Skip to content

Transform Your Leftover Rice with These Indian Recipes

There is a special charm in reimagining and repurposing leftover rice into delectable Indian dishes, full of rich flavors and tantalizing aromas. Becoming skilled in creating these recipes not only serves as a testament to your culinary prowess, but also helps in reducing food waste and making the most of your pantry staples. In this journey, we will dive into the world of Indian spices, techniques, and mouthwatering dishes that breathe new life into leftover rice, taking you one step closer to becoming an adept cook in this scrumptious, time-tested cuisine.

Understanding Leftover Rice

Understanding Leftover Rice

Leftover rice has a unique texture and consistency that makes it perfect for a variety of Indian recipes. When cooked rice cools down, the starch in the rice undergoes a process called retrogradation, which changes its texture, making it slightly firmer and drier than freshly cooked rice. This characteristic, along with its slight nutty flavor, allows the rice to absorb and meld with the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish without turning mushy.

Why Leftover Rice Is Suitable for Indian Recipes

Indian cuisine consists of an array of flavorful and aromatic spices, which can be easily absorbed by leftover rice. Furthermore, many Indian dishes require a slightly dry and firm texture, which freshly cooked rice cannot provide. Therefore, using leftover rice in Indian recipes gives you the opportunity to create delicious, authentic dishes that taste even better as the flavors meld together.

Some popular Indian dishes that work well with leftover rice include:

  • Fried Rice: Indian-style fried rice, also known as “Pulao” or “Biryani,” is a classic dish that combines leftover rice with a variety of vegetables, spices, and sometimes protein, such as chicken or paneer.
  • Rice Pancakes: A popular South Indian dish called “Uthappam” uses a fermented rice batter to create thick, savory pancakes, which can easily be adapted to use leftover rice instead of raw rice.
  • Rice Balls: In some regional Indian cuisines, leftover rice is mixed with spices and other ingredients to create rice balls or “Kozhukattai.” These can be steamed or fried and are enjoyed as a snack or appetizer.
  • Rice Pudding: “Kheer” or “Phirni” are traditional Indian rice puddings made by slow-cooking the rice with milk, sugar, and fragrant spices like cardamom and saffron. Leftover rice can be used in place of raw rice for a quicker version of these sweet treats.
Storing and Handling Leftover Rice Safely

To ensure that your leftover rice remains safe to eat and maintains its quality, follow these guidelines:

  1. Cool the rice quickly: Place the freshly cooked rice in a shallow container to allow even cooling, and avoid stacking too much rice on top of each other. It’s essential to cool the rice within two hours to minimize the risk of bacterial growth.
  2. Store in an airtight container: Once the rice has completely cooled, transfer it to an airtight container to keep it fresh and prevent it from drying out.
  3. Refrigerate promptly: Place the container in the fridge as soon as possible to maintain its freshness. Leftover rice can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  4. Reheat thoroughly: When you’re ready to use your leftover rice, ensure that you reheat it thoroughly, either in a microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. Ensure that the rice reaches a temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to kill any potential bacteria.
  5. Avoid reheating more than once: Once you’ve reheated leftover rice, it’s best to consume it immediately. Reheating multiple times increases the risk of bacterial growth and decreases the overall quality of the rice.

By understanding the characteristics of leftover rice and storing and handling it safely, you can create delicious and authentic Indian dishes that maximize flavor and minimize waste.

A plate of Indian rice with vegetables and spices.

Introduction to Indian Spices


Indian cuisine is known for its bold flavors, vibrant colors, and the incredible variety of spices used in its dishes. Leftover rice is a common item in most households and can easily be transformed into a delicious Indian treat by using the right spices. In this guide, we will introduce you to some of the most commonly used Indian spices and their health benefits, helping you recreate the mouthwatering flavors of India in your own kitchen.


Cumin, or jeera, is one of the most common spices used in Indian cooking. Its earthy, warm, and slightly bitter taste adds depth and complexity to dishes. Roasting cumin seeds until they release their aroma enhances their flavor.

Cumin seeds are well-known for their medicinal properties, including aiding digestion, improving immunity, and providing relief from symptoms of bloating and gas.

