Carrot Rice

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This Carrot rice is lightly spiced and delicious. Made with cooked rice, grated carrots, herbs, spices this mild dish is very easy to prepare. Have some leftover rice and carrots? Why not make this satisfying hearty carrot rice recipe which can be easily customized to the ingredients you have.

carrot rice garnished with cashews, fried onions and raisins served in a white plate on a checkered white and blue napkin

About this recipe

In the Indian cuisine, there are many ways any one recipe is made. So it is with this carrot rice. Either you can throw in all the ingredients in a pan or even an Instant Pot to make carrot rice or make it like the way I have done.

Cooked rice is mixed with a flavorful sautéed mixture of spices and carrots. This method of making carrot rice is typically followed in the South Indian cooking.

Since this carrot rice is mildly spiced, it goes well with kids. There is a subtle sweetness coming from the carrots. The sautéed onions, cashews, and raisins add much sweet notes to the dish.

Use any method, but making any rice-based dish is easy and takes less time. This carrot rice recipe is made quickly.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Carrot Rice

Cooking rice

1. Soak ½ cup rice in a bowl in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain and then set aside.

TIP: You could use any Indian variety of rice like sona masuri, surti kolam or parimal rice, or even basmati rice. I used hand-pounded sona masuri rice. Any non-sticky variety of rice also works well. If you live outside India, the Indian varieties of rice are easily available online or on amazon.

soaked and drained rice in a yellow bowl to make carrot rice recipe

2. Add the rice to a 2 litre pressure cooker with 0.75 to 1 cups water. Pressure cook for 2 whistles. You can also cook the rice in a pot or pan adding some more water. Then drain the water once the rice is cooked.

Since this rice was hand pounded rice, I pressure cooked for 3 whistles and added 1.25 cups water.

cooked rice in the pressure cooker

3. When the rice is cooking, peel and grate 2 medium sized carrots. Set the grated carrots aside. Thinly slice 1 small onion and chop one green chili or half of a serrano pepper.

grated carrots to make carrot rice recipe

4. When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid of the cooker. Gently fluff the rice and allow it cool completely.

I cooled the rice grains in the cooker itself. But you can also take the rice grains on a large plate/tray and cool them.

cooked rice being fluffed

Sautéing

5. In a pan heat 1.5 tablespoons oil. Add the thinly sliced onions.

TIP: Any neutral flavored oil works well in this recipe. Red, white and yellow onions, even scallions, pearl onions or shallots are fine to include. See, I told you this recipe is easily customizable!

onions being sautéed in oil

6. Stir and sauté the onions on a low to medium flame until onions start to turn light golden.

TIP: Adding a pinch of salt makes the onions cook faster.

onions light golden

7. When the onions begin to get light golden, add 10 to 12 cashews, kept whole or halved, 10 to 12 raisins.

TIP: Do not have cashews or raisins? Simply skip them or add the nuts that you have – almonds, pistachios, walnuts or pine nuts.

cashews, raisins added to sautéed light golden onions

8. Mix very well.

ingredients mixed well

9. Sauté until the raisins become plump. By the time the raisins become plump, the onions will also get golden. If you want the cashews to become golden, then sauté everything separately.

cashews, raisins, onions being sautéed

10. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep this sautéed mixture of fried onions, cashews and raisins aside.

sautéed onions, raisins, cashew set aside in a small steel plate to make carrot rice recipe

Making carrot rice

11. In the same pan, some oil will be left. Lower the heat. Add ½ tsp mustard seeds, 1 small tej patta (Indian bay leaf), ½ inch cinnamon, 1 to 2 green cardamoms and 2 cloves.

TIP 1 : I hear you! Do not have all the Indian spices? – Throw in the basic ones you have – cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves and green cardamoms. Mustard seeds can be skipped.

TIP 2: If you do not have whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Simply include ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder or curry powder.

spices being fried

12. Stir and fry until the mustard seeds crackle.

spices crackling

13. Then add in the chopped green chilies, 5 to 6 curry leaves and a pinch of asafetida (optional). Stir and fry for half a minute.

TIP: If you do not have curry leaves or asafetida, simply skip these. Some heat is needed in the dish. So you can swap green chili peppers to any hot pepper of your choice. Just add about ½ teaspoon of it. Or swap for ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red chilli powder.

curry leaves and green chillies added

14. Add the grated carrots.

grated carrots added

15. Mix thoroughly.

grated carrots being sautéed

16. Sauté the carrots for about 3 minutes on a low to medium heat.

sautéed carrots ready to make carrot rice recipe

17. Add the steamed rice and mix. The rice grains have to be cooled completely before you add them.

added cooked rice

18. Season with salt. Again mix very well and switch off the heat.

mixed and added salt

19. Lastly add the fried onions, cashews and raisins. Also add 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro).

TIP: Replace fresh parsley for cilantro.

added coriander leaves and onions, cashews, raisins mixture to carrot rice

20. Mix very well. You can also garnish the carrot rice with the fried onions, cashews and raisins instead of mixing them.

mixed evenly and carrot rice is ready to be served

21. Serve carrot rice with hot or warm.

carrot rice garnished with cashews, fried onions and raisins served in a white plate on a light wooden tray

Serving suggestions

I serve this carrot rice with a side of a raita or salad. You can even pack it as a tiffin box lunch with a side of chutney or a veggie stir fry.

