Quick and Easy Indian Fried Rice (Vagharelo Bhaat)


For most of my life, my dad only knew how to make two things: Chai and fried rice (Indian style). Now he makes many delicious recipes but his Indian fried rice is still a favorite. I always think of him when I make fried rice because when my mom was gone he would make fried rice from leftover rice in the refrigerator.

Fried rice is a great way to reheat rice, completely transforming the leftover rice into a delicious meal. It uses very little oil so it is still pretty healthy, and best of all, it only takes 10 minutes.


Fried rice in a white bowl with cilantro and a jalapeno pepper next to the bowl

Indian Fried Rice

4 from 3 votes
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Keyword: Indian fried rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 131kcal


  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 onion roughly diced
  • 1 tsp chopped green chili or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cups cooked rice I use Basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder or to taste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cilantro chopped


  • Heat oil in a pan until it shimmers. Toss in the cumin seeds and let cook for about 15 seconds. Toss in the onion and green chili. Stir. Add a little salt and cook until the onions are soft, stirring every couple minutes.
  • Add rice, water, chili powder, turmeric and stir.
  • Cook until rice is heated through.


Serving: 85g | Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 47mg | Vitamin A: 50IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.5mg


    1. Thanks Hari! So glad you like the color. I try to display the vibrant colors and textures of India in my food set ups. It’s a work in progress as I try to figure out the right balance. 🙂

  1. this was fabulous. My son is newly vegetarian and we are learning as we go. Yum. I also have been soaking my rice prior to cooking as you recommend. It is beautiful and fluffy. well done!

  2. Just done your Indian fried rice but with dried chilli flakes, used some defrosted rice from last week, everyone loved it, thanks for your recipes .

  3. Hi Puja. This is my “goto” recipe for left over steamed basmati rice for 2+ years now. I make it just as you describe above, although I like to stir through pinch of white pepper powder just after turning of the heat. I’m currently eating it on it’s own while watching Game of Thrones re-runs! 🙂

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