Tandoori Vegetable Fried Rice with Red Chilli and Lime

I like to do a weekly supermarket shop, which means that the day before shopping day is always the one where we eat what we have, and try to minimise waste. I love this “creative day” because I am a huge fan of using up what’s left over, and experimenting with what I already have in my fridge or pantry. Vegetable noodles, curry, pasta and rice are all great options if you want to clear your fridge, and this recipe for Tandoori Fried Rice is an easy bowl of comfort food that you can whip up using leftover rice, vegetables and a few simple spices. You can add chilli and lime for an extra kick, or serve it with plain yoghurt or raita for a fresher taste.

I eat this as a quick lunch or dinner, pile it in to a wrap as the base for a tasty burrito, or serve it with banana raita for the kids’ after school snack. You can use any fresh or frozen vegetables you have, and add as much/little spice as you like. Whatever you do, serve it steaming hot for the ultimate winter warmer.

Tandoori Fried Rice with Chilli and Lime

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

A great way to use up leftover rice


  • 125 g uncooked Basmati rice, or 2 portions of cooked rice
  • 4 tablespoons frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons frozen sweetcorn
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • Handful mixed peppers, sliced
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp tandoori powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • Red chilli, sliced- to serve
  • 1/2 lime- to serve
  • Yoghurt- to serve


1. Rinse the rice and soak it in warm water with a little salt for 15 minutes before cooking. This will speed up the cooking time, and make the rice fluffier
2. While the rice is soaking, prepare your vegetables
3. Cook the rice on medium heat as per the packet instructions
4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a wide, deep pan and add the cumin seeds
5. When hot, add the onions and peppers, with the sugar, cooking for 5-7 minutes, until they start to soften. This will add a sweet, caramalised flavour to the onions
6. Add the remaining vegetables and spices, and cook until soft, usually a further 5 minutes. I always taste the mixture at this stage and add more flavour if needed. It should taste a little extra salty, sweet and spicy before you add the rice, so that there is enough flavour to coat everything when you mix it.
7. Drain the rice and add in to the mixture, stirring gently to keep the grains whole
8. Heat through for a few minutes and serve immediately with chilli, lime and yoghurt

Don’t overcook the rice; I like to leave it ever so slightly al dente so that it doesn’t turn to mush when you mix it in to the vegetables.

Adding spices to oil and cooking them releases their flavour. I sometimes add a whole cinnamon stick to the cooking vegetables, and this releases a warming aroma that gently infuses the dish.

Finely sliced spring onion is also delicious scattered on top just before serving.

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