Simple Turmeric Rice with Peas

Simple Turmeric Rice with Peas is basic and oh so delicious. This recipe for an easy rice side dish is perfect for any weeknight and completely kid approved. Hassle-free, ready in 25 minutes, this yellow rice and peas has your back.

turmeric yellow rice on a grey plate

This rice side dish was originally published in 2014, then updated in 2020 for photos and content.

Oh my goodness, what a hit this Turmeric Rice with Peas dish was with all members of my family….even the 3 year old (who is now 9, as of the updating of this post).

This is rare. Very rare. A couple days ago, we had a “Persian night” for our Sunday dinner, and I made this up as an easy rice side dish so I could focus on cooking the other, more complicated recipes I had never cooked before….like naan bread.

The flavor of this yellow rice with peas was spot on with dishes I have had at restaurants and transcends any yellow rice or boxed rice products at the grocery store. Hassle-free, ready in 25 minutes, and we were happy.

rice on a plate with a pot in the background

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and is quite a yummy spice. It has been used in Asia for medicinal properties for centuries. India and Polynesia too, and it is also used to dye fabrics.

Isolated from a perennial, herbaceous plant, turmeric powder has had many uses historically. Culinary, fabric dye as mentioned above, and it even has its place in wedding ceremonies in India.

Like honey and vanilla, take care in purchasing turmeric to ensure that you are actually buying just turmeric. There have been times when the United States has imported turmeric with toxic additives (such as lead). Look for it at the grocery store with the rest of the spices.

As far as medicinal properties go, curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, is regarded as having anti-inflammatory properties. I am a scientist (food blogger by night), and as of this writing in 2020, I will simply say that there is robust anecdotal support for curcumin as an aid for inflammation, but there is no empirical study proving so.

cooked termieric rice in a pot
Cooked rice before fluffing.
peas on cooked rice in a pot
Put the peas on the cooked rice, and replace the lid. Peas are flash cooked before they are frozen, so they only need to just be heated through. The heat from the rice does this.

Simple yellow rice ingredients

  • Basmati rice. You may substitute brown basmati rice, but in that case adjust the cook time as needed according to package directions.
  • Vegetable or chicken stock. I have used both and I think I prefer vegetable stock in this recipe, but both are options. You can make your own chicken stock with this recipe.
  • Water.
  • Butter. Unsalted butter is a cooking rule.
  • Turmeric.
  • Salt. Use kosher salt and always taste for seasoning.
  • Peas. For lovely pearls of green.
  • Parsley. For more green. This is another cooking rule of mine: always finish with a sprinkling of green.
fork stirring peas into rice
After letting the heat from the rice warm the peas, we just mix them in.

Steps for preparation for this rice side dish

This recipe is so EASY!

First, heat the water and stock. Give the rice and rinse and add to the pot.

Add the butter, turmeric, and salt, and cook the rice.

Once the rice is done, lift the lid, and add the peas. The heat from the rice will warm the peas. Couple minutes later we’re done.

Garnish with a bit of parsley and serve. We are there in an easy 25 minutes.

yellow rice and peas on a grey plate

Last Tips

Any middle size pot with a lid will work for this turmeric rice with peas recipe, but a nonstick one is preferred.

If fresh peas are not available, canned peas may be substituted.

Leftover rice reheats well in the microwave.

Either vegetable stock or chicken stock work in the recipe. If using vegetable stock (which I prefer), you can also use vegan butter to make this recipe vegan.

This yellow rice recipe can be made in advance and reheated.

top down view of the rice on a plate with a fork on the side

Looking for another side dish?

turmeric yellow rice on a grey plate

Simple Turmeric Rice with Peas

This Turmeric Rice with Peas recipe is basic, simple, and oh so delicious. Easy comfort food, perfect for any weeknight.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Indian, Middle Eastern, Persian
Keyword: easy rice side dish, turmeric rice with peas, yellow rice with peas
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Authur: Erica
Servings: 4
Calories: 256kcal


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup frozen peas thawed
  • 1 Tbs fresh parsley chopped


  • In a large saucepan, bring the stock and water to a boil. Put the rice in a strainer and rinse with water for 30 seconds.
  • Add the rice to the boiling stock and water along with the butter, turmeric, and salt. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 18-20 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the peas in a layer over the rice, cover, and let them steam to heat 5 minutes. Toss the peas in with the rice and taste for seasoning. Garnish with fresh parsley.


For an easy chicken stock recipe visit HERE


Calories: 256kcal


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