Want an easy and healthy dish to accompany your favourite meals? This wholegrain recipe makes the most of turmeric’s flavour and benefits.

Good day all, I hope you’re well! Here is a recipe everyone who wants to really know how to get maximum benefits when using brown rice: Turmeric Brown Rice…

There are many reasons to add turmeric into the diet. The powerful spice is one with many researched health benefits, and it even made it onto my lists of:

And what better way than to incorporate it with nourishing, hearty, brown rice? I like to make this turmeric brown rice recipe to go alongside any type of curry (especially Indian)!

(P.S. Take a look at my Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry for the perfect pairing!)

This recipe reminds me a lot of Pilau rice, as it uses many similar spices. You can customise this recipe to your liking, and even mix in other types of rice (or spice)!

I find that it works just as well with red rice, and has an amazing flavour if you mix the two.

This is one of my favourite ways to have rice, and I hope it will be for you too! Let me know if you enjoy this, and if you did, it would mean a lot if you shared it.

Let’s get into it!

Proper Preparation is Important

Before you you get straight into it, please take a moment to familiarise yourself with the proper way that this should be prepared: Fermented.

Now, that word seems unpleasant to some, but without it we would have no coffee, chocolate, cheese, vinegar, traditional pickles and sauces, or even alcohol as we know them! In short, fermentation has been a vital tool to human civilizations since the dawn of our time!

This is a process that is important for all grains, nuts, and seeds alike. I always ferment my oats, and it’s extremely straightforward, and doesn’t take long to get used to (or make a habit of!) at all.

Why to Ferment Brown Rice

By rinsing and fermenting brown rice and other grains, we partially germinate the seed and reduce components such as phytic acid (an antinutrient) and arsenic. These prevent us from absorbing nutrients and may have other effects (such as on the thyroid), so reducing them in wholegrain rice is important.

The fermentation process also slightly reduces carbohydrate content, and introduces a whole new spectrum of nutrition. This means probiotics to help the immune system (even when cooked), and increased nutrient absorption.

(P.S. I covered this in detail, and a very easy way to do it in a previous post. Click the link below to take a look.)

Read: Let’s Ferment Brown Rice! Nutrients and Removing Antinutrients

An Alternative Option?

You can also soak the rice. This won’t have as strong an effect though, so if you soak it, try to follow these two guidelines:

  • Soak for at least 12 hours, but even 6 will make a slight difference
  • Try to use dechlorinated (or boiled & cooled, room temp. – lukewarm) water

Selecting the Best Ingredients

When it comes to brown rice, any type is good really. However, some types are better than others, and if you can get them it will make a difference nutritionally and taste-wise. 

On top of the list is brown basmati (bonus points for organic)! This has a lower glycemic index than other rice and higher fibre content along with it. At the same time, you’ll get a nutty version of the aromatic flavours of white basmati, which makes it versatile.

For any turmeric basmati rice recipe, brown basmati rice is a suitable candidate.

We’ll also be using spices, including turmeric. It is ‘turmeric brown rice’, after all! The easiest way to do this for this recipe is with turmeric powder. You can make this with fresh turmeric for the best results, but otherwise simply go for a powder without any additives (this should be easy to find). Once again, organic is better.

If you want to make it with fresh turmeric root, here’s what to know:

  • Pick a firm root: It should not be squishy
  • The root should also feel smooth
  • Colour is good: Try to get a light orange / brown root (with skin on), and the flesh should be vibrant. Some turmeric is more yellow, which is fine.
  • There should be no mould present
Turmeric Basmati Rice Recipe - Healthy Fresh Turmeric Root (Orange)

Here is a good simple recipe on how to make the traditional powder.

We use other spices and herbs to add to the flavour, add turmeric by itself has an earthy, slightly bitter flavour. If you like fragrant dishes and Indian food, I can guarantee you enjoy this dish!

I prepare this in advance if I can, and use some coconut oil or other fat and then cool and refrigerate the rice.

Done this way at least 10 – 24 hours before using it well reduce the carbohydrate content further, and create beneficial prebiotic resistant starches (^). Resistant starches have been linked to numerous health benefits, including improved glycemic response and insulin sensitivity (^)(^). This is completely optional.

Here is My Easy Turmeric Rice Recipe:

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4 from 1 vote

Wholegrain Turmeric Brown Rice

A Versatile, Wholesome Dish Made with Turmeric Powder, Spices, and Brown Rice
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keywords Fermentation, Healthy, Rice, Turmeric, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wholegrain
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 220kcal


  • Saucepan
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Fermentation-safe Bowl or Container


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp black pepper (Or 1 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (Best if Extra Virgin)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • To taste sea salt (Or preferred type)


Fermentation (Optional – Recommended) – See Linked Post Below for More Info

  • Wash / rinse the brown rice, 3 times (until water runs clearer)
  • Drain thoroughly
  • Using cooled (lukewarm) boiled water, or filtered chlorine-free water, soak the rice in twice its volume, and let sit for 12-24 hours. (Make sure to use a fermentation-safe container)
  • Drain, rinse, and you're ready!
    (Image: Plain fermented cooked rice with leftover water)

