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A simple rice recipe redolent with the irresistible aroma of burnt garlic. Perfect for busy weeknights!

The Burnt Garlic Rice is the simplest rice dish that I can think of. It features frequently on our dinner table not just because of its sheer simplicity but also because of its distinct flavors. 

The burnt garlic imparts a unique aroma to an otherwise plain rice dish, taking it to a whole new level of taste. 

I like to make fried rice with leftover rice because it ends up being fluffier than freshly cooked rice. Also, it is a great way of using leftover rice and give it an interesting facelift.

Like all the other rice recipes on my blog, this one too is simple and requires very few ingredients. This is a great dinner fix for busy nights.

Here are some more rice recipes you can make using leftover rice - Egg Fried Rice and Scallion Rice.


There are multiple versions of burnt garlic rice of which I think the Chinese version loaded with veggies is the most popular one but this one is my version. Unlike the popular version, this does not have veggies which makes it quick and easy to make. 

The recipe is very similar to that of Jeera rice but the addition of burnt garlic gives it a different taste.

It goes well with almost everything, right from baked fish to spicy vegetarian or non-vegetarian dishes. It goes especially well with Indo-Chinese recipes like Chili Chicken, Chili Fish, Oyster Chicken, Gobi Manchurian, etc.

I am sure if you make it once, you will make it again and again. Some recipes are for keeps, this is surely one.


Here is what you need to make this recipe:

Cooked Rice - You can use basmati, jasmine, or any long-grained white rice.

Garlic - This is the star of the recipe, we need minced fresh garlic for this recipe.

Onion - We will also need some chopped white onion to give some texture to the rice. You may also use chopped scallions instead of onion.

Spices and condiments - Cumin seeds, bay leaf, whole peppercorns, salt, and sugar.

Oil & Butter for cooking.

Chopped cilantro for garnishing. This is optional.


The recipe is as easy as it can get. Anyone can make it. If you are a newbie in the kitchen, this is something you can make and surprise your family.

Heat oil in a pan and temper with bay leaf, whole peppercorns, and cumin seeds.

Saute the minced garlic till fragrant with a golden brown hue.

Add the chopped onion, salt, and sugar followed by the cooked rice. Toss everything together. Add some butter at this stage for glazing and richness.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and fluff with a fork. Serve hot.


Toss in some vegetables, chopped green chilies, and soy sauce for the perfect Chinese Burnt garlic fried rice. Finish off with some chopped green onion.

Toss in some sprouts, broccoli florets, and snap peas for a bowl of healthy veggie rice. Finish off with some toasted sesame oil for a rich Oriental flavor.

Add some spicy schezwan sauce to this rice for a hot and spicy fried rice.

Add some chopped bell peppers (red and green) and some chopped pineapples for a Pineapple fried rice.

Toss in some fried button mushroom, shitake mushroom, and chili flakes for Mushroom rice.

You can easily convert it to non-vegetarian fried rice by adding some eggs, shrimps, chicken, or meat.

For a healthier alternative use brown rice. 

For a vegan alternative, use finely minced cauliflower for the popular cauliflower rice.


Is this a vegan recipe?

For a vegan recipe, skip the butter. You can spoon in few drops of toasted sesame oil instead.

Can I use freshly cooked rice?

Burnt garlic rice is a great way to use leftovers but that should not stop you from using freshly cooked rice. I would suggest cooling the rice completely before making this rice recipe.


Does Rice have to be cold to make this rice?


Burnt Garlic rice tastes best if the rice grains are non-sticky and the overall texture is flaky. To achieve that, it is best to use leftover rice which is drier than freshly cooked rice. If however, you intend to use freshly cooked rice, I recommend to let the rice rest in a refrigerator for at least an hour before proceeding to make this rice recipe.


What kind of rice can I use to make this rice?


Burnt Garlic rice can be made with plain white rice, long-grain rice like basmati or jasmine rice. If you want, you can also make this with brown rice but honestly white rice is best suited for this recipe.


How can I keep my rice from getting mushy?


If you keep cooked rice in the refrigerator, it helps in firming up the rice which ensures that your fried rice will be nice and fluffy. If you don't have leftover rice, keep freshly cooked rice in the refrigerator for a few hours before cooking. 


Egg fried rice tastes great on its own. It also goes well with spicy to moderately spicy curries, stir-fries, and baked dishes. Looking for recipes to serve this with. Here are some recipes that you can try:

  1. Chicken in oyster sauce
  2. Ginger and scallion fish
  3. Royal chicken
  4. Indian chicken curry
  5. Sunday mutton curry
  6. Egg masala
  7. Chicken in yogurt sauce
  8. Murgh Lababdar
  9. Gobi Manchurian 
  10. Thai Red Curry Fish


Cool the fried rice and transfer into an airtight storage container or ziplock plastic bag and then store it in the refrigerator. I recommend consuming stored fried rice within 2-3 days.



Yield: 3
Author: The GradChef
Prep time: 5 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 15 M
A simple rice recipe redolent with the irresistible aroma of burnt garlic. Perfect for busy weeknights!


  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 crushed peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • salt to taste
  • sugar to taste
  • a handful of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a pan and temper with bay leaf, whole peppercorns, and cumin seeds.
  2. Add the minced garlic and saute till fragrant with a golden brown hue.
  3. Add the chopped onion, salt, and sugar followed by the cooked rice. Toss everything together.
  4. Add some butter for glazing and richness (optional).
  5. Garnish with chopped cilantro and fluff with a fork.
  6. Serve hot.


  • You can skip the onion if you want to keep it simpler.
  • You can use jasmine rice instead of basmati rice, cooking time may vary in that case.
  • You can add some chopped green chilies for heat.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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