This oven baked yellow rice is aromatic and lightly spiced. It’s simple to make and goes amazingly well with so many dishes!
Many cultures across the world have their own type of yellow rice. This recipe uses a combination of spices commonly found in Indian cuisine.
It makes a wonderful side dish to so many meals, and is a vibrant and flavoursome alternative to plain rice.
By oven baking the rice, you get tender cooked and beautifully separate grains of rice. If you've never cooked rice in the oven before, you'll find plenty of tips below.
Here’s what we use in this savoury yellow rice:
White basmati rice has a great fluffy texture, and soaks up the flavour really well.
Oil helps to keep the rice grains separate. We used sunflower oil, but another neutral tasting oil will work fine.
Turmeric is what gives the rice its vibrant yellow colour. We like to use organic turmeric powder.
And garlic, salt, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom and whole cloves all combine to deliciously spice and season the rice.
How to cook rice in the oven
Cooking rice in the oven is a really convenient way to make rice. It’s easy and you don’t need to worry about keeping an eye on it on the hob!
These tips will help you get great results:
Coat the dry rice in oil. This helps the grains to stay separate, and to not stick to the side of the dish.
Use the right kind of dish. You’ll need an ovenproof dish with a well fitting lid. Alternatively, you can use a double layer of foil to make a tight lid around the dish.
Use boiling water. This gives cooking the rice a head start, and ensures you get the cooking time right.
Use the right amount of water. You want to use just enough water so that you have a beautiful cooked rice that doesn’t need draining and isn’t dry.
Cooking rice in the oven typically needs less volume of water to volume rice, than when you cook rice on the stovetop.
For boiling rice, you typically use a 1: 2 ratio of rice to water, or to put it simply: Using 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water when boiling rice.
But because less water evaporates when baking rice in the oven, you need less water. In this recipe we use 1 cup rice to 1.5 cups water.
When scaling up the recipe or using other types of rice than white long grain rice, you will need to adjust the cooking time and amount of water.
Whole grains, like brown rice, need longer to cook and more water.
In general, the longer the cooking time is the more water will evaporate, and so you will need to add more water at the beginning.
With a bit of experimentation you can find the perfect rice to water ratio that works for your favourite types of rice, your type of oven dish, and your oven! This recipe is just right for us!
Step by step
You'll find the recipe card at the end of the post, but here's a visual guide to help you:
Step 1 - Put the rice in an oven dish and add the oil. Stir well to coat the rice grains and the side of the dish with oil.
Step 2 - Stir in the spices and the minced garlic.
Step 3 - Pour the boiling water over the rice. Cover the dish with a well fitting lid or tightly with two layers of foil.
Step 4 - Bake in a preheated oven at 170ºC (340ºF) for 30 min.
We prefer this dish with white basmati rice, but you can also use brown rice. Cook 1 cup (200g) brown rice with 1 ¾ cup (420ml) water and increase the cooking time to 1 hour.
For a sweeter version of yellow rice: Skip the garlic, and add a ½ tsp of sugar and a handful of raisins or other dried fruit.
The oven method works just as well for making plain rice. Add the oil and salt, but leave out the spices, and you'll get fluffy, light, non-sticking, perfectly cooked white rice.
Before serving the rice, mix it through with a fork to separate the grains and fluff it up.
You could also stir through some chopped fresh herbs such as coriander (cilantro).
As you can see in the pictures we had it with our favourite red lentil dal.
The fragrant spices of this yellow rice complement curries and Indian inspired dishes.
Any leftover rice should be chilled immediately. As long as it has been quickly cooled and stored correctly you can reheat rice on the next day. Just make sure it is steaming hot all the way through.
We hope you enjoy this turmeric rice! Here’s some more yummy rice dishes for you to try next:
This easy Vegan Rice Pudding
Our quick and tasty Vegan ‘Egg’ Fried Rice
And this lovely Caramelised Fennel Risotto
- Preheat oven to 170°C / 340°F.
- In an oven dish with a tightly fitting lid, stir the rice with the oil, until the rice is coated and the side of the dish is greased.
- Next stir in all the spices - the turmeric, salt, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon - and the garlic.
- Then pour over the boiling water and stir briefly before quickly putting on the lid. If you don't have a dish with a tightly fitting lid, you can use a double layer of foil to make one.
- Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
- Before serving, use a fork to separate the grains and fluff up the rice.