Wonderfully aromatic golden turmeric rice with Indian spices is the perfect side dish! This delicious rice recipe is made easy with the help of the Instant Pot  pressure cooker or rice cooker.

Indian Buddha Bowls made with golden turmeric rice, chana masala curry, naan, purple cabbage, watermelon radish, and fresh herbs.

As I mentioned when I posted the Chana Masala recipe a couple of months ago, Yummy Hubby and I are big huge fans of Indian food. I got the nicest message to my Facebook page inbox from a gal in India who was thrilled I’d posted chana masala and recommended I try aloo gobi next! Can’t wait! I love the way blogging connects us foodies from all over the world. And I really love the rich, flavorful spices in Indian cooking, and that there are so many vegetarian options.

I almost always order chana masala, while hubby orders baingan bharta, a delicious vegetarian eggplant dish. I’ve discovered that mixing our two dishes together is the most delicious option of all though. Both of these dishes, like many Indian dishes, taste best with rice to soak up all of the flavorful sauces. I’ve been switching things up lately from the regular white rice, and quinoa, to an aromatic golden spiced rice for our Indian dinner nights.

Basmati rice, cloves, turmeric, bay leaf, and fennel seeds in an Instant Pot.
Golden spiced turmeric rice is a wonderful side dish that would go with many recipes, from grilled kabobs to channa masala and Buddha bowls. I’ve found myself making rice much more frequently now that I have an Instant Pot. I have never owned a rice cooker, so I never understood how much easier cooking rice could be in either a rice or pressure cooker. I add the handful of ingredients to the pot, turn it on, and it cooks itself and turns off when it should. Burned rice because I forgot to turn on a timer is a thing of the past.
Cooked golden spiced turmeric rice recipe made in an Instant Pot or rice cooker.

The golden rice at our most frequented Indian restaurant, Flavor of India, is called Pilau Rice and has peas in addition to a lovely yellow color. I learned that some pilau rice recipes are made with saffron, while others are made with turmeric. I went with turmeric for this spiced rice since it’s an ingredient I try to use every day and less expensive than saffron. Turmeric is a very common spice in Indian cooking, and has many health benefits. Turmeric is perhaps most famous for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Beautifully golden turmeric rice with Indian spices. This easy turmeric rice is made in the Instant Pot or rice cooker and is vegan and gluten free. It's the perfect side for Indian curries or any main dish!

Look at that golden color!

This delicious Indian inspired golden turmeric rice is perfect with chana masala, buddha bowls, just as a side dish.

The kids agreed that this golden rice is much tastier than my usual white or brown rice. It’s so delicious, in fact, that I have to restrain myself from eating too much straight from the pot before dinner. A touch of pink Himalayan salt and pat of dairy-free butter (Miyoko’s is my favorite) bring out the flavors of this rice beautifully, so don’t skip that part. My favorite way to serve this golden turmeric rice is with chana masala, so don’t forget to grab that recipe too!

Yield: Serves 6-8

Golden Turmeric Rice

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

An aromatic Indian inspired spiced turmeric rice that's the perfect accompaniment to curries.

Golden Turmeric Rice


  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy butter (I love Miyoko's)
  • Himalayan sea salt


  1. Place the rice, turmeric, cloves, bay leaf, fennel, and broth in the bowl of an Instant pot, electric pressure cooker, or rice cooker. If using a pressure cooker, turn the valve to sealing. Hit the "rice" button and let it do its thing until it turns off automatically when the rice is done. Let sit for 10 minutes, then release any pressure if using a pressure cooker. Stir in the butter and sprinkle with salt. Fluff with a fork. Taste and add more salt as needed - it makes a big difference so don't be shy.


You can play with the aromatics by adding a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, or mustard seed.
Nutrition information has been calculated for 1/6 of this recipe not including the peanut sauce. Calculations are done on a third party site, and I am not a certified nutritionist, so I can't guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition facts, please calculate again using your favorite calculator.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 68 Serving Size: 1/6 recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 279Saturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Spiced Indian turmeric rice is so easy in the Instant Pot pressure cooker or rice cooker. Golden turmeric rice is perfect with Buddha bowls and many other dishes. This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten free.