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Green Rice

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This green rice with coriander (cilantro) and chillies might just be the perfect side dish so many cuisines.

Each of the curry recipes on my site can be served with plain white rice. This coriander rice with lime  is so good it can be served on its own but you might like to try it as a side with a delicious chicken curry, lamb curry, seafood or veggie dish.

Green rice

About this green rice recipe

You can make green rice either with steamed or fried rice. In this version, you will be frying the rice before adding the green masala ingredients. Another popular option for green rice is to add it to taste to your steamed rice.

This fried green recipe only takes minutes to make and is an excellent way for you to use up leftover Basmati rice.

FYI, green rice is served with many different cuisines so it is a good one to have in your recipe library. The flavours of coriander (cilantro), green chillies and cumin are just as good served with Mexican recipes, for example as they are Indian recipes

How do you cook green fried rice?

Cooking this popular green rice side dish is so simple. All you need to do is melt some ghee over a medium-high heat in a pan. Then stir in the green paste (masala) and fry it for a couple of minutes before adding the cold cooked rice. This is best added in small amounts so that it is nicely coated with the green colours. 

Season with salt to taste and you have a one delicious rice dish!

How do you make green steamed rice?

The idea is exactly the same but instead of frying the cold rice, you add it to your freshly cooked Basmati rice. This should be done carefully. Do not stir the rice too vigorously or you will split the rice grains.

I usually just use a fork or chopstick and delicately incorporate the green mixture into the steamed rice.  

Can you use any Basmati rice?

You can but for best results, look for  premium quality, aged Basmati rice. I use VeeTee Extra Long Premium Rice.

You really will taste the difference so if you want your onion rice to be amazing, getting the Basmati rice right is by far the most important thing.

Working ahead

The rice needs to be fried, cold from the fridge. This means that making green rice is an ideal way to use up leftover rice. So you can cook your rice a day or two ahead of serving your green fried rice.

The coriander (cilantro) and chilli green paste can also be prepared a day or so in advance. Just keep it covered, tightly in the fridge.

How long does green rice keep in the fridge?

Cooked rice will keep in the fridge for about 3 days. So if you cook and chill the rice on day one, you have two more days to get the finished green rice to the table.  

Can you freeze rice?

Yes! Rice freezes really well and this green rice is no exception. You can freeze green fried rice for at least 6 months. Just be sure to freeze it in portion sizes that work for you.

You don’t want to freeze it all in one large container if you only want to serve yourself.

How do you reheat green rice?

Whether you place it in the freezer or fridge, the easiest way to heat up your green rice is in a microwave.

If you are cooking it cold from the fridge, your green fried rice should heat up in about a minute. You can microwave  the rice from frozen in the covered container in 3 to 4 minutes.

Just ensure that it is piping hot before serving.

Can this recipe be upscaled or downscaled?

Yes. No problem there!

Generally speaking, 185g (1 1/2 cups) of raw rice will make two generous portions of cooked rice, though when served as part of a larger meal, you can probably stretch that to three people.

If upscaling, the water to raw rice ratio is 1 part rice to 1 1/2 parts water. 

All is explained with step by step photographs in my perfect Basmati rice recipe.

What do you serve this green rice with?

If you want to make a simple meal, you could just serve it topped with a nice chutney or two

It’s also delicious served with dal, either on the side or over the top. Here are a few popular dal recipes for you.

Of course this green rice will go well with pretty much any curry. Try some of these chicken, lamb, veggie and seafood curries. You might also like to try your gunpowder rice as a side for curry house style curry.

Pro Tips

  • Always ensure you cook your rice correctly. There are many ways to do this but this recipe will get you perfect results every time.
  • Never stir the rice too vigorously. You just want to move it around in the hot ghee until heated through.
  • Season carefully. If adding salt be sure to add these to taste. If you cooked rice per my recipe, you will have already added salt so be careful when finishing this off.

Step by step photographs

Ingredients for this green rice recipe.

Get your ingredients ready before starting and be sure your rice is cold from the fridge.

Pounding the green masala ingredients into a paste.

Pound the coriander (cilantro) garlic, chillies, cumin and the juice of one lime into a paste.

Adding the green paste to the ghee in a pan and frying.

Heat the ghee in a pan over medium-high heat and add the green paste. Fry for a couple of minutes.

Adding rice to the green masala and ghee.

Add the cold cooked rice in small amounts until it is all in your pan and nicely coated with the green mixture.

The green rice finished.

Once all the rice has been stirred in, add the remaining lime juice. Season with salt to taste.

green rice

Serve hot.

Would you like to try some other rice recipes?

I have you covered, Try lemon rice, onion fried rice, jeera rice, gunpowder rice, mushroom fried rice and/or pilau rice. All are great with a curry!

You might also like to try a good biryani or two

Yield: 3 - 4

Coriander & Lime Rice

green rice
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 600g (3 cups) cooked Basmati rice
  • 1 large bunch fresh coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 – 3 green chilli peppers
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Juice of two limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place the coriander, garlic, chillies and cumin powder in a pestle and mortar and pound into a paste. Then, heat the oil in a frying pan and fry this mixture for about 40 seconds.
  2. Very carefully, transfer the white fluffy rice to the pan with the coriander. Don’t just dump it in or the rice will split. Just spoon in a little at a time.
  3. Move the rice around in the coriander oil until it is equally coated all over. Squeeze the lime juice over the top and season with salt and pepper to taste. Give it one last stir and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 261Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

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I hope you enjoy this green rice recipe. Please leave a comment if you tried this recipe or have any recipe questions. I’m happy to help. 


Monday 4th of January 2016

Any changes for brown rice? Longer soak? More water? More sit time after boil? The white rice recipe is awesome. No burned pot. Perfectly cooked. Delicious

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 5th of January 2016

Hi Tara

Thank you. For brown rice, follow the same recipe. If it is still a bit tough at the end, add a little more water and boil for a few minutes until perfect. Cheers Dan


Sunday 8th of November 2015

Would brown rice work with your rice recipes? Thanks

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 10th of November 2015

Hi James

Sure would. I prefer white but brown is a lot better for you and can stand up to the other ingredients.

Thanks Dan

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