Foolproof British-Indian-Restaurant-style onion fried rice, that can be ready in 15 minutes, while your favourite curry is simmering away on the hob.
Really step-up curry night with this delicious fried rice side dish!

Onion fried rice on a green plate sprinkled with coriander and a mustard napkin in the bottom corner.
Want to save this recipe to your email?
Just enter your email and get it sent straight to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Chicken Madras is our favourite curry and we often just serve it with plain boiled rice, but if we want something extra special, this is where this onion fried rice comes in.

So long as you have some boiled rice already cooked (we always keep some stashed in the freezer), it can be made really quickly – while your curry is simmering away.

📋 What do we need?

A full list of ingredients including the quantities is available in the recipe card at the end of the post.

Ingredients for onion fried rice on a wooden board.

You can swap out the ghee for sunflower oil if you haven’t got any in but I find the ghee adds to the overall flavour of the onion fried rice.

Unlike Chinese-style Egg Fried Rice we’re going to be using basmati rice rather than long-grain white rice. Basmati rice is more traditional in Indian cooking, and I find it to be more flavourful.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP You HAVE to use cooked and cooled rice when making any fried rice dish. The rice will dry a little as it cools, and this helps stop the fried rice from going sticky and claggy when frying. It also helps the rice to absorb more flavour when frying it up.

🧑‍🍳 How to make onion fried rice

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

  1. First of all, we’re going to slowly fry the onions in a little ghee until they start to go soft.
  2. Add in the cooked and cooled basmati rice and stir continuously until its heated through
  3. Next in goes the egg and the seasoning (salt, garlic salt and white pepper), plus a good sprinkling of Nigella seeds.
  4. Stir it all together, then serve topped with a sprinkling of fresh coriander (cilantro) alongside your favourite curry.
Onion fried rice in a wok with metal spatula.

🍽️ What to serve it with

This onion fried rice goes perfectly with any curry. Here are some of our personal favourites:

This is another one from Chris’s repertoire. He first made this for a New Years eve banquet we did along with some Homemade Onion Bhaji, Chicken Tikka Masala, Garlic Naan and Chicken Pakora. I’ve been mithering him to make it for the blog ever since!!

Close up of onion fried rice sprinkled with fresh chopped coriander on a green plate.

🍚 More fantastic Indian sides

We LOVE cooking curries and the sides to go with them. Along with this Indian-style fried rice, here are some of our other favourites:

Stay updated with new recipes!
Subscribe to the newsletter to hear when I post a new recipe. I’m also on YouTube (new videos every week) and Instagram (behind-the-scenes stories & beautiful food photos).

4.75 from 4 votes

🗂 Onion Fried Rice Recipe

This is foolproof British-Indian-Restaurant-style onion fried rice can be ready in 15 minutes – while your favourite curry is simmering away.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Course: Sides
Cuisine: British-Indian, Indian


  • 2 tbsp ghee use other oil if you can't get hold of ghee
  • 2 medium onions finely diced
  • 600 g (3 cups) cooked and cooled basmati rice not the easy cook type
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp garlic salt
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp nigella seeds

To Serve:

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) optional
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent straight to your inbox!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • Heat the ghee in a wok over a medium heat.
    2 tbsp ghee
  • Add the diced onion and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring often until the onion softens.
    2 medium onions
  • Add the boiled rice and stir until the rice has heated through.
    600 g (3 cups) cooked and cooled basmati rice
  • Add the salt, garlic salt, white pepper and stir.
    1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • Move the rice to one side of the wok and add the egg and soy sauce, stir quickly and often until the egg turns into a cooked scrambled egg.
    1 large egg, 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • Stir in the nigella seeds and heat through for a final minute.
    1/2 tsp nigella seeds
  • Serve topped with fresh coriander (cilantro).
    2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)


Make ahead:
Cook the rice, then spread it out in a large dish (so it will cool quickly) cover and refrigerate for up to a day. Don’t leave cooked rice out at room temperature. Bacteria can grow on cooked rice very quickly, so it’s important to:
  • Refrigerate it as quickly as possible
  • Don’t store for more than 24 hours in the fridge, and
  • Thoroughly reheat it.
Reheat in a wok, over a medium-high heat, moving it around the pan with a spatula, until piping hot throughout. You may need to add an extra splash of oil, as the rice will have absorbed the oil whilst in the fridge.
Cook the rice, then spread it out in a large dish (so it will cool quickly) cover and freeze.
As per the instructions above – Don’t leave cooked rice out at room temperature.
  • Freeze it as quickly as possible
  • Defrost in the refrigerator overnight (and don’t store for more than 24 hours)
  • Thoroughly reheat it, as per the make-ahead instructions above.
Nutritional Information is per serving (this recipe serves 4).


Calories: 300kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 497mg | Potassium: 151mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 74IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.

Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

Other Recipes You Might Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate the recipe

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Ms. Philbolyites says:

    5 stars
    It was so good I ak=almost choked it was delicious!! 10 million stars!!!

    1. Dr Puta Patel says:

      you choked because it was delicious? That makes no sense.

  2. Mariela says:

    5 stars
    Very easy

  3. Gwyn Jenkins says:

    4 stars
    After frying the onions add a little soy sauce and fry for 1 min. Then the rice. Cook egg in micro. on plate for 30 secs and mash with fork. Then stir into rice. Season well. Toasted sesame oil can be added now as a condiment. Always stir over gently with a spatula if you can’t toss in a wok. ( be careful not to overcook the rice, rinse in cold water and leave to cool for at least 1 hr)

  4. Steve says:

    5 stars
    Made this last night to go with butter chicken, a delicious alternative to my usual plain rice, will definitely be making this again.