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Best Carrot Rice Recipe

If you’re a fan of rice and carrots, then you’ll love this simple Carrot Rice Recipe! It’s a great way to mix up your usual rice side dish with some sweet carrots that add a pop of color and a touch of sweetness everyone at the table will enjoy. It’s easy to make, healthy, and perfect for pairing with just about anything you’re cooking for dinner. Plus, it’s a fun way to sneak some extra veggies into your family’s meal!

The Best Recipe for Carrot Rice

This recipe is such a fun way to add nutrition to your menu. It’s flavorful, aromatic, and nutritious. The addition of curry and the sweetness of the carrots creates a perfect complex flavor everyone loves.

Serve this as a side with many of your favorite meals from grilled meats to curries! And if you love this recipe be sure to check out our Instant Pot Wild Rice Blend too!

Ingredients for Carrot Rice

  • Grated carrots: Add sweetness and vibrant color to the dish.
  • Onion: Provides a savory base flavor when sautéed.
  • Green chili: Infuses the rice with a mild to moderate spicy kick.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall flavors of the dish.
  • Curry or sambar powder: Gives the rice a warm, aromatic spice flavor typical in many Indian dishes.
  • Turmeric: Offers a golden hue and a subtle earthy taste.
  • Mustard seeds: When fried, these seeds release a nutty flavor that is essential for the tempering.
  • Oil: Used for sautéing the ingredients, helping to release their flavors.
  • Ghee or melted butter: Adds richness and enhances the dish’s aroma.
  • Cinnamon sticks: Introduce a sweet, woody fragrance to the rice.
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish: Adds a fresh, herbal finish to the dish before serving.

How To Make Carrot Rice

Precook Your Rice: Prepare your rice while you prep the remaining ingredients.

Heat the Pan: Start by heating oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, green chilies, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 2 minutes until the mustard seeds begin to pop.

Sauté Onions: Add the finely chopped onion to the pan and sauté until soft.

Add Carrots: Mix in the grated carrots with the onions.

Season the Mixture: Sprinkle curry or sambar powder and turmeric over the carrots. Add two cinnamon sticks to infuse the mixture with flavor.

Add Water: Pour in three tablespoons of water to help the carrots cook, ensuring they don’t stick to the pan.

Cover and Cook: Cover the pan and let it cook for about 2 minutes.

Combine with Rice: Gently fold the cooked rice into the carrot mixture, ensuring not to break the grains.

Add Ghee or Butter: Stir in two teaspoons of ghee or melted butter to enrich the flavor and add a glossy finish.

Garnish and Serve: Serve the carrot rice on a plate and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Optionally, place the cinnamon sticks on top for an aromatic presentation.

This method will give you a flavorful and colorful carrot rice dish, perfect as a side or a light main course.

Tips For Making This Carrot Rice Recipe

  • Properly Temper the Spices: Heat the oil properly before adding mustard seeds to ensure they pop and release their flavor. Adding the spices at the right time during cooking helps to unlock their full aroma and infuse the rice with more depth of flavor.
  • Balance the Spices: Be mindful of the amount of curry or sambar powder and turmeric used. These spices should complement the sweetness of the carrots, not overwhelm it. Start with a small amount and adjust according to taste.
  • Cook Rice Perfectly: The texture of the rice is crucial. Use a rice variety that holds its shape and doesn’t become mushy when mixed with the carrots. Basmati is a good choice. Make sure the rice is cooked but firm before mixing it with the carrot mixture to maintain a good texture in the final dish.

Ingredient Substitutions for Carrot Rice

  • Rice Varieties: While basmati rice is commonly used for its fragrance and texture, you can substitute it with jasmine rice for a slightly different aroma or even quinoa for a gluten-free and protein-rich alternative.
  • Oil and Fat: Instead of vegetable oil or ghee, try coconut oil for a slightly sweet flavor, or olive oil for a Mediterranean twist.
  • Spices: If curry or sambar powder isn’t available, experiment with a blend of cumin, coriander, and a pinch of chili powder to mimic similar flavors.

Add Variety to This Dish

  • Add Proteins: To make this a complete meal, add cooked chickpeas, shredded chicken, or even cubes of pan-fried tofu for added protein.
  • Include More Vegetables: Along with carrots, consider sautéing bell peppers, peas, or even spinach to add more color and nutrients.
  • Nuts and Raisins: For a touch of sweetness and texture, stir in some raisins and toasted cashews or almonds before serving.
  • Herb Adjustments: Swap out cilantro for parsley or basil if you’re looking for a different herbal note or if cilantro isn’t your favorite.
  • Heat Element: For those who enjoy a bit more spice, adding sliced red chili peppers or a dash of hot sauce can elevate the heat level nicely.

