Helpful Tips

How to Make Curry Rice

Chicken with jasmine rice

If you want to learn how to make curry rice, you’ll find several variations of this dish when you’re searching for recipes online. But curry rice isn’t just a simple side dish, it can also easily be the main entrée with a few tweaks to a recipe. However, it’s more commonly prepared as a side dish for Asian or Middle Eastern dishes. Curry is a widely used spice that adds a nice flavor to an otherwise bland dish. Curry rice recipes in general, are very versatile so adding new ingredients and changing the dish to suit your diet is rather simple.

How to make curry rice: To make a large pan of curry rice you’ll need curry powder, one cup of jasmine, basmati, or sticky rice, and two cups of chicken or veggie stock. Curry rice should not be steamed. Instead, the rice should be toasted in the pan with some onions and freshly crushed garlic. The next step is stirring the rice around until it is evenly toasted a nice golden brown. Next, you’ll add the veggie or chicken stock and allow the rice to reach a nice rolling boil, after which you’ll turn the heat down to low, cover the pan and allow the rice to cook for fifteen minutes. Once the time is up, allow the rice to sit for twelve to fifteen minutes, covered. During this time the rice will continue to cook as it absorbs any leftover liquid.

What Type of Rice Should I Use?

While most people tend to associate rice with China, Thailand is actually one of the biggest producers of rice in the entire world. The two main types of rice used for Thai food include sticky rice and jasmine rice. However, there are some variations of curry rice that call for basmati.

While you can use any type of long-grain rice for curried rice, many cooks prefer to use fluffy jasmine rice. Jasmine rice doesn’t require as much water for cooking as other varieties, so be mindful of this if you’re preparing it in the best Japanese rice cooker. If you use too much water you can easily end up with rice that mushy and overcooked. If you’re boiling the rice on the stove, make sure you use two parts water, one part rice.

If you know how to make sweet rice, you can choose this rice variety for curried rice. Many people mistakenly believe that sweet rice is used exclusively for dessert dishes, however, it can be used for a variety of savory dishes, especially in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Northeastern parts of Thailand.

Because there are so many different types of sticky rice, choosing the right variety for curried rice can be confusing. When making curried rice using sweet rice, just stick with the long-grained variety, which will cook much faster than short-grained sticky rice.

So, when making curried rice, you now know you can choose from three rice options:

  • Basmati
  • Jasmine
  • Sweet rice

Curry Rice and Veggies

rice and dishes

The following curried rice recipe is loaded with freshly steam veggies and plenty of flavor. This is actually a pilaf style dish that calls for basmati rice, curry, and some extra spices for a punch of flavor. The rice is also sweetened with peas and carrots, in addition to a touch of cashews and garlic for the base. This dish can be paired with your favorite Thai-inspired entrees, or it can make a great entrée itself, especially if paired with fried eggs or chunks of chicken breast.

This basmati curried rice has a mild flavor that’s not too spicy and can also be eaten plain. For a quick meal, you can slice up a couple of hardboiled eggs, or fry up an egg or two for a meal that’s loaded with healthy protein and carbs.

To make, you’ll need:

  • Curry
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder

This rice has a great kick to it and a nutty flavor that’s somewhat rich. For added texture and flavor, you’ll add freshly grated carrots and peas.

This recipe will begin like most traditional pilaf recipes, which involves a little sautéing. Use a large frying pan to sauté ginger, garlic, carrots, and onion. After this step, add one cup of raw and rinsed basmati, the spices, veggies, and any meat. Add two cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock.

In order to ensure you end up with fluffy rice that’s not overcooked, make sure you closely follow the next steps:

  • Make sure all of the rice in the pan is covered by the broth
  • Bring the dish to a nice rolling simmer
  • When you see bubbles begin to appear across the entire surface of the pan, place a lid over it and switch the heat to low.
  • Allow the dish to cook for a total of fifteen minutes.
  • Do not remove the lid during this time.
  • When the time is up, remove the pan from the burner and allow it to rest for fifteen minutes, without removing the lid. During this time, the rice will absorb any remaining liquid as it continues to cook.
  • Next, grab a fork or use a rubber spatula to fluff the rice.

Why Should I Rinse The Rice?

For many Thai inspired dishes, the recipe will clearly state that the rice should not be rinsed. However, with basmati rice, the rules are a little different. First, since the rice is imported, it’s important to ensure that the rice you’re preparing is clean. Second, basmati is considered very dry, especially in comparison to sweet rice, so rinsing it will remove any excess starch, which will prevent the grains from sticking together when cooked.

Pair it With

This rice can make the perfect side dish for:

  • Garlic prawns
  • Garlic chicken breasts or thighs
  • Pan-fried fish
  • Baked chicken breasts
  • Marinated pork chops
  • Beef kebabs
  • Marinated steak
  • Turkish kebabs
  • Roasted garlic mushrooms
  • Baked salmon or tuna
  • Hardboiled or fried eggs
  • Vegetable curried rice

Indian Style Curried Rice

Nepali Thali

This curried rice dish is also simple. It can easily be paired with any type of fish, beef, or chicken dish. Some cooks prefer to use jasmine for this dish, but I feel that basmati works the best. This dish can be eaten vegetarian-style or paired with a lean protein. You’ll add the dry rice to a pan of raw veggies with a little oil in order to give the rice a chance to toast in the pan for a nice nutty flavor. The rice and veggies will both be cooked with curry powder.

Once the rice is a nice golden brown, you’ll add two cups of veggie stock or chicken stock. The stove should be turned down to low and allowed to simmer, covered for twelve to fifteen minutes.

Related Questions

Can I Make Curried Rice in a Rice Cooker?

No. This is because the rice must be toasted before it’s boiled on the stove in vegetable or chicken stock. However, you can make other dishes in the rice cooker as you’re preparing the curried rice. More versatile rice cookers, like the Cuckoo Multifunctional & Programmable electric pressure rice cooker will allow you to prepare fish, stews, and other delicious dishes, which is a huge incentive to any home chef who loves to multitask when they’re preparing the evening meal.

Can You Fry Foods In A Rice Cooker?

No. A rice cooker is not capable of reaching the higher temperature required to fry foods. These appliances are more utilized as a slow cooker of sorts, so while they are able to cook many more types of food than just rice, they cannot fry foods. Additionally, you should never put oil in a rice cooker since doing so will negatively impact the cooking process and can result in unevenly cooked food and rice that has a very greasy texture.

How Much Rice and Water Do I Put in A Rice Cooker?

This will depend on the type of rice you’re preparing. The rice to water ratio can also depend on the make and model of the rice cooker.

Final Thoughts

How to make curry rice is simple, with the right tools, and the perfect rice. You can use basmati, jasmine or sweet rice to make this dish. Most recipes for curried rice will require you to allow the rice to toast in a pan, prior to adding a vegetable or chicken stock. The rice should then be brought to a boil before it’s covered, the heat is set to low, and the rice is allowed to cook for an additional fifteen minutes. Once it’s removed from the heat you should leave it covered for twelve to fifteen minutes in order to allow it to continue cooking in the pan and absorbing any remaining liquid. And that’s all there is to it. Now that you know how to prepare this versatile side dish, you can enjoy Indian or Thai style curried rice anytime you want, in the comfort of your own kitchen.