Yellow rice

Yellow rice

Sri Lankan Flavours
Craig Wood

This is my mother’s version of a popular Sri Lankan dish, which is great to serve if you are out to impress your dinner guests – rich in flavour and colourful on the table. My mother’s secret was that she always added chopped coriander and natural yoghurt to the rice just before serving. They give a beautiful aroma, and balance the sweet flavours of the nuts and sultanas.


Quantity Ingredient
2 cups basmati rice
3 1/2 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves
3 cardamom pods, crushed
6 curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
6 peppercorns
2 tablespoons ghee or butter
50g raw cashews
50g sultanas
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped, (optional)
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt, (optional)


  1. Rinse rice thoroughly with water until the water runs clear – about 2–3 minutes.
  2. Put water or stock in a pot over medium heat, add turmeric, salt, cloves, cardamom, curry leaves, cinnamon and peppercorns and bring to boil. Stir briefly and add the rice. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 20–25 minutes then remove from the heat.
  3. In a little pan on medium heat, melt the ghee or butter, add cashews and sultanas and sauté until golden brown. Add the mixture to the rice and mix well.
  4. Either serve as is or stir through coriander and yoghurt just before serving.


  • Ghee is used in Indian cooking and, although it has a high fat content, it gives a wonderful flavour.
Sri Lankan Flavours
South East Asian
Southeast Asian
Sri Lankan
South-East Asian
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