To use cumin in a leftover rice recipe, you can dry roast the seeds in a pan and then add them while cooking the rice with other spices.

Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds, or rai, are another staple spice in Indian cuisine. They come in three varieties – black, brown, and yellow. Black and brown mustard seeds are commonly used in Indian recipes, while yellow mustard seeds are more commonly used in Western dishes.

When cooked, mustard seeds release a pungent and slightly nutty flavor. They’re often used in the tempering process, known as tadka, where spices are fried in hot oil or ghee to release their flavors before being added to the main dish.

Mustard seeds are rich in antioxidant compounds, fiber, and minerals like selenium and magnesium, which contribute to their health benefits such as improved digestion and heart health.

For a leftover rice dish with an Indian twist, you can use mustard seeds as part of the tadka, frying them with other spices and then mixing this into the rice.


Turmeric, or haldi, is an essential spice in Indian cooking known for its vibrant yellow color and earthy, slightly bitter taste. It is used in a wide variety of dishes, both savory and sweet.

The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which have been linked to numerous health benefits, including pain relief, improved brain function, and cancer prevention.

Turmeric can be added directly to your leftover rice when cooking to give it a vibrant color and a distinct Indian flavor. Start with a small amount and adjust as per your preference. You can also mix it with other spices such as cumin and mustard seeds for a more robust flavor.

Other Spices to Consider

While cumin, mustard seeds, and turmeric are some of the most common spices used in Indian leftover rice recipes, there are many other spices you can use to add unique and exciting flavors to your dish. Here are a few more to explore:

  1. Coriander seeds: A mild and slightly sweet spice that complements cumin well.
  2. Cardamom: A fragrant spice with a sweet and slightly spicy flavor, often used in rice dishes and desserts.
  3. Cloves: Strong and warm, cloves add depth and warmth to any dish.
  4. Cinnamon: Widely used in Indian cooking for its sweet and warming taste.
  5. Fennel seeds: An aromatic spice with a sweet, licorice-like taste.

With this introduction to Indian spices, you’re now prepared to create delicious and flavorful leftover rice dishes inspired by Indian cuisine. Experiment with these spices to create new and exciting flavor combinations that you and your family will love. Happy cooking!

Assorted Indian Spices

Tadka Technique

Introduction to Tadka Technique

Tadka, also known as tempering, is an essential technique used in numerous Indian recipes, particularly when preparing dishes with leftover rice. The process involves frying spices in oil or ghee (clarified butter) to release their flavors and enhance the overall taste of the dish. By mastering the tadka technique, you’ll add new dimensions to your ongoing culinary journey with Indian cuisine.

Ingredients Needed for Tadka
  • Oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Cumin seeds
  • Asafoetida (hing) – optional but recommended
  • Curry leaves
  • Dried red chilies or green chilies
  • Chopped garlic or ginger
  • Chopped onions
  • Turmeric powder
  • Red chili powder or paprika

These ingredients can vary based on the recipe and regional variations, but the process of tadka remains consistent.

Step-by-Step Tadka Technique

Follow these steps to perfect the tadka technique for your leftover rice Indian recipes:

  1. Preparation: Measure out all the ingredients required for the tadka, as everything needs to be ready when preparing the tempering. Chop the garlic, ginger, and onions, if necessary.
  2. Heat the Oil or Ghee: In a small pan or skillet, heat the oil or ghee over medium heat. It’s crucial to choose the right cooking fat, as oil and ghee have distinct flavors that can influence the taste of the dish. Ghee, however, has a higher smoke point, making it a better option for frying spices in some cases.
  3. Add the Mustard and Cumin Seeds: Once the oil or ghee is hot, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds to the pan. Allow them to sizzle and pop for a few seconds. The seeds will release their flavors when they start to pop, so be cautious not to burn them.
  4. Add Asafoetida and Curry Leaves: Next, add a pinch of asafoetida (hing) and a few curry leaves to the pan. Be cautious when adding the curry leaves, as they may cause the oil to splutter.
  5. Add the Chilies and Aromatics: Add the dried red chilies or green chilies to the pan, followed by the chopped garlic and ginger. Fry until the garlic turns light golden brown.
  6. Add the Onions: If your recipe calls for onions, add them to the pan now and sauté until they become translucent and slightly golden.
  7. Add the Powdered Spices: Lower the heat and add turmeric powder and red chili powder or paprika to the pan. Cook for a few seconds to let the spices release their flavors but be cautious not to burn them.
  8. Combine with Leftover Rice or Other Ingredients: Your tadka is now ready. You can either pour the tempered spices, along with the oil or ghee, over the leftover rice or other main dish ingredients or mix the rice into the pan with the tadka and stir well to combine everything.
  9. Garnish and Serve: Garnish your dish with chopped fresh cilantro or any other desired toppings and serve hot.

