Indian Fried Rice Recipe

Urvashee Patel | Dessarts

Savory Indian fried rice makes an awesome dinner or side dish. Who needs take out?!

Indian Fried Rice Photo

For some reason I have a really hard time estimating how much rice I need to make for a meal. If it’s not enough, that’s a problem. On the other hand, extra rice is a time saver for another day. There are so many ways to turn it into a meal. One of my favorites is fried rice, Gujarati-Indian style or as we call it, vaghaarlo bhaat. This tasty one pot dish works perfectly for lunch or dinner the next day.

To be honest, I think fried rice actually turns out better with leftover rice compared to fresh cooked rice. The rice has had some time to dry out and this makes it easier to stir-fry. The resulting stir-fried grains have a looser, chewier texture.

Indian Fried Rice Picture

Fried rice is a staple item you see on Chinese and Thai menus but it’s typically not on Indian menus. For Gujaratis like myself, it’s a common way to eat leftover rice either as a light lunch or tasty snack. It’s super quick to make when there’s no time to cook. (I probably had it at least once a week for the few busy months after I had my baby!) Indian style fried rice also has a completely different flavor from other Asian fried rice recipes because it has no soy sauce.

I know what you’re thinking. What’s with the tofu right? Tofu is not an ingredient you ever see in Indian food. My tofu addition is where I deviate from Mom’s standard recipe. I’ve added it to this dish for the protein. It takes a little more time to prep but it makes for a more complete meal. It’s optional and if you’re just making this as a side dish, I’d skip it.

Indian Fried Rice Image

Oh and here’s an added bonus incentive to try this recipe. It also uses little oil and has the health benefits of turmeric. So the next time you cook rice, go ahead and make a little extra. Fry it into this tasty dish the next day. You’ll love it. 

Urvashee makes the most divine vegetarian suppers! Don't miss her black bean burgers and baked eggplant parmesan recipe.

Planning a dinner party and need some inspiration?

How about looking for a new slow cooker dinner idea?

We’ve got you covered in our ever-growing Facebook group! If you’re not a member yet, why not?!


We’re chatting cooking techniques, dessert ideas, and everything in between. If you’re already a member, invite your friends to join us too!


Indian Fried Rice Recipe

    4 Servings


  • 7 ounces Firm Tofu, drained
  • 1 tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 2 Whole Cloves
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick, 1" long
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon Asafoetida
  • 1/2 cup Onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Bell Peppers, diced
  • 1 jalapeños Jalapeño, deseeded and minced, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 2 cups Cooked White Rice, day old


  1. Cut the tofu into small cubes. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook the cubes until lightly browned.
  2. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside. Heat the oil in the pan over medium heat.
  3. Heat the cloves, cinnamon stick and cumin in the oil until it begins to brown slightly and become fragrant. Add the asafoetida.
  4. Stir in the garlic, onions, bell pepper and jalapeno (if you want spicy). Cook until the vegetables soften. Add the turmeric.
  5. Stir in the rice, breaking apart any clumps and making sure all the rice is coated with the seasonings.
  6. Salt to taste.
  7. Add the tofu and cook for another 2 minutes while stirring.


Urvashee Patel

About Urvashee

Urvashee blogs about delectable desserts on her blog, Dessarts. Lucky for us, she's sharing her delectable vegetarian dishes too as a Vegetarian Fanatic.

Show Comments