Basmati Rice with Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry

This Basmati Rice with Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry is a great side dish for chicken and pork or for me…it’s just dinner!

Basmati Rice with Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry

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I love dishes flavored with curry but admit that for many years thought curry was a singular spice, like cloves or nutmeg. I learned several years ago that curry is really a blend of spices that comprised what I bought in that red and white can from the supermarket.

Enter Savory Spice Shop. This has been my own personal magical kingdom. Meeting friends for high tea a couple of years ago in downtown Littleton, CO, one said she wanted to visit a new spice shop that had opened down the street. The entire group of us decided to walk down and check it out and much like a bakery, we knew we were in the vicinity with our sense of smell before any of us actually saw the shop door!

I’ve since discovered the tastes of different cinnamons and sugars and salts and yes…curries. I’ve made Japanese Curry using their Medium Yellow Curry which is a blend of coriander, turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, anise, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, yellow mustard, mace and cardomom (who knew?) and use their Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry for one of their recipes I love – Lemon Curry Corn Fritters!

I was having company for dinner sort of last minute last night so had no time to plan and pretty much threw some things together. We had chicken drumsticks made using my recipe for chicken wings so I wanted a side dish with just a little bite to it. I had just purchased a van of Basmati Rice (Ok, just a bag…but from Costco, so you know what I mean!) and decided some rice and green peas with fresh sauteed mushrooms would round out our main course.

Pretty simple stuff. Sauteed some onions, sauteed the rice a bit too and then added chicken stock to the mix and left to simmer. But…just seemed dull, so went spice shopping in my own pantry. Basmati rice is from India and Pakistan so thought a curry flavoring would be a nice component to add and balance well with the chicken basted with a sweet type sauce and then spied the lemon variety and was sold! This curry is made from a combination of sugar, lemongrass, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, paprika, cinnamon, salt, coriander, garlic, cardamom, cayenne, salt and curly leaves…whew! And if you have never had Basmati rice, you have to try it…it has a wonderful nutty taste unlike any other rice.

It was perfect. I could have probably added a bit more of the curry to the rice while cooking so I made sure the jar with the shaker was at the table; those of us with the wish for more could have it answered while a couple of my guests with tamer tastes thought it perfect. It was my guests who insisted I put the recipe on the blog (and their son who came with them is a chef…whoo hoo!). So simple, it’s not something I would normally post here but really, what is wrong with simple if it’s simply good?

Basmati Rice with Sweet Lemon Curry

Basmati Rice with Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry

Creative Culinary
The additional of curry spice to basmati rice is the perfect flavor for this nutty rice.
5 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 small white oniion
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 2 cans chicken stock
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp curry or to taste
  • Chopped green onion


  • sPut olive oil and butter in skillet and heat until hot and butter is melted.
  • Add onion and saute for 5 minutes; just til soft but not brown
  • Wash Basmati rice and drain; add to skillet and saute in butter onion mix for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add Chicken stock, water and salt. Lower heat, cover and cook for approximately 30-45 minutes. Try not to disturb during cooking!
  • Test after 30 minutes to see if the water has evaporated and then test the rice. Cook longer if water is still in the pan or if the rice is not yet completely tender; adding more water if necessary.
  • Garnish with additional spice and green onions.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  1. This recipe turned out great! I’ve made it a couple times now. I used “Better Than Boullion” instead of stock, ghee instead of butter, and brown basmati rice.

  2. I had basmati rice tonight with chana masala—tooo gooooood! I like the idea of lemon curry this. Will bookmark as a must try!

  3. My Lord, Barbara, that is perfect rice! And I love the flavors. This is perfect with almost any kind of meat dish, both simple or full of spices.

  4. Love curry! Not sure why I don’t cook it more…have all the prep items here. hmmmm…..this recipe looks delicious! Bookmarked! 🙂

  5. We have a spice shop near us that opened recently, I ought to check their curries out! This sounds so lovely – simple, and yet complex in flavor!

  6. Barb thanks for this recipe. It sounds wonderful. Another bookmarked. I’m guilty of the curry knowledge too. I used to think it was a singular spice, now my pantry is filled with so many different blends. My latest favorite is yellow curry. Love your description of Savory Spice…it is a magical kingdom! They are supposed to be filming for a reality type show. Do you know anything about it? Or did I dream it?

    1. I hear they’re going to be on Food Network; it’s on their site too. I don’t get FN anymore (doubt I would miss many in the current lineup anyhow) but do wish I could see it.

      Guess one of the travelling shows stopped in one day; then they did something with Paula Deen and now this.

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