Yellow Rice

Yellow Rice

Yellow rice is a beloved dish among many cultural traditions. A staple side in Latin American kitchens, arroz amarillo appears in various iterations across the region. The appeal of yellow rice extends to Central and South Asia, and South Africa, and its brilliant hue achieved with saffron, turmeric or achiote. This version uses widely available and economical ground turmeric, and is a canvas upon which you can incorporate other ingredients and spices. Consider adding a bell pepper to the onion and garlic, or stir in a cup of frozen peas at the very end. The amount of cooking liquid you use depends on the type and quality of your rice, and be mindful to cut down on salt if you use a salted broth. Typically served as a side dish, the dish can also be served on its own.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    In a fine-mesh sieve, rinse the rice until the water runs clear, then set aside to drain.
  2. Step 2

    In a medium saucepan or pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Take care not to burn the garlic by reducing the heat slightly if necessary.
  3. Step 3

    Add the rice and sprinkle it with the salt and turmeric. Stir to combine, then cook the rice and spices in the oil for about 1 minute. Add the water, bring to a lively boil over high heat and then immediately cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow the rice to continue steaming, covered, for another 10 minutes.
  4. Step 4

    Gently fluff with a fork or a slotted spatula, taking care not to break too many grains. Garnish with the cilantro, if using, and serve.