This turmeric coconut basmati rice is a flavorful rice side dish recipe that's easy to make! Garlic, ginger, and onion are sautéed and cooked with basmati rice and turmeric in a coconut milk/water mixture for a creamy dish, and topped with chopped fresh basil for serving.
Sometimes I jump right in when it comes to trying new ingredients (well, new to me ingredients at least), and sometimes I get there a bit slower.
Take chia seeds, for instance. I worked up the courage to buy a bag last summer, and promptly shoved it in the cabinets for a few weeks. Maybe it was the fact that they get huge when they're in contact with liquid that freaked me out? I envisioned something like that I Love Lucy episode where the expanding bread loaf in the oven pins her against the other side of the kitchen, or the Strega Nona book about Big Anthony and the magic pasta pot taking over the town.
Sometimes my worries get out of hand.
Anyway, my strawberry chia seed jam didn't engulf the kitchen (and actually turned out quite nicely) and all my chia fears went away.
And now we have turmeric. So orange! So many supposed health benefits! But what does it taste like! After a few weeks of sitting idle in my spice cabinet, it got put to work in this turmeric coconut basmati rice and now it's joined the ranks of garlic powder, dried basil, and co. in my spice rotation.
Brian's mom makes a coconut basmati rice that we ate during our visit over the holidays, and ever since I've had a vague coconut/creamy rice craving that I just can't shake. What better way to satisfy that than to call home and ask for the recipe? 🙂
This turmeric coconut basmati rice is a take on its inspiration, and includes onion, freshly grated ginger, minced garlic, and fresh basil leaves along with basmati rice cooked in a lite coconut milk and water combination.
I added ground turmeric to the mix and instantly it turned an unremarkable looking rice dish (as rice tends to be) into a warm and bright YELLOW rice. Very bright. And we loved it! I always have a can or two of coconut milk hanging around, and with this dish not taking that long to make, I'm anticipating this turmeric coconut basmati rice will be gracing our table with regularity from now on.
Now I guess I need to find my next new-to-me ingredient to be suspicious of for a little bit. 😉
**UPDATE** If you're looking for a lower calorie/low-carb version of this rice, check out my Ginger Turmeric Cauliflower Rice!
Turmeric coconut basmati rice recipe notes:
- This recipe is easily doubled, and will use a full can of coconut milk that way if you don't want any leftover.
- Regular or lite coconut milk will work fine.
- We love to pair this turmeric coconut basmati rice with chicken, salmon, tofu...lots of main proteins, really! This sheet pan lemon turmeric chicken or oven fried tofu are especially good.
Turmeric Coconut Basmati Rice
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 7 oz lite coconut milk (about half a can)
- 1 ¼ cup water
- Chopped fresh basil leaves for serving
- In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, minced garlic, grated ginger, and salt and stir. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring, or until onions have become golden and soft, but haven't yet browned.
- Add the rice and turmeric to the saucepan and stir until evenly combined. Let rice cook for just a few minutes, stirring frequently, and then add coconut milk and water. Stir to combine, and then raise heat to let liquid come to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover the saucepan. Let rice cook for about 15-18 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in chopped fresh basil for serving.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.Food Safety and Nutrition Disclaimer
If you're into these flavors, you may also like Coconut Turmeric Quinoa with Cashews!
I had my doubts, but I made this exactly as indicated. I knew it was alright when after I covered the rice to cook my kitchen was filled with the most wonderful aroma. Seeing as I had half of a can of coconut milk left over, I bought a pound of very large nice shrimp and marinated them with the coconut, cayenne, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. I then grilled them while the rice rested. The rice was so delicious. This will definitely go into my frequently made recipes.
I'm so glad you liked this rice, Ethan! Thanks for letting me know how it went. That shrimp sounds absolutely delicious.
Tawny nguyen says
Thank you for this recipe. I have been making this everyday. I used instant pot, it’s so easy to make and delicious!
I'm so glad you like it, Tawny! Love the Instant Pot. 🙂
Lia a says
Wow, so good!! I’ll be making this often. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
You're so welcome, glad you liked it! 🙂
How long/what settings did you use on the IP, Tawny?
My new favourite go to recipe! A real hit for every crowd I've made it for!
So glad you like it, Yhudis! 🙂
Melissa DeGraff says
Tried this rice today for dinner I love love love it the taste with the coconut milk and ginger gives it a good flavor I definitely will be making it again.
So glad you like it! 🙂
Wonderful recipe ^^ what makes this recipe a winner for me is using full fat coconut milk instead of light...making sure I take the time to cook the tumeric and rice till fragrant.. and using fresh ginger, I’ve used dry but it dosnt have the same flavour. Thanks for the recipe ❤️
Can I make this ahead of time and reheat in a microwave? I have a work holiday party and I have a microwave in our break room. Or I have a crockpot, can it sit in there?
Hi Wanda, you can definitely make this ahead of time. I think the microwave method would be easiest! Hope you enjoy. 🙂
Mary Lou says
Hi there! I need to make an Indian rice dish. I have a question though......This recipe sounds really good but I don’t like coconut (at least the gritty strands I guess), but I was wondering if the coconut taste is very noticeable?
Hi Mary Lou, in my opinion the coconut taste isn't that noticeable at all, especially with all the other flavors. The coconut milk is smooth and not "coconutty" in flavor like a product such as sweetened flaked coconut or cream of coconut would be. I don't think you'll have a problem with it. Hope that helps!
Hi, I used the So delicious brand all the way with no water. Didn't taste coconutty at all. I used twice the turmeric and my 12 yo daughter likes it! Thank you♡♡♡
You're very welcome! So glad you liked it. 🙂
Julie Evink says
I had never made basmati rice before and this recipe turned out amazing! It's going on our regular rotation!
Love it! So fluffy and flavorful!
Bill Schiff says
I went looking for curry ideas for using chicken thigh meat and found this one in my saved file. I think it will be delicious using full fat coconut milk and cutting back a bit on the rice to make for a creamy "sauce".
You're very welcome - so glad you liked it.
Can I use Jasmine rice instead of basmati..?..
Hi Terry, besides a slightly different flavor jasmine rice may be a bit stickier. I haven’t used it in this recipe so I’m not sure how it would compare, but I'd imagine it wouldn't be a dealbreaker. Just personal preference. Please let me know if you give it a try!
Shirlene Gray says
Okay, until yesterday, I thought curry was a single spice and not a blend of spices. That shows you the level of my Indian cooking experience. Until yesterday I had never, ever attempted or made anything Indian.
This is an amazing recipe!!
1.) Easy 2.) Flavorful 3.) My Persian friend who makes amazing rice and is an amazing Persian cook gave me a thumbs up when she tasted it.
Hi Shirlene, I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this rice! Thank you for letting me know how it went. And that's the beauty of cooking - there's always something new to learn. 🙂