The tangy sour flavors of an onion-tomato salad combine so nicely with the mild, sweet flavors of this carrot rice.

In fact a tangy tomato salad or even a mayo salad will pair greatly. If you do not have any veggies, simply serve carrot rice with a simple plain curd (yogurt).

Storage

Though you mostly won’t have any leftovers, but in case if you do have, then refrigerate and consume within a day. Do not keep for a longer time in the fridge. Rice is best had freshly made.

Tips

Expert Tips

Ingredients swaps

  • Rice: You could use any Indian variety of non-sticky rice to make this recipe. I make carrot rice with Indian varieties of rice but any non-indian varieties or strains of rice would also work well. Just that you will need to adjust the water and cooking time. If you live outside of India, you will find the Indian varieties of rice in your local Indian grocery store or on amazon. 
  • Oil: Neutral flavored oils are a better option for this recipe. That being said, even coconut oil works wonderfully.
  • Onions: A variety of onions can be included. Say shallots, pearl onions, scallions, red, white, and yellow onions. Isn’t that great?
  • Dry fruits and nuts: If you do not have cashews or raisins, simply skip them or add the nuts that you have. 
  • Spices: This recipe is a South Indian version of carrot rice. So the spices included are the ones used frequently in South Indian Food. Though you can skip mustard seeds, but do include cinnamon, cloves, and green cardamoms. Instead of mustard seeds, you can also add cumin. Cumin would give a different flavor profile to the dish but will taste good. Curry leaves and asafetida can be omitted.
  • Green chilies: A bit of heat balances the sweetness in the carrot rice recipe. So you can swap green chili peppers for any hot pepper of your choice. Simply add about ½ teaspoon of it. Or swap for ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red chili powder. 

Recipe notes

  • Using leftover rice: If you have leftover steamed or cooked plain white rice – then you need only 3 cups of it. Simply follow all the recipe steps from sautéing the onions, spices, carrots, and then mixing rice with the sautéed mixture. With precooked rice, this recipe can be made in a jiffy.
  • Cooking rice in a pan: You can easily cook rice in a pan. Add the rice, salt, and 3 to 3.5 cups water in a pan. Simmer on medium-low heat until the rice grains are fluffy and tender. Drain the extra water. Let the cooked rice grains cool at room temperature.
  • Spicing: For small kids, you can skip the green chilies. If you like spicy food, then you can definitely add more green chilies or couple it with red chili powder or cayenne pepper. You can even add ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder for yellow-colored rice. If you do not have whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves., substituting about ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder or curry powder will work too.
  • Veggies: Apart from carrots, some bell peppers (capsicum), cabbage, and steamed green peas or boiled corn kernels when added will make it a hearty meal.
  • Gluten-free recipe: To make this carrot rice gluten-free, skip the asafetida or use a gluten-free asafoetida.
  • Scaling: You could easily make a large batch of this carrot rice recipe.

More rice Recipes

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carrot rice garnished with cashews, fried onions and raisins served in a white plate on a checkered white and blue napkin

Carrot Rice Recipe

4.97 from 27 votes
Carrot rice is lightly spiced and delicious rice recipe and can be made quickly. It also goes well as tiffin box lunch.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins

Cuisine South Indian
Course: Main Course
Diet: Vegan
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 2
Units

Ingredients

For cooking rice

  • ½ cup rice (short to medium grained) or basmati rice or 3 cups cooked rice
  • ¾ to 1 cups water – for pressure cooking
  • teaspoon salt or add as required

Other ingredients

  • ½ cup grated carrots or 2 medium carrots grated or 100 grams carrots
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 small tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • ½ inch cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ teaspoon chopped green chili or serrano pepper or 1 green chilli
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves (medium-sized)
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) – optional
  • 1.5 tablespoons oil – any neutral flavored oil
  • salt as required

For garnish

  • ¼ cup sliced onions (tightly packed) or 1 small onion
  • 10 to 12 cashews – kept whole or halved
  • 10 to 12 raisins (without seeds)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)

Instructions

Cooking rice

  • Soak rice in a bowl in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain and then set aside. 
  • You could use any rice like sona masuri, surti kolam or parimal rice or even basmati rice. I used hand pounded sona masuri rice.
  • Add the rice in a 2 litre pressure cooker along with 0.75 to 1 cups water and salt (optional). Pressure cook for 2 whistles. 
  • Since this rice was hand pounded rice, I cooked for 3 whistles and added 1.25 cups water.
  • You can also cook the rice in a pot or pan adding 3 to 3.5 cups water. Then drain the water once the rice grains are cooked.
  • When the rice is cooking, peel and grate 2 medium sized carrots. Keep the grated carrots aside. Also slice 1 small onion and chop one green chili.
  • When the pressure settles down on its own, open the lid of the cooker.
  • Gently fluff the rice grains and allow them to cool completely. I cooled the rice in the cooker itself. But you can also take the rice grains in a large plate or tray to cool them.

