glad you are enjoying trying new ingredeints!
Should the curry leaves be dry or fresh? Thanks!
Either will work, but fresh are always more flavorful. 😉
Did a search for serrano peppers (growing in the garden) and came across this recipe. Absolutely delicious! Had to sub out some ingredients and cannot wait to find curry leaves and mustard seeds on my next shopping adventure. Haven’t made many Indian dishes, but love the fact that you have intrigued our palates!
Give it a go and see what you think!
Another winning recipe from you Sylvia. Thank you! I have made this multiple times now, and it has impressed guests every single time. Love the variety in your recipes with flavors from around the world.
Thanks so much Lauren!
Love this recipe! Pretty simple to make and so good!
Absolutely amazing flavors!! I loved this …. my husband wanted more! more! more! I am so happy! You make me so happy! We love you!!!!!!
Awwww.. thanks and happy you liked it!
Wow! I could not have imagined that a skillet of rice and vegetables could taste so complex and be so filling. Certainly a meal I’ll make again– I had to stop myself from eating the whole pot in one sitting.
Great to hear!
Another keeper, Sylvia. My carnivorous Sweetie said at least a 4.7 as he would have wanted more meat in it. I only had one chicken thigh available so I used it. The spicing was delicious and making it was quick and easy. I am so grateful to have discovered your site. Cooking your recipes is such a delightful adventure for me. Thank you.
Awww…. thanks Martie!
This recipe is Amazing! Simple and very tasty and it will stay as a favourite in our house. We did add leftover Roasted Chicken sliced and didn’t have the black mustard seed or curry leaves(used jar mustard & bayleaves). Brilliant.
So happy you enjoyed this Narelle!
Yay! Thanks Angella.
Tried it and it’s really delicious! Easy to follow recipe!
Great to hear!
Used a week old basmati rice. Lowered the spice level by using Two serranos peppers. It turned out amazing. This dish has a ton of flavor.
Awesome Cathy- perfect use of leftover rice!
Delicious! Used leftover rice, only 2 Serranos and skipped the chili flakes. I like milder and husband can spice up his own. Loved it over the spinach. Oh the ghee was wonderful – will use more, everything cooked up so nice. Keeper recipe
I’m so happy you enjoyed this Doni!
I like the flavours of different spices and