Tips for Storing Leftovers

  • Cool Down: Allow the carrot rice to cool to room temperature before storing. Do not leave it out for more than two hours to avoid bacterial growth.
  • Refrigerate: Place the cooled carrot rice in an airtight container. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Freeze: For longer storage, carrot rice can be frozen. Spoon it into freezer-safe bags or containers. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. It can be stored frozen for up to 2 months.
  • Reheating: When ready to eat, you can reheat the carrot rice in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until hot throughout. If it’s been frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating. You can also reheat it in a skillet over medium heat; add a little water or additional oil/butter to help loosen the rice and prevent it from drying out.

What To Serve With Carrot Rice

  • Grilled or Roasted Meats: Serve carrot rice alongside Chicken, Lamb, Beef, or fish. The mild sweetness of the carrot complements the savory flavors of grilled meats perfectly.
  • Curries and Stews: Pair carrot rice with rich and Spicy Curries or Stews. The mild flavor of the rice can help balance the intensity of spicy dishes.
  • Vegetarian Dishes: Accompany carrot rice with other vegetarian options like sautéed vegetables, tofu stir-fries, or Lentil Based Dishes. The combination makes for a nutritious and satisfying vegetarian meal.
  • Salads: Complement carrot rice with a fresh salad for a light and healthy meal. A leafy green salad or a tangy Mediterranean Salad would pair wonderfully.
  • Yogurt or Raita: Serve carrot rice with a side of Plain Yogurt or raita to add a creamy, cooling element to your meal, which is especially great if the rice or accompanying dishes are spicy.
  • Kebabs or Tikkis: Pair with vegetable or meat kebabs, or Indian Tikkis (spiced patties) for a delightful meal that’s full of diverse flavors and textures.

FAQ’S

Can I Make Carrot Rice With Brown Rice?

Yes, you can substitute white rice with brown rice for a healthier version. Keep in mind that brown rice has a longer cooking time, so adjust your cooking process accordingly.

Can Carrot Rice Be Made Vegan?

Yes, to make vegan carrot rice, simply use oil instead of butter or ghee and ensure that any broth used is vegetable-based. This modification will keep the dish plant-based without compromising flavor.

What Are The Best Carrots To Use For Carrot Rice?

Fresh, firm carrots are the best for this recipe. They should be bright in color and free of blemishes. Avoid overly large carrots as they can be tough and woody in texture.

carrot rice on a plate

Carrot Rice

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Carrot Rice: A vibrant and nutritious side dish that combines grated carrots and fluffy rice with a hint of garlic and fresh herbs for a colorful addition to any meal.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups carrot grated
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green chili
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon (curry or sambar powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or melted butter
  • Chopped cilantro garnish and 2 cinnamon sticks

Instructions

  1. Cook your Rice: Add the rice to a pan and cook until soft and fluffy.
  2. Heat the Pan: Start by heating oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, green chilies, and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 2 minutes until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
  3. Sauté Onions: Add the finely chopped onion to the pan and sauté until soft.
  4. Add Carrots: Mix in the grated carrots with the onions.
  5. Season the Mixture: Sprinkle curry or sambar powder and turmeric over the carrots. Add two cinnamon sticks to infuse the mixture with flavor.
  6. Add Water: Pour in three tablespoons of water to help the carrots cook, ensuring they don't stick to the pan.
  7. Cover and Cook: Cover the pan and let it cook for about 2 minutes.
  8. Combine with Rice: Gently fold the cooked rice into the carrot mixture, ensuring not to break the grains.
  9. Add Ghee or Butter: Stir in two teaspoons of ghee or melted butter to enrich the flavor and add a glossy finish.
  10. Garnish and Serve: Serve the carrot rice on a plate and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro. Optionally, place the cinnamon sticks on top for an aromatic presentation.

Notes

Properly Temper the Spices: Heat the oil properly before adding mustard seeds to ensure they pop and release their flavor. Adding the spices at the right time during cooking helps to unlock their full aroma and infuse the rice with more depth of flavor.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 123Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 4gProtein: 1g

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