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Gunpowder Rice

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Gunpowder rice is a real treat and so easy to make!

If you haven’t tried gunpowder rice yet, it’s time you did. This is a simple recipe that is packed with flavour and it can be prepared in about 10 minutes!

This gunpowder rice is good on its own but you might like to try it as a side with a delicious chicken curry, lamb curry, seafood or veggie dish.

gunpowder rice

About this gunpowder rice recipe

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

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

FYI, gunpowder rice is often referred to as podi rice. They are the same thing. 

How do you cook gunpowder fried rice?

Cooking this popular 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 your cooked, cold rice. Gently stir the rice around to coat with the ghee and then add one or two tablespoons of gunpowder. 

Stir well to coat and your delicious gunpowder rice is ready to serve. 

How do you add gunpowder to steamed rice?

The idea is exactly the same but instead of frying the cold rice, you add it to your freshly cooked Basmati rice. You could stir the gunpowder in or just sprinkle it on top which is another popular way of serving gunpowder 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 gunpowder rice is an ideal way to use up leftover rice. So you can cook your rice a day or two ahead of serving your gunpowder fried rice.

You will need to make the gunpowder which only takes minutes. Homemade gunpowder (podi) keeps for about 4 months in an air-tight container in a dark location.

How long does gunpowder 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 gunpowder rice to the table.  

Can you freeze rice?

You sure can!

Rice freezes really well and this podi rice is no exception. You can freeze gunpowder 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 gunpowder rice?

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

If you are cooking it cold from the fridge, your gunpowder 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 gunpowder 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 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 or turmeric, 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

Melting ghee in a pan

Melt the ghee over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.

Stirring rice into hot ghee.

Stir in the cold, cooked rice and stir it gently into the hot ghee to coat.



Gunpowder fried rice

Dig in!

If you like this homemade gunpowder rice, you might like to try some of the Indian Vegetarian favourites.

Dum Aloo
Pakistani Chickpea Biryani
Punjabi Saag Curry
Punjabi Rajma
Butternut Squash Curry
Sri Lankan Green Beans Curry
Aloo Gobi
Saag Paneer
Onion Pakora Curry
Chana Saag Curry
Potato Curry
Mushroom Curry
Masala Corn
Gobi Manchurian
Bombay Potatoes
Masala Dosa
Saag Aloo
Tandoori Hummus
Tarka Dal
Masoor Dal
Dal Makhani
Chana Dal
Green Bean Thoran
Cabbage Thoran
Chai Tea (masala chai)

Have you tried this homemade gunpowder rice?

If yes, please give it a star rating in the recipe card below and leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.

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Yield: 6

Gunpowder Rice

gunpowder rice
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes



  1. Melt the ghee over a medium-high heat in a large frying pan.
  2. Once melted and hot, stir in the cold cooked rice and gently stir it into the hot ghee to coat.
  3. Then add gunpowder to taste and be sure to stir it in so that it coats the rice grains. Add salt if needed to taste.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 72Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g

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