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Easy Vegan Indian Basmati Rice Recipe


Restaurant-style Indian-flavored basmati rice recipe seasoned with cinnamon, whole cloves and pepper corns and a bay leaf for a flavorful rice side to accompany just about any Indian vegetable dish. Vegetarians and vegans can pair this simple rice dish with Indian-spiced lentils for a basic meal.

This simple Basmati rice recipe is also gluten-free.


  • water for soaking
  • 1 cup basmati rice, uncooked
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or peanut oil
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large onion, chopped thin
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste


Cover rice with water in a small bowl. Allow to soak for 20 minutes.

Over medium heat, warm oil in a sautee pan, and add cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin seeds, cloves and peppercorns. sautee for just 10-15 seconds, then add chopped onions and heat until well cooked, about 6-8 minutes.

Add uncooked rice, and toast for 20-30 seconds, just until lightly browned, then add water and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover, and heat for 15-20 minutes, until rice is cooked through.

Makes three servings of Indian basmati rice.

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