carrot rice recipe made with cooked rice, spices, herbs and carrots

Carrot Rice Recipe (Indian Style)

Updated: August 18, 2023, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Carrot Rice is a delicious, healthy and flavor-packed meal made with basmati rice, fresh carrots, spices and herbs. Make this easy one pot dish for a quick meal and serve it with papad, Yogurt or Raita of your choice. Carrot rice is a staple in my home and is pretty much made every week since it’s very easy. It is kids’ friendly and my whole family loves it. This carrot rice also goes well in an office and school lunch box.

carrot rice recipe made with cooked rice, spices and fresh carrots

About Carrot Rice

Carrot Rice is simply cooked rice mixed with a tempered and spiced stir fried carrot mixture. Though this can be made to a one pot rice pilaf like this Vegetable Pulao, I prefer the stir fry method as it imparts unique flavors to the dish without overcooking the carrots and herbs.

This is something similar to the Fried rice but here we don’t actually stir fry the rice and no sauce is used. However if you wish to make this a one pot dish like a pilaf using your pressure cooker, then simply follow my second method that I mentioned in the post below.

The steps are same in both the methods but in a different sequence. This makes a huge difference as I said the carrots are not overcooked at all. So the sweet flavor and the crunchy texture of carrots is retained.

I use Indian Garam masala to spice up the carrot rice. Feel free to use curry powder, pav bhaji masala, vangi bath or bisi bele bath masala. I have tried this recipe with all of these.

For a spicier version, add green chilies to the tempering and use more chilli powder as required. To add more protein to your meal, you can simply whisk 3 eggs in a bowl and pour it to the stir fried carrots after they are partially done. Cook until the eggs are soft cooked.

More Rice Recipes
Corn pulao
Tomato Rice
Methi Rice
Beetroot Rice

How To Make Carrot Rice (Stepwise Photos)

Method 1 – Prepare Rice

1. Rinse 1 cup rice well a few times and cook it al dente. Do not make the rice mushy. If cooking in a pot pour 2 cups water and add the rinsed & drained rice. Cover and cook on a low heat until fully cooked.

cooking rice to make carrot rice

2. If cooking in a pressure cooker directly, pressure cook for 1 whistle. Use the same amount of water as you would cook it regularly. Rice has to be grainy and not mushy here. Cool this completely.

precooked rice for carrot rice

Make Carrot Rice

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil or butter in a pan. If using cashews, fry them until golden and remove to a plate. Add the whole spices:

  • 1 small bay leaf or 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms (optional)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (optional)
  • 2 cloves (optional)
Frying cashews spices for carrot rice recipe

4. When the spices splutter, add 1 small chopped or sliced onion. Saute until they turn lightly golden or brown.

golden fried onions for carrot rice

5. Next add 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or 2 fine chopped garlic cloves. Saute until the garlic smells good for about 60 seconds.

frying ginger garlic paste for carrot rice

6. Add 1 cup finely chopped carrots or grated carrots. Saute for a while. Optionally you can also add half cup frozen green peas or sweet corn. If using corn from the cob they need to be boiled first until tender and then use here. If using frozen corn or peas, just rinse them and use.

addition of veggies for carrot rice

7. Sprinkle little salt as required and cook on a low flame until slightly tender.

addition of salt for carrot rice recipe

Add spice powders

8. Then add

  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder (reduce for kids)
  • ¾ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves or coriander leaves (finely chopped). Mix  everything well and saute for a minute.
using spice powders for carrot rice

9. Cover the pan and cook on a low flame for 1 to 2 minutes. This helps the veggies to absorb the flavors well. The mixture is slightly moist now, this prevents the rice from becoming dry even when stored in lunch box for few hours.

making kids carrot rice

10. Switch off the stove. Add cooked and cooled rice, sprinkle salt & 1 tablespoon lemon juice. I also use little extra virgin olive oil at this stage.

adding cooled rice in carrot rice recipe

11. Mix everything well. Taste test and add more salt or lemon juice as needed. Add fried cashews if using.

mixing ingredients with rice in carrot rice

Carrot rice can also be served with a simple raita or a bowl of plain curd. For the lunch box, I pack with a simple vegetable stir fry. This time it was the baby corn capsicum stir fry.

Indian carrot rice recipe

How to make Carrot Rice in cooker (Method 2)

This method works good with only chopped carrots. You can also use peas and corn. Rinse and soak rice for 20 mins. Follow the same Instructions for tempering till you saute the carrots for 1 to 2 mins.

Add 1 and a ¾ cups water (1¼ cup water for instant pot). Adjust salt as needed. Add soaked and drained rice to the boiling water. Cook until rice is fully done.

