Spicy rice

Spicy rice

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  • 6
  • Easy
  • 15 minutes
  • 35 minutes

Spicy rice is a classic South African dish, served across many cultures and regions. This version features fresh chilli, coriander, curry leaves and turmeric for that classic yellow colour.


  • 3 T canola oil
  • 1 onion, diced, or thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 t ground turmeric (or 2 t freshly grated)
  • 1 green chilli, finely diced
  • 250 g button mushrooms, halved and quartered
  • 1 T garam masala
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 400 g 400 g basmati rice, rinsed
  • lemons, for serving
  • fresh coriander to garnish

Cooking Instructions

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and curry leaves and cook until translucent.

2. Stir in the garlic, turmeric, chilli and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute, then add the garam masala, salt and pepper.

3. Cook for 1 minute, then add the rice and stir to combine. Add enough water to cover the ingredients by 3 cm.

4. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

5. Turn off the heat and keep the lid on while the rice cools slightly. Check the seasoning, then serve with your favourite protein, lemon wedges and coriander.

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Photograph: Shavan Rahim
Food assistant: Ellah Maepa
Videography: Romy Wilson, with editing by Katharine Pope

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