By following this tadka technique, you’ll soon be able to enhance your Indian leftover rice dishes with rich flavors and aromatic spices. Enjoy experimenting with different spice combinations and regional variations for even more tasty adventures!

A pan with spices being fried in oil, representing tadka technique.

Tawa Pulao


Tawa Pulao is a popular Mumbai street food dish made from leftover rice, vegetables, and a mix of pav bhaji spices. This dish is a delicious and easy way to use up leftover rice, making it a perfect choice for enthusiasts and hobbyists who are looking to learn new Indian recipes. Here is a step-by-step guide to making your very own Tawa Pulao at home.

  • 4 cups cooked rice (preferably leftover rice)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (for garnishing)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoons pav bhaji masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your preference)
  • Salt to taste
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients

Before you start cooking, ensure that all your ingredients are prepped. Chop the onion, tomato, and green bell pepper. If you’re using frozen peas, thaw them before use. If you are using fresh peas, ensure they are cooked before adding them to the dish.

Step 2: Heat the oil or butter

In a large non-stick skillet or tawa, heat the vegetable oil or butter over medium heat. The traditional method uses a tawa (a large, flat, and circular pan), but a non-stick skillet will work just as well.

Step 3: Sauté onions

Add the chopped onion to the heated oil or butter and sauté until they become soft and translucent. This usually takes about 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Add ginger-garlic paste

Add the ginger-garlic paste to the onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell of the ginger and garlic disappears.

Step 5: Add tomatoes and cook

Add the chopped tomatoes to the onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes become soft and easily mashable.

Step 6: Add spices

To the tomato-onion mixture, add the pav bhaji masala, turmeric powder, and red chili powder. Cook this mixture for 2-3 minutes so the spices blend well with the vegetables.

Step 7: Add vegetables

Add the chopped green bell pepper and cooked peas to the pan. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 8: Mix rice with the vegetables

Gently mix the cooked rice into the vegetable-spice mixture. Make sure the rice grains are evenly coated with the spices, tomatoes, and onions.

Step 9: Season and cook

Add salt to taste, cover the pan, and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes. This will help the flavors to blend together and absorb into the rice.

Step 10: Garnish and serve

Finally, garnish the Tawa Pulao with chopped cilantro and serve hot. You can enjoy Tawa Pulao as a complete meal on its own or pair it with yogurt or raita for a refreshing contrast of flavors.

A delicious and colorful plate of Tawa Pulao

Fried Rice


Indian-style fried rice, also known as “Pulao” or “Pilaf,” is a versatile and flavorful dish that can bring new life to your leftover rice. This easy-to-follow recipe combines aromatic spices, colorful vegetables, and options for protein like chicken or paneer to create a delicious and satisfying meal.

  • 2 cups leftover cooked rice (preferably Basmati)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable, canola, or coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed vegetables (such as carrots, peas, bell peppers, and corn)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews or almonds (optional)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or paprika (adjust according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

For protein (choose one of the following):

