Can we add spices to the rice?

This brief guide will answer the query, “Can we add spices to the rice?”. We will also discuss some of those spices in detail and also describe how these spices can be added to your rice dishes.

Can we add spices to the rice?

Yes, we can add spices to the rice. We don’t add spices to rice every day, but you can add some spices when you’re making a meal for special occasions. 

Adding spices to the rice will not only make the rice flavorful but also gives it an attractive look. It’s a great way to elevate a mundane everyday meal into something special.

What spices can we add to the rice?

You can use different spices for different rice recipes. Some of the spices commonly used in rice are as follows:

Cumin seeds 

They are tiny flavorful seeds that add a butty flavor to your basic rice. They are so small that they are barely noticeable in your rice, but the flavors and aroma make up for it. Cumin seeds are perfect if you just want some extra flavors in your rice. It is one of the most used spices in rice, especially in Indian rice recipes.


Cardamom is a versatile spice that can add sweet and delicate flavors to any dish. It has a sweet, pungent, minty, peppery, and floral taste and aroma which can be a great combination with rice. 

Both green and black cardamom can be used in rice. Adding a few crushed cardamom pods to your rice can instantly improve the taste and aroma of the rice. It is also popularly used in rice puddings.


The sweet and woody flavor of cinnamon is perfect for rice puddings. But they can also be used in normal rice. Simply add a full cinnamon stick to a pot of simmering water and allow the rice to soak up the aroma. This might be a lesser-known idea of using cinnamon in your rice, but try it for yourself and see how aromatic your rice turns out.

Bay leaves 

They are a very potent spice with a savory and earthy flavor. When used in rice, its flavors can quietly penetrate each grain of rice. Whole bay leaves are used in the rice for flavor and fragrance, then removed before serving. You can use it in your everyday rice recipe as well as biryani which is one of the most popular and delicious Indian rice recipes cooked with meat and lots of aromatic spices.


It is used primarily for its bright yellow color rather than for the taste or aroma. Some people love bright and yellow while some don’t. You can use turmeric if you like some color in your rice. This spice is very common in Indian rice recipes.

Garam masala

It is usually a spice blend that is used in curries and dishes that require a lot of flavors and textures. In the case of rice, garam masala is used while making biryani which is a combination of rice and meat with lots of spices including all of the spices mentioned above. Garam masala has an intense flavor profile consisting of warm, pungent, and slightly sweet flavors.

For an easy delicious chicken biryani recipe, please click the link here.

Curry powder

This is another spice blend that can be used in different rice dishes. You can add some veggies and proteins along with two teaspoons of curry powder to your normal rice recipe for a flavorful pot of rice. Garam masala and curry powder use many common spices but garam masala is more flavored in comparison to curry powder. 

Unlike in garam masala, turmeric is a key ingredient in curry powder so using curry powder will give your rice a bright and attractive look along with the flavors and aroma.


Saffron can also be used in rice to give it an exotic look and flavor. Saffron can be quite expensive so it’s not very commonly used in rice, but when you do use it, you will get extraordinary flavors with some amazing aroma for sure. A few strands of saffron are enough to get you the desired flavor and aroma. For adding color to your rice, dissolve a few strands in 2 tbsp of milk and add them to your rice dish.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Can we add spices to the rice?”. We have also discussed some of those spices in detail and also describe how these spices can be added to your rice dishes.


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