Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice

turmeric yellow basmati rice in a bowl

A delicious side dish that pops with color and flavor

Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice - the perfect side dish

Don’t you just love the yellow rice you get as a side at some Mexican restaurants? Or the seasoned rice at a steakhouse? Even the Knorr rice sides are delicious.  This yellow rice is colorful and flavorful, really it’s the perfect side dish.

a ball of turmeric yellow basmati rice on a plate

Copycats and pre-packaged rice

Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice is the generic name for a very common rice side.  This recipe works as a very good copycat for Texas Roadhouse seasoned rice , Vigo yellow rice, or Mahatma yellow rice.    The last two, Vigo and Mahatma, are pre-packaged rice bags that you can buy in stores.   All of these are great, but I love my recipe because

  • it’s way cheaper, you probably have all of the ingredients on hand
  • I never run out, the prepackaged bags are generally single use. 
  • It’s almost as fast to make, you just add some spices and butter to your rice cooker and go

How do I make fluffy rice? Butter!

Have you ever had plain white rice only cooked in water? It’s got a good texture, and the plain flavor really lets the main course shine. But, have you ever tried adding butter or butter substitute? Most dry pre-packaged rice dishes call for 1 tbsp of butter or butter substitute when cooking, and for good reason. Just 1 tbsp of butter or substitute makes the rice even fluffier than it usually would be. And, even better, using the lowest calorie Country Crock or other substitute, you can add butter to your rice with no guilt. My Country Crock tub says 1 tbsp has only 35 calories, and when that 35 calories is spread across the 4 servings of this recipe, it’s negligible. So you can have the fluffiest rice without any guilt.

How to make Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice on the stove

This recipe is super simple to make in the rice cooker, but if you don’t have a rice cooker, it can still be made on the stove top. To make on the stove top, bring all ingredients except for the rice to a boil in a pot on the stove. Once at a boil, add the rice and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, then fluff and serve.

Don’t stir your rice while cooking on the stovetop.  This is a common mistake people will make, because it’s incredibly tempting to stir while cooking.   If you stir the rice while cooking, the texture will be ruined.  Just make sure the heat is low enough so that the rice very lightly simmers.

Can I substitute chicken bouillon and chicken broth?

I use powder chicken bouillon in this recipe, specifically Knorr brand Caldo de Pollo. The ratio for this brand is 1 tsp to 1 cup of water. If you have chicken broth on hand, you could substitute that for the water 1:1 and skip the bouillon.

My secret ingredient

Most Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice recipes have a similar set of ingredients based around turmeric.   I like to add dried parsley and oregano, which is a bit unusual.   They add a nice small pop of color.  As the dried herbs rehydrate in the rice cooker, they also unleash more flavor than you might expect.

What mains should I pair this perfect side dish with?

The perfect side dish needs the perfect main course.   I not-so-humbly suggest that this rice could do with any dinner, but here are a few of my favorites:

How to make Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice

turmeric yellow basmati rice in a bowl

Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice

Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Latin American
Servings 4
Calories 99 kcal


  • 1 rice cooker


  • 1 cups Basmati rice other types will work too
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp country crock or butter


  • Add all dry ingredients to a rice cooker.
  • Add the water and stir to combine.
  • Set the butter on top
  • Set the rice cooker to cook.
  • When the rice cooker is done, fluff with a ford or rice paddle and serve


Serving: 0.5cup cookedCalories: 99kcal
Keyword rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Nutrition Facts
Turmeric Yellow Basmati Rice
Serving Size
0.5 cup cooked
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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