Red, Green, and White Rice – East Indian Tricolor Rice

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A more colorful version of the jeera rice or jeera fried rice, the East Indian tricolor rice is pink/red, green, and white in color. Fragrant and tasty, it’s often eaten for Christmas and other festive occasions!


When you add color to the Indian Jeera rice, you get the beautiful-looking tricolor rice. Often only seen at weddings, festive occasions and sometimes at events, this fragrant and colorful traditional rice definitely adds a splash of color to your plate.

Top view of East Indian green red and white rice in a platter.

Don’t forget to stock the rice congee (the water drained from the rice) to make your hair shiny and give it volume.

What Ingredients do you need to Make Tricolor Rice?

To make a pulao of colored rice or, you’ll need some good quality basmati rice or long-grain white rice. Of course, you can always use regular white rice too. Other ingredients are jeera, coriander leaves, salt, food color, and water. Anise or bay leaves can be used to add flavor to the rice, but are not essential.

How to make Tri Colored Rice?

Cook the Rice and Add the Jeera Tadka

You can use a fluffy long-grain rice such as Basmati rice or Charminar rice. If you’re okay with it, any other good white rice works too.

Cook the rice like you would any normal rice, then make the jeera tadka and add to the rice. The tadka is made by simply adding oil or ghee and jeera (cumin seeds) to a small tadka pan or frying pan and cooking till it starts sputtering. Once ready, this mix is added to the rice and mixed gently with a fork.

The cumin gives the rice a really fragrant aroma, but it’s not an essential part of making colored rice. You can skip the tadka process.

Rice in a sieve.
Boiling water.
Pinch the rice to check if it's cooked.
Draining rice by hand Indian style.
White boiled rice in a pot.
Cooked rice
Cumin and oil in a pot.
Cumin and oil in a pot
Rice with a cumin tadka added.
Add the cumin tadka and mix

Color the Rice

Separate the cooked rice into three parts. Add a few drops of green color to one part and red color to another part. Use a fork to mix. Don’t use a spoon, or the rice will break.

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You can then either mix all the rice together; or line the rice in different colors on a platter and serve. You can sprinkle with some chopped parsley if you like.

Rice with green food color added.
Rice with green food color mixed in.
Rice with red food color added.
Stirring the red color in the cooked rice.
Rice with red color mixed in.
East Indian tricolor green red and white rice in a platter.
Top view of East Indian green red and white rice in a platter.

East Indian Colored Rice – Pink Green and White Rice

Abby
A more colorful version of the jeera rice or jeera fried rice, the East Indian tricolor rice is pink/red, green, and white in color. Fragrant and tasty, it's often eaten for festive occasions.
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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Tadka Time 2 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine East Indian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 352 kcal
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Gluten free icon on Abbysplate website.
No added sugar icon on Abbysplate website.
Rice and Bread icon on Abbysplate website.
Vegetarian icon on Abbysplate website.

Ingredients
  

  • 500 Grams White Rice or Basmati rice
  • 4 Litres Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt

For The Tadka (Optional)

  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin (Jeera)
  • 2 Tablespoon Ghee (Indian clarified butter) or Oil

For Coloring the Rice

  • 0.25 tsp Red Food Color
  • 0.25 tsp Green Food Color

Optional

  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Coriander Leaves

Instructions
 

  • Boil the water with salt in a pot. You can add a few bay leaves for more flavor.
  • Once it starts to boil, add the rice and start cooking. (Note: Unless we're making pulao, we Indians always add extra water so that the excess starch can be drained out later.)
  • Give the rice a couple of stirs after a few minutes so that the grains cook evenly.
  • After 10 mins, pinch two or three grains of rice between your thumb and forefinger. If it breaks well, it's cooked.
  • If it's not ready, cook for a few more minutes.
  • Once the rice has cooked, drain the water and set the rice aside.

Making The Jeera Tadka – This Is Optional and not necessary to make Colored Rice

  • Add the cumin or jeera to a small pan with the ghee. Allow it to fry for a few minutes till it sputters and you get a nice roasty aroma.
  • Add this cooked cumin to the rice and mix well.

Add The Color

  • Separate the rice into three pots.
  • Add pink/red color to one portion and mix gently with a fork.
  • Add green color to one portion and mix gently with a fork.
  • Leave one portion white. Arrange the rice in nice parralel lines on a platter and serve. Or you can mix it all up to get some multi-colored rice.
  • Optionally, sprinkle some chopped fresh coriander on top!

Please click to rate the recipe! Left you don’t like it, right you love it!

Notes

  • You can use long grain white rice or basmati rice.
  • See other rice recipes on abbysplate.com
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Stuff You Might Want to Use

6 Piece Stainless Steel Cookware Set
Stainless Steel Spoon
Sieve
Bay Leaves
Cumin
Tadka Pan

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 352kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 388mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 17IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

This printable recipe card is for home use only. For more recipes head over to AbbysPlate.com

Cooking Tips Or Tricks

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Strips of green red and white rice in a platter.

What to serve with Pink Green White fried rice?

This East Indian colored rice goes well with almost everything, but it’s usually served for Christmas or festive occasions along with spicy vindaloo, sorpotel, mutton or chicken khudi, chicken roast, duck moile, or tongue roast, and much more.

If you want our traditional East Indian recipes on hand, the Abby's Plate Cookbook Series books are available online or in-store in most countries.

Latest Book:
East Indian Celebration
Festive Recipes from Abby's Plate


See the full list of books here!

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Pinterest image of green red and white rice in a platter.
Pinterest image of green red and white rice in a platter.
Pinterest image of green red and white rice in a platter.

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