Sautéing

  • In a pan heat the oil and add the thinly sliced onions.
  • Stir and saute the onions on a low to medium heat until onions start to turn light golden. Add a pinch of salt for cooking the onions quickly.
  • When the onions begin to get light golden, add the cashews and raisins. Mix very well.
  • Sauté until the raisins become plump. By the time the raisins become plump, the onions will also get golden.
  • Remove the onions, cashews and raisins with a slotted spoon and keep aside.

Making carrot rice

  • In the same pan, some oil will be left. Lower the heat. Now add mustard seeds, tej patta, cinnamon, cardamoms and cloves.
  • Stir and sauté until the mustard crackles.
  • Now add the chopped green chilies, curry leaves and a pinch of asafetida (optional).
  • Stir and saute for half a minute. Add the grated carrots. Mix very well.
  • Saute the carrots for about 3 minutes on a low to medium heat. Depending on the size of gratings, the sautéing can take less or more time.
  • Add the steamed rice and stir. Season with salt. Again mix very well and switch off the flame.
  • Lastly add the fried onions, cashews and raisins. Also add chopped coriander leaves.
  • Mix very well. You can also garnish carrot rice with the fried onions, cashews and raisins while serving.
  • Serve carrot rice with a side raita or salad.

Serving suggestions

  • Serve carrot rice with a side of a raita or salad. You can even pack it as a tiffin box lunch with some chutney or a veggie stir fry.
  • The tangy sour flavors of an onion-tomato salad combine nicely with the mild, sweet flavors of this carrot rice.
  • In fact a tangy tomato salad or even a mayo salad will pair greatly. If you do not have any veggies, simply serve carrot rice with a simple plain curd (yogurt).

Storage

  • Though you mostly won't have any leftovers, but in case if you do have, then refrigerate and consume within a day. Do not keep for a longer time in the fridge. Rice is best had when freshly made.

Notes

Ingredients swaps

  • Rice: You could use any Indian variety of non-sticky rice to make this recipe. I make carrot rice with Indian varieties of rice but any non-indian varieties or strains of rice would also work well. Just that you will need to adjust the water and cooking time.
  • Oil: Neutral flavored oils are a better option for this recipe. But even coconut oil works nicely.
  • Onions: A variety of onions like shallots, pearl onions, scallions, red, white, and yellow onions can be added. 
  • Dry fruits and nuts: If you do not have cashews or raisins, simply skip them or add the nuts that you have. 
  • Spices: Though you can skip mustard seeds, but do include cinnamon, cloves, and green cardamoms. Instead of mustard seeds, you can also add cumin. Cumin would give a different flavor profile to the dish but will taste good. Curry leaves and asafetida can be omitted.
  • Green chillies: A bit of heat balances the sweetness in the carrot rice recipe. So you can swap green chili peppers for any hot pepper of your choice. Simply add about ½ teaspoon of it. Or swap for ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or red chilli powder. 

Recipe notes

  • Using leftover rice: If you have leftover steamed or cooked plain white rice – then you need only 3 cups of it. Simply follow all the recipe steps from sautéing the onions, spices, carrots, and mixing rice with the sautéed mixture.
  • Cooking rice in a pan: You can easily cook rice in a pan. Add the rice, salt, and 3 to 3.5 cups water in a pan. Simmer on medium-low heat until the rice grains are fluffy and tender. Drain the extra water. Let the cooked rice grains cool at room temperature.
  • Spicing: For small kids, you can skip the green chilies. If you like spicy food, then you can definitely add more green chilies or couple it with red chili powder or cayenne pepper. You can even add ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder for yellow-colored rice. If you do not have whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves, substituting about ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder will work too.
  • Veggies: Apart from carrots, some bell peppers (capsicum), cabbage, and steamed green peas or boiled corn kernels when added will make it a hearty meal.
  • Gluten-free recipe: To make this carrot rice gluten-free, skip the asafetida or use a gluten-free asafoetida.
  • Scaling: You could easily make a large batch of this carrot rice recipe.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Carrot Rice Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 351 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 767mg33%
Potassium 272mg8%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 5440IU109%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 30mg150%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 53mg64%
Vitamin E 5mg33%
Vitamin K 8µg8%
Calcium 34mg3%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 307µg77%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 42mg11%
Phosphorus 127mg13%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This carrot rice recipe from the archives (May 2015) has been republished and updated on 12 January 2021.

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Dassana Amit

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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