  • 1 cup cooked and shredded chicken
  • 1 cup diced paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
  1. Prep the ingredients. Chop the onions, mixed vegetables, and cilantro, and mince the ginger and garlic. Measure out your spices and have them ready to go.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat.
  3. Cook cumin seeds and onions. Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few minutes until fragrant. Be careful not to let them burn. Add the chopped onions and cook until they are soft and lightly golden.
  4. Add the vegetables and cashews (optional). Stir in your choice of mixed vegetables, along with cashews or almonds if using. Cook for around 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Add the ginger, garlic, and spices. Mix in the minced ginger and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until aromatic. Add the turmeric, red chili powder or paprika, and garam masala. Stir well to combine and cook the spices for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add protein, rice, and seasonings. If you are using chicken or paneer, add it to the skillet at this point. Stir in the leftover cooked rice, breaking any lumps with the back of a spatula. Add salt to taste and mix everything together.
  7. Garnish and serve. Cook the rice mixture for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is well combined and heated through. Remove from heat, and garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions if desired. Serve your Indian-style fried rice hot with yogurt or your favorite chutney.
Alternate methods and variations
  • You can prepare this recipe with freshly cooked rice, but make sure to spread the rice on a pan or plate and let it cool for about 20-30 minutes before using it in the recipe to avoid stickiness.
  • If you prefer, swap out the vegetables with your favorite seasonal veggies like beans, zucchini, or cauliflower.
  • To make this dish vegan, simply replace the chicken or paneer with tofu or chickpeas.
  • For a spicier version of this rice, add some chopped green chilies or increase the amount of red chili powder to suit your taste.

A plate of Indian-style fried rice with chopped vegetables and spices, garnished with cilantro and green onions.

Lemon Rice

  • 4 cups cooked leftover rice
  • 3 tablespoons oil (vegetable, coconut, or canola)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (split, dehusked black gram lentils, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (split chickpeas, optional)
  • 14-15 curry leaves
  • 2-3 green chilies, slit lengthwise
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup unsalted roasted peanuts or cashews
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  1. Ensure that the cooked leftover rice is free of clumps. You can do this by spreading it out on a plate or a tray and lightly fluffing it with a fork.
  2. In a large pan or skillet, heat oil over medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds. If using urad dal and chana dal, add them to the pan as well. Sauté the dals until they turn golden brown.
  3. Add the curry leaves and green chilies to the pan. Sauté for a few seconds until the leaves become fragrant and the chilies change color.
  4. Add the turmeric powder to the pan, stir well, and cook for a few more seconds. Mix it in with the other ingredients to prevent it from burning.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, and add the cooked leftover rice to the pan. Gently mix the rice with the spices until evenly coated.
  6. Season the rice with salt according to your taste. Cook the rice for a couple of minutes, allowing it to heat through and absorb the flavors of the spices.
  7. Turn off the heat and mix in the fresh lemon juice. Adjust the amount of lemon juice based on your taste preference.
  8. Stir in the roasted peanuts or cashews and chopped cilantro.
  9. Serve warm, and enjoy your zesty and colorful Lemon Rice!

This Lemon Rice recipe is perfect for repurposing leftover rice into a delicious and refreshing meal. The blend of spices, fresh lemon juice, and garnishes creates a flavorful dish that can be enjoyed on its own or with additional side dishes. Feel free to adjust the spice levels based on your personal preference, and enjoy the tastes of India in your homemade Lemon Rice creation.

A photo of a plate with lemon rice, accompanied with cilantro and peanuts.

Curd Rice


Curd Rice, also known as “Thayir Sadam” in Tamil and “Daddojanam” in Telugu, is a cherished South Indian comfort food, made from cooling yogurt, leftover rice, and flavorful spices. It is a popular dish in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Andhra Pradesh, often served during summer months or as a soothing meal after spicy dishes. Additionally, it is simple and quick to prepare, making it an ideal meal for enthusiasts or hobbyists. Follow these instructions to enjoy a delicious homemade Curd Rice.

  • 2 cups cooked rice (leftover is ideal)
  • 2 cups plain yogurt, preferably a bit sour
  • 1/2 cup milk (optional, for a creamier texture)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon split urad dal (black lentils)
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/2-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 10 curry leaves
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • 1/2 cup grated or finely chopped cucumber/carrot (optional, for added crunch)

1. Mash the rice

Place the cooked rice in a large mixing bowl and lightly mash it with the back of a spoon or with your fingers. This will help the rice absorb the yogurt and blend seamlessly with other ingredients.

2. Add yogurt and milk

Add 2 cups of yogurt to the rice. To make the Curd Rice creamier, you can also add 1/2 cup of milk at this stage. Mix all the ingredients well until the rice becomes uniformly coated with yogurt. Set aside.