How To Cook Turmeric Brown Rice

  • If not fermented, try to soak for 6 hours beforehand or longer. Even an hour will shorten cooking time, but won't benefit nutritionally
  • Wash / rinse the brown rice, 3 times (until water runs clearer)
  • Boil the 2 cups of water in a saucepan
  • Add your rice and salt, and stir. Bring to a light simmer
  • Next, mix in your spices, basil, and add the coconut oil. Lightly crush the cardamom pods to release more flavour
  • Cover and simmer for 20 minutes*, or until the water is well absorbed and the rice is soft and has expanded. Leave the lid slightly ajar if it doesn't have any holes, to allow steam to escape
  • Drain, mix through, and serve (or cool and refigerate first as mentioned above). Enjoy!


Click Here to Discover More About Fermenting Brown Rice (Article on The Health Benefits and An Easy Preparation Method)
*This cooking time might be longer with unsoaked or unfermented rice. It could take up to 45 minutes in this case.
The black pepper is important!
Heating turmeric will reduce some of its active curcumin (it’s secret superpower), but we won’t absorb even that well by ourselves.
The best way to increase the bioavailability and absorption of curcumin is with black pepper.
Black pepper contains piperine (a major active ingredient), which can can significantly increase curcumin absorption (by up to 2000%) (^)(^)!
You could find a way to add foods containing quercetin too, as that also helps. It does this by inhibiting enzymes that prevent curcumin uptake (^).
Such foods include:
  • Onions (especially red)
  • Okra
  • Capers
  • Apples (with the peel) and apple cider vinegar
  • Berries and grapes
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Lovage leaves

Serving Suggestions!

I find that this dish works best as a side to meals like curries. But don’t forget that it can also be substituted as a main dish, especially if you add some vegetables, onion, or even egg!

This Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Curry is a mouthwatering accompaniment that you can make in 15-20 minutes!

Nutritional Benefits of Turmeric and Brown Rice

Brown Rice Nutrition

turmeric brown rice recipe - brown rice health benefits and nutrients

Brown rice offers some significant benefits over white rice. Factoring in proper preparation, the higher nutrient content is an excellent reason to eat more brown rice.

White rice is more processed and has had the hull, bran, and cereal germ removed. On the other hand, brown rice keeps the bran and the cereal germ, which means it provides more fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Most notably, brown rice is very rich in manganese. One cooked cup can provide over 70-80% of the recommended daily minimum (according to the World Health Organisation).

This essential mineral supports bone and connective tissue formation, brain and nerve function, and an overall healthy metabolism. It is important for regulating blood sugar and acts as a free radical. Overall, getting a proper amount into your diet can support health in the long run.

Additionally, brown rice is a good source of selenium (which is good for the immune system), zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and a small amount of iron.

In terms of vitamins, its content is made up almost entirely of B-vitamins. It provides us with over 10% of our B1, B3, and B6 values.

The Benefits of Turmeric

This is the co-superstar of our easy turmeric brown rice recipe.

Over the years, research about turmeric has increased, and with it has the amount of people enthusiastically talking about it.

Health experts from around the world and thousands of studies support the benefits of turmeric and its components (^). This traditional spice often used in Indian cuisine (known as Haldi) is responsible for the vibrant yellow orange colour of many curries.

In India, Ayurvedic practitioners and people all over still use it as a traditional remedy today. A delicious example is turmeric milk (or golden milk), which is used for common ailments like the cold.

Here are some of the research-backed health benefits of turmeric and curcumin:

  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Powerful Antioxidant (prevents cell-damage, including with ageing)
  • Neuroprotective (helps to prevent and benefits those with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.) (^)(^)
  • Boosts overall brain function
  • Benefits Arthritis

One fascinating example of this, is one study in which participants that ate curry more often demonstrated significantly higher cognitive ability scores (^)! And, Alzheimer’s occurs in India (ballabgarh) at a much lower rate than in the USA, according to this study.

I believe this superfood should be mixed into your diet whenever you can make it work!

I Hope You Enjoy!

That’s all for this recipe! I love to make this, and the family seem to like it too. I’m sure you’ll have the same experience!

This healthy brown rice recipe is great alongside all sorts of dishes, vegetarian, meat, seafood, and more. That doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, though. Lightly fried with some onions or mixed in with vegetables, it substitutes a nice main dish in itself.

Leave a comment below with any questions you have, and share with me your favourite ways to enjoy brown rice! I look forward to hearing from you all.

Until next time, stay healthy

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Health Enthusiast & Founder of Healthy Ronin. I'm on a mission to share knowledge about the amazing effects of nutrition, and encourage positive dietary changes in the modern world. Come help me! (Disclaimer: I am not a certified medical professional or dietitian. I learn through reading, study, cooking, and following the pro's).