Indian Fried Rice

Indian Fried Rice also called Vagharela bhaat- infused with fragrant spices and healthy veggies.

4.9 from 29 reviews

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
  • 12 tablespoons ghee, or olive oil, or peanut oil.
  • 46 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
  • ——
  • 12 tablespoons ghee, or olive oil
  • 3 serrano chilies, split lengthwise (see photo)
  • 1/2 cup peanuts (or cashews)
  • 1015 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.


Keywords: vegetable fried rice, Indian fried rice, Vagharela bhaat, turmeric fried rice,

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