3. Prepare the tadka

In a small saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds and 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (optional). Stir and allow the mustard seeds to start crackling and cumin seeds to become fragrant.

4. Add lentils, chilies, ginger, and curry leaves

Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add 1 teaspoon split urad dal and cook until the lentils turn golden brown. Be careful not to let them burn, as it will make the dish taste bitter.

Next, add 2 finely chopped green chilies, grated ginger, and 10 curry leaves. Stir everything and cook for about 30 seconds.

5. Add asafoetida and remove from heat

Now, add a pinch of asafoetida (hing) to the saucepan and immediately remove it from the heat. Asafoetida burns quickly, so be sure to remove the pan from the heat source once it has been added.

6. Mix the tadka with yogurt rice

Carefully pour the tadka (tempering) over the yogurt rice mixture. Using a spoon, mix everything thoroughly, ensuring that the rice is evenly coated with the spices.

7. Add the finishing touches

For added crunch, you can mix in 1/2 cup of grated or finely chopped cucumber or carrot. Finally, mix in 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) and adjust the salt to taste.

8. Let it rest

Allow the Curd Rice to sit for about 15-20 minutes, enabling the flavors to meld together and penetrate the rice. Then, give it a gentle stir before serving.

9. Serve and enjoy

Serve the Curd Rice at room temperature or slightly chilled, accompanied by your favorite pickles or papadums. Enjoy this comforting, cooling, and delicious South Indian dish. Note that it is best enjoyed within one day of making, as some of the ingredients like curry leaves and yogurt may spoil if kept too long.

A white bowl of curd rice topped with cilantro leaves and a single red chili on a white surface

Kala Chana Biryani


Kala Chana Biryani is a delicious and aromatic Indian dish that makes efficient use of leftover rice and features protein-rich black chickpeas (kala chana) cooked in a medley of flavorful Indian spices. As a vegetarian and easy-to-make dish, Kala Chana Biryani can be enjoyed at any time of the day as a main meal or even as a tasty side dish.

Follow these simple instructions and enjoy the mouthwatering taste of Kala Chana Biryani at your own dinner table.

  • 2 cups cooked rice (leftover rice works well)
  • 1 cup black chickpeas (kala chana), soaked overnight and boiled
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Salt, to taste
  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Cook for about 30 seconds until they begin to crackle.
  2. Add the chopped onions and green chilies to the saucepan, stirring occasionally, and cook until the onions turn golden brown.
  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste to the saucepan and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the raw smell of the paste disappears.
  4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft and well-cooked.
  5. Mix the boiled black chickpeas (kala chana) into the saucepan, and add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Slowly add the yogurt to the saucepan while stirring, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Gently stir in the cooked rice with the spiced kala chana mixture, ensuring the rice is well-coated with the spices.
  8. Add garam masala to the mixture, followed by the chopped mint and cilantro leaves. Gently mix everything together.
  9. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let it simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes, allowing the flavors to infuse into the rice.
  10. Turn off the heat, and let the Kala Chana Biryani rest for a few minutes before transferring it to a serving platter.

Serve your delicious Kala Chana Biryani hot with raita, yogurt, or your favorite Indian pickle, and enjoy the flavors of this wholesome and delightful Indian dish.

A plate of Kala Chana Biryani, with fluffy rice mixed with black chickpeas and garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.