If cooking in pressure cooker, cook on a medium heat until you hear 1 whistle. If cooking in an instant pot, pressure cook for 5 mins. When the pressure releases, open the lid .Carrot rice is ready, sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves and squeeze lemon juice.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

carrot rice recipe

Carrot Rice Recipe

4.97 from 60 votes
This simple carrot rice is delicious, healthy and quick to make any time. Made with minimal spices, herbs and precooked rice. It can be served with yogurt or Indian raita. It goes very well in school and office lunch boxes.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time35 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 cup basmati rice (raw or any rice of your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee


  • 1 small bay leaf or a sprig curry leaves
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 green cardamoms or ½ tsp mustard (optional)
  • 1 inch cinnamon piece (optional)

other ingredients

  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste or 2 chopped garlic or ½ inch chopped ginger
  • 2 medium carrots grated (or 1 cup chopped finely)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves or mint leaves chopped
  • ¾ to 1 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder as needed
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder or paprika (optional)
  • 12 cashews or roasted peanuts (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (adjust to taste)



  • Wash and soak rice for about 20 minutes. While the rice soaks, prepare the veggies mentioned in the ingredients list. After 20 mins drain the rice and set aside.
  • Bring 2 cups water to a rolling boil, add drained rice and cook covered on a low heat until fully done. Fluff with a fork and cool completely. To cook in a pressure cooker, cook for 1 whistle with 1¾ cups water. You can also cook in an instant pot for 6 mins with 1¼ cups water.

How to Make Carrot Rice

  • Heat a pan with oil and add cumin, cardamoms, cinnamon and bay leaf.
  • When they begin to splutter, add onions and saute until transparent or golden.
  • Saute ginger garlic paste till the raw smell goes away. Add carrots and saute for one to two minutes. Sprinkle salt and cook till carrot is slightly tender.
  • Add spice powders – chili powder, garam masala and mint or coriander leaves. Stir and saute for a minute for the raw smell of chili powder to go away.
  • Cover and cook on a low heat for 1 to 2 mins.
  • Add cooked and cooled rice and sprinkle very little salt.  
  • Mix everything well and squeeze in some lemon if you like. Taste test and add more salt if needed.
  • Garnish carrot rice with toasted cashews. Serve with a Raita.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Carrot Rice Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 464 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Sodium 50mg2%
Potassium 404mg12%
Carbohydrates 88g29%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 10190IU204%
Vitamin C 8.1mg10%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Carrot Rice Recipe first published in July 2015. Updated and republished in July 2022.

Carrot Rice Recipe (Indian Style)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
So tasty … ? Thank you for the recipe…

If cooking in the Instant Pot, when do you add the spice powders?

5 stars
This carrot rice is my favorite. So easy to make with leftover rice. I add peas and corn to make it more colorful. Thank you.

5 stars
This carrot rice came out beautiful. Used green peas for cashews and little feta for garnish. Turned out excellent.

5 stars
I like to add fried minced beef. It makes a great main meal.

How to make carrot rice recipe – Take a pen and sheet of paper and list down the ingredients first. And then write how to cook. That’s it. 🙂

5 stars
I tried peas and corn pulavu.. It was very nice.. Post more lunch box receipes.. It would be very useful. ..

Looks good will make it tomorrow in Shaa Allah

Thank you for this recipe! I made it for the first time last night and it was absolutely delicious!

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

Thank you very much for this excellent recipe. Your recipes have been a life saver for me here in Germany. Prepared this for dinner and a little extra would suffice as lunch the next day. Used rice cooker for cooking the rice and chopped carrots and it came out very beatiful. Just tweaked your recipe by adding Pepper powder and Coriander powder instead of Chilli and Masala powder. I don’t have the luxury of garnishing as the nearest Indian shop is 80 Kms away. Anyway, I loved this recipe and am trying your Beetroot Pulao very soon. Thank you once again.

Hi swasthi! Made this carrot rice for my son and i for a quick lunch. It was indeed quick and very yummy! I grated the carrots and added few paneer pieces which were just left so it was even more quick ?. my son also enjoyed eating it. Thank u for a nice recipe.

5 stars
Its very tasty. A unique flavour of rice. Never thought that carrot rice would taste so yummy.

In this form at least we eat healthy vegetables.

Looks delicious… will definitely try this tomorrow

5 stars
I made this for dinner tonight and it turned out awesome. Lovely… My husband and my brother loved the recipe…. Thanq for sharing this wonderful, simple and delicious recipe…

I served this along with your kesari rava recipe. This made a wonderful desert…..

3 stars
The carrot rice recipe was really awesome… Mouth watering… I am very new to cooking and this recipe helped me a lot….

Can u pls mention how to prepare the vegetable stir fry coz I am still not aware of that recipe….

Keep rocking swasthii…
Go ahead..
I am ready to follow Ur recipes..