Egg Rice

  • 2 cups leftover rice
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup green peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
  • 2 green chilies, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  • Salt, to taste
Step 1: Prepare the ingredients
  • Chop the onion, tomato, carrot, bell pepper, green chilies, and cilantro.
  • Thaw the green peas if using frozen ones.
  • Whisk the eggs in a bowl and set them aside.
Step 2: Cook the vegetables
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Add the cumin seeds and let them splutter for few seconds.
  • Add the chopped onions and sauté them for 3-4 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
  • Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes to remove the raw smell.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, green peas, carrots, and bell pepper to the pan.
  • Stir well and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked but still have a crunch.
Step 3: Add the spices and rice
  • Add turmeric powder, garam masala, red chili powder (optional), and green chilies (optional) to the pan.
  • Stir well to ensure all the vegetables are evenly coated in the spices.
  • Add the cooked leftover rice to the pan and mix it well with the vegetables and spices.
  • Season with salt to taste and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Step 4: Scramble the eggs
  • In a separate non-stick pan, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Pour the whisked eggs into the pan and let them cook for a few seconds without stirring.
  • Gently stir the eggs, breaking them into small pieces as they cook.
  • Continue cooking and stirring until the eggs are fully cooked and have a soft, scrambled consistency.
Step 5: Combine the rice and eggs
  • Add the scrambled eggs to the pan with the rice and vegetables, mixing well to combine.
Step 6: Garnish and serve
  • Remove the pan from the heat and gently stir in the chopped cilantro.
  • Transfer the Egg Rice to a serving dish and enjoy it as a delicious, quick, and satisfying meal.

A colorful and aromatic plate of Indian-style egg rice with mixed vegetables.

Schezwan Fried Rice

Schezwan Fried Rice Recipe

Schezwan Fried Rice is a delicious Indo-Chinese dish that combines leftover rice, fresh vegetables, and a spicy Schezwan sauce. This easy and quick recipe is perfect for those who love bold and spicy flavors. Here’s how to make it at home:

  • 3 cups cooked leftover rice, preferably a day old
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced bell peppers (preferably a mix of red, green and yellow)
  • 1/2 cup green peas, thawed if frozen
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 1/4 cup Schezwan sauce (store-bought or homemade)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • Salt, if needed
  • 2-3 spring onions, chopped for garnish
  1. Prep the ingredients: Make sure your leftover rice has been stored in the refrigerator and is cold. This helps to prevent it from becoming mushy when you fry it. Chop your vegetables and set them aside.
  2. Heat the oil: In a large wok or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook onion and garlic: Add the chopped onion to the hot oil and sauté until it becomes soft and translucent. Next, add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
  4. Cook vegetables: Add the diced carrots, bell peppers, green peas, and chopped green chilies to the pan. Stir-fry the vegetables until they are crisp-tender – about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the Schezwan sauce: Add the Schezwan sauce to the stir-fried vegetables, mixing well to coat all the ingredients. Cook for another minute.
  6. Stir in the rice: Add the cold, cooked rice to the vegetable mixture in the pan. Stir and toss the rice until it is well-coated in the Schezwan sauce and any clumps are broken up.
  7. Season your fried rice: Drizzle soy sauce over the rice and toss well to blend the flavors evenly. Taste your fried rice and add salt, if needed. Keep in mind that the Schezwan sauce and soy sauce can be salty, so add salt accordingly. Add freshly ground black pepper and give everything one last good mix.
  8. Garnish and serve: Transfer the Schezwan Fried Rice to a serving bowl or plate. Garnish with chopped spring onions. Serve hot and enjoy your delicious, spicy meal!

Optional: You may also add scrambled eggs, cooked shrimp, or diced cooked chicken for a non-vegetarian version of Schezwan Fried Rice.

Now you know how to make Schezwan Fried Rice at home! Enjoy this spicy and flavorful Indo-Chinese dish made from leftover rice whenever you desire a quick and satisfying meal.

A plate full of Schezwan Fried Rice, a colourful dish made with rice, vegetables, and a spicy Schezwan sauce.



Poha is a popular Indian breakfast dish made from flattened rice, also known as beaten rice. This light and flavorful dish is easy to make and can be customized with various spices and vegetables. It’s a perfect way to use leftover rice and create a nutritious and delicious meal. In this guide, you will learn how to make Poha with step-by-step instructions.

  • 2 cups flattened rice (poha)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato
  • 1/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 green chilies, chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional, adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts or cashews (optional)
  • 1 lemon wedge for garnishing
  • Sev or bhujia, for garnish (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the flattened rice

  1. Place the flattened rice (poha) in a large bowl and rinse it under cold water, making sure not to over saturate it.
  2. Drain the water using a sieve or colander and set aside for 10-15 minutes to let the poha absorb the moisture and become soft

Step 2: Heat the oil and add spices

  1. In a large pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, and let them crackle for a few seconds.
  3. Throw in chopped green chilies and curry leaves, and sauté them for 30-45 seconds.

Step 3: Add onions and other vegetables

  1. Add the chopped onion to the pan, and sauté until they become translucent and slightly golden.
  2. Stir in the chopped tomato, carrot, and bell pepper, cooking until the vegetables are slightly softened.

Step 4: Season the dish

  1. Add the turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder (if using), and sugar (if using) to the vegetables. Mix well and cook for a minute or two until the spices are well incorporated.

Step 5: Combine the poha with the spiced vegetables

  1. Gently stir in the softened poha into the vegetable mixture, making sure not to break the rice flakes.
  2. Cook the poha for 3-4 minutes, allowing it to absorb the flavors from the spices and vegetables.

Step 6: Add the finishing touches

  1. If using peanuts or cashews, toss them into the poha, and mix well.
  2. Turn off the heat and stir in chopped cilantro (coriander) leaves.

Step 7: Serve and enjoy

  1. Transfer the prepared poha to a serving plate and garnish with a lemon wedge.
  2. You can also top it with sev or bhujia for added crunch and flavor if desired.
  3. Serve hot and enjoy your delicious and light Indian breakfast!

Feel free to customize your poha with different vegetables and spices according to your preferences, and enjoy exploring the world of Indian cuisine through this simple and satisfying dish!

A plate of yellow poha topped with green cilantro and lemon wedges ready to be served for breakfast.

Trying Other Variations and Recipes

Explore Different Indian Rice Recipes
Lemon Rice

Transform your leftover rice into a tangy and flavorful dish by introducing lemon juice and a mixture of spices. Here’s how:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon of chana dal, 1 teaspoon of urad dal, and a pinch of asafoetida. Fry for a few seconds until the mustard seeds start to pop.
  • Add 1 or 2 finely chopped green chilies and a few curry leaves.
  • Stir in your leftover rice.
  • Add salt, turmeric powder, and the juice of one lemon.
  • Gently mix and cook for a few minutes until everything is well-combined.
Fried Rice

Give your leftover rice an Indian twist with this delicious fried rice recipe:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Stir in one chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers, 1/2 cup chopped carrots, 1/2 cup chopped green beans, and 1/2 cup green peas. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add your leftover rice, salt, black pepper, and 1 teaspoon of garam masala.
  • Mix everything well and cook for an additional 5 minutes to heat the rice through.
Mushroom & Spinach Rice

Combine leftover rice with nutritious mushrooms and spinach for a healthy and satisfying meal:

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan.
  • Add 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped tomato. Cook until they become soft and tender.
  • Stir in 1/2 pound of sliced mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of chopped spinach along with salt and 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder.
  • Cook for another 5 minutes until the spinach wilts.
  • Stir in your leftover rice until everything is well-combined and heated through.

Indian cuisine is known for its rich blend of spices. Experiment by adding different spices to your leftover rice, such as cumin, coriander, cardamom, mustard seeds, curry leaves, or cloves.

Give your leftover rice a protein boost by adding cooked chicken, shrimp, paneer (cottage cheese), or even chickpeas or lentils along with your favorite spices and vegetables.

Toast some cashews, peanuts, or almonds in a bit of oil and mix them into your rice for added texture and flavor.

Add fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, or basil to create new and exciting flavor profiles in your leftover rice recipes. Also, experiment with a variety of vegetables such as green beans, carrots, peas, zucchini, or even potatoes.

For a completely new spin on your leftover rice, mix in some Indian sauces or chutneys like spicy chili sauce, sweet mango chutney, or tangy raita (yogurt sauce).

A plate of Indian rice, with various herbs and spices, cooked vegetables, and other ingredients mixed in.

By embracing the delightful adventure of leftover rice Indian dishes, you not only expand your culinary skills and knowledge but also contribute to a sustainable and waste-free kitchen. As you continue to explore the fascinating world of Indian cuisine, always remember to experiment, innovate, and enjoy the process, as the true essence of cooking lies in the joy of sharing your unique creations with loved ones. So go ahead, gather your spices, and let your culinary journey through the vibrant and flavorful world of Indian cuisine begin!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *