Are you wondering what to do with the leftover Basmati rice?
Well, don’t throw it away just yet! You can repurpose the same rice to prepare some delicious recipes at home.
Of course, you will have to check the taste and smell of the leftover rice before using it for repurposed dishes. Once you confirm the freshness, you can use it as you like.
I have shared a few recipe ideas to use leftover Basmati rice in the guide below. So, let’s check them out!
Leftover Basmati Rice Recipe Ideas
Note – Don’t forget to read the following sections where I have shared some tips to confirm the freshness of leftover rice. Having said that, here’s a list of some of the most delicious ideas to use for your leftover Basmati rice.
1. Fried Rice
Fried Rice is an excellent idea to make use of leftover Basmati rice.
The reason I like Basmati for this recipe is its characteristics to retain its shape for a long time. And yes, the fried rice prepared with leftover rice always tastes better than the fresh rice.
Here are some of the variations you can try with this type of rice –
- Vegetable Fried Rice
- Chicken Fried
- Korean Fried Rice
- Singapore Fried Rice
- Schezwan Fried Rice
- Prawns Fried Rice
- Fish Fried Rice
These are my favorite types of fried rice ideas, but you can add any other ingredients of your choice to this preparation.
Quick Tip: Once the rice is ready, sprinkle some water on top and cover it for a minute or two. It helps in infusing more flavors into the rice grains. You can use this tip for all the spicy rice ideas shared in the guide below.
2. Lemon Rice
Lemon Rice is a bit of a contrasting combination of flavors. You can prepare this dish for the next day’s lunch, especially if you’re not in the mood to make spicy rice preparations.
Lemon Rice is an easy-to-make dish. It only requires some Peanuts, Curry Leaves, Urad Dal, Mustard Seeds, Green Chillies, Turmeric Powder, Lemon Juice, and Rice. If you like, you can also add some Cashew Nuts to it.
You can serve this dish with chilled Cucumber Raita and roasted Papad. It also tastes amazing with Mango pickles.
Quick Tip: Make it with Ghee (Clarified Butter). The richness of Ghee enhances the overall flavor of the Lemon Rice recipe.
3. Masala Rice
Masala Rice is an Indian version of Chinese Fried Rice. It is more of a Maharashtrian dish with a Punjabi touch to it.
In Maharashtra, the locals prepare a similar delicacy called Phodnicha Bhaat or Masale Bhaat. The only difference between these two recipes is the use of Onion and Tomato based masala. The Maharashtrian version generally doesn’t require this type of base Masala for the preparation.
So, how do you prepare Masala rice at home?
For this recipe, all you need is Onions, Tomatoes, Mustard Seeds, Curry Leaves, and some spices.
You just have to make a spicy gravy using Onions and Tomatoes. Once you’ve prepared the masala gravy, you can add the leftover Basmati rice to it. And that’s all it takes to prepare this delicious rice delicacy at home.
Quick Tip: You can also add some boiled potatoes to it. The potatoes balance the spicy taste of this rice preparation.
4. Rice Pudding or Kheer
Rice Pudding is a tasty and delicious recipe idea for leftover rice. Generally, in India, we prefer making Kheer using fresh rice, but it can be prepared with stale rice as well. You won’t notice much difference in taste or flavor if the rice is edible.
Important: If the rice tastes a little bit sour, do not use it for this preparation. It will ruin the taste of the pudding in the end.
Well, for a simple preparation, here’s what you need –
- Leftover Rice
- Sugar or any other sweetener
- Malai or Fresh Cream (optional)
- Cardamom Powder or Vanilla essence
In some recipes, you may also be required to add whole spices like Cloves and Nutmeg Powder. But it’s up to you.
If you don’t like adding spices to your Kheer or Payasam preparation, you may skip it entirely. As for the preparation method, you can follow any style of the cooking process. You will easily find many Kheer and Rice Pudding recipes on the Internet.
Quick Tip: Do add a pinch of salt to it. Salt helps in enhancing the overall flavors of Kheer.
Idli is one of the most popular breakfast dishes in India. And it is often made with a fermented rice batter. So, I’m sure the following question might come across your mind.
Can you make Idlis with leftover Basmati rice?
Yes, you can make Idlis with this type of rice! You can make these instant Idlis using cooked rice or leftover rice, Semolina, Yogurt, and some Baking Soda. It doesn’t require too many ingredients, and the fermentation period is also not as long as traditional Idli or Dosa batter preparation.
It only takes about 10 minutes to ferment the batter. And you can prepare these Idlis using the same steaming technique.
Here’s a quick process on how to make Idlis with leftover rice –
- Prepare the batter using cooked Rice, Semolina, Yogurt, Water, and Salt.
- Let it ferment for 10 minutes.
- Now, add the Baking Soda or Eno Fruit Salt and whisk it thoroughly.
- Transfer the batter to the molds.
- Steam the Idlis.
Easy, right? You can serve these instant Idlis with Coconut Chutney or Coriander Chutney.
Quick Tip: When you add Soda or Eno Fruit Salt to the batter, don’t let it sit idle for a long time. Mix it quickly and pour it inside the mold. If you don’t pour it immediately, the batter may not rise fully.
6. Rice Tikki
Rice Tikki or Rice Cutlet is a unique idea to use the leftover Basmati rice. If you don’t want to make simple rice preparations, you can think of making these tikkis for lunch or dinner. Its preparation method is quite similar to the traditional Aloo Tikkis. The only variation in this recipe is the addition of cooked rice.
Here’s how you can make these tikkis at home –
Firstly, mash the rice and turn it into mushy rice. You can also use some water here if the grains have turned hard.
In the next step, you will have to combine all the ingredients.
Boiled Potatoes, chopped Vegetables, Breadcrumbs, Spices, and Salt. For frying, you can either shallow fry them in a Tawa or deep fry them in a Kadai or Wok. Finally, serve it with any of your favorite Chutney or Ketchup.
Quick Tip: If you want an extra crunchy texture, you can use a combination of Semolina and Rice Flour for the coating.
7. Rice Fritters
I know Rice Tikkis can take a lot of time to make at home. So, if you want to make something quick, try Rice Fritters!
How do you make these fritters?
For this preparation, you can use the same Indian Pakoda style method. Check out these quick steps to make lip-smacking Pakodas at home.
- In the first step, you will have to prepare a thick batter using cooked Rice, Besan (Gram Flour), Spices, and Salt.
- Once the batter is ready, heat the oil and fry the Pakodas on medium flame.
- When they turn golden brown, take them out on a plate.
- Serve the hot Rice Pakodas with Chaat Chutneys or Ketchup.
Quick Tip: If you like vegetable Pakodas, you can also include some veggies or Onions in the batter.
8. Tawa Pulao
My favorite! If you ask me to pick between Fried Rice and Tawa Pulao, I’d gladly choose the second option.
I think Tawa Pulao gives you a more satisfying experience than Fried Rice. You get to taste so many different types of flavors in it, which can’t be compared with other savory rice dishes. So yes, I will always go for Tawa Pulao over Fried Rice.
How to make it with leftover Basmati rice?
For the preparation, you will have to make the base masala using Onions, Tomatoes, Green Peas, Potatoes, Capsicums, and some spices. You can also add more vegetables to it but don’t turn it into a traditional vegetable Pulao.
For this recipe, less is more! When the veggies are cooked, add the Basmati rice and mix well. Done!
This is how street food sellers make Bombay Tawa Pulao in India.
As for the serving, you can serve it with some Salad, Raita, and Papad. You can also have Bhajiyas (Fritters) with this type of dish.
Quick Tip: Don’t forget to add Pav Bhaji masala to this recipe. It takes the dish to a whole new level altogether.
9. Tamarind Rice
Tamarind Rice is quite similar to Lemon Rice. The best thing is it doesn’t require a lot of time. It can be made using fresh or leftover rice.
Take a look at the following steps to understand the process of making Tamarind Rice.
- Soak the tamarind in water and extract the pulp.
- Prepare a tadka (tempering) using Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves in a Kadai.
- Add some raw Peanuts or Corn and spices to it. Make sure you fry the peanuts properly.
- Add the Tamarind Pulp and mix everything.
- Cook this mixture well for a few minutes.
- Finally, add the cooked rice and mix it well. Cover the rice with a lid and cook for a few minutes on low flame.
Now, serve the hot rice with Papadam and Coconut Chutney.
Quick Tip: If the rice turns sticky, add some Ghee or Oil to it. It will help you separate the grains from each other.
10. Coconut Rice
Coconut Rice is another simple version of traditional fried rice. Like Tamarind Rice, Coconut Rice is quite popular in the Southern part of India.
There are many ways through which you can prepare this delicacy at home. Some people like to add fresh coconut pieces to it, whereas others prefer coconut milk in it. You can also turn this savory rice into a sweet rice delicacy. But for now, let’s stick to the savory variation.
Here’s a quick look at the traditional Coconut Rice preparation using leftover Basmati rice –
- Prepare the tadka (tempering) with the help of Mustards Seeds, Curry Leaves, Dry Red Chillies, and Asafoetida.
- Then, add the grated coconut to it and stir fry it till it turns light brown. You can also add Cashew Nuts here.
- Add some salt to it.
- In the end, add the leftover rice to it and stir it gently.
- Garnish it with chopped Coriander Leaves and cover it with the lid for a few minutes. Let it cook on a low-medium flame.
And you are done! That’s how you can make Coconut Rice at home.
Quick Tip: For more Coconut flavor, make this rice in Coconut Oil.
Well, these are some of the best ways to use leftover basmati rice at home. So, do try them out.
Can I Use Leftover Basmati Rice?
I have already shared the leftover Basmati rice ideas above. So, the answer is Yes!
If you have stored it properly in the refrigerator, you can surely use it the next day. The best thing I like about rice is it has a relatively long shelf life as compared to most cooked or steamed dishes.
If you compare it with some curries or gravies, you will notice this difference in both preparations. The curries often go bad the next day, especially if you are living in humid weather. On the other hand, the stale rice still tastes alright.
And it’s not just about plain rice. In fact, the leftover Biryani tastes even tastier the next day.
Note – If you haven’t tried it yet, try it out now! You will thank me later.
But why does rice remain fresh even after a day?
The secret is in the characteristics of rice grains. Rice has a tendency to absorb excess water from the surrounding.
So, even if you keep it for a day in the refrigerator, it will relatively stay fresh. It may lose its texture a bit, but you won’t notice much difference in its taste.
5 Things To Remember Before Using Leftover Rice
Even though the above ideas look quite interesting, I want you to read this section carefully before using such rice for your preparation.
1. Check The Smell
It doesn’t matter how good the rice looks from the outside, but you should always check the smell. It gives you an idea about the freshness of rice grains. If you experience any odor coming out of the leftover Basmati rice, do not use it for any other cooking purposes.
Instead, you should throw it away in the trash. There is no point in using such rice if you experience any unpleasant smell.
2. Check For Any Mold Formation Or Color Transformation
If you forgot to keep the leftover rice in the refrigerator, you might see some mold on top of the rice grains. And it is not a good sign!
You should refrain from using such rice again. If you have stored Masala rice or Biryani overnight, you should probably check the smell before using it. It’d be tricky to get the idea of such rice’s quality by only looking at the color. You may also taste some of the grains to check if it’s fresh or not.
3. Sprinkle Some Water On The Rice
Once you make sure the rice is edible, you can try and use this simple tip to bring freshness to the grains again. As you know, rice is a good absorbent of water and moisture.
When you store it for a long time, it becomes dry. Therefore, if you provide a little bit of moisture to it, it will gain some freshness again. You will also notice the difference in taste if you compare it with stale rice.
4. Use A Fork To Separate The Rice Grains
The only downside of using leftover rice is it sometimes gets too sticky. If you use the same rice in your next day’s preparation, you will definitely break the grains’ texture.
The grains become quite fragile as they absorb most of the moisture from the surrounding. So, if you don’t want to break them even further, you should use a fork to make them separate.
This tip is useful when you are making fried rice or similar dishes. It also becomes more effective with long-grain rice like Basmati rice. You can also read this detailed guide on how to make the rice fluffy and not sticky.
5. Use Oil To Separate The Rice Grains
You should use this tip if the above one doesn’t work for you. If the rice is too sticky, you can add some oil to it and try separating again with the help of a fork.
Generally, the oil helps form a thin coating on the grains, which ultimately helps in separating them. So, do try it out.
Note – This tip may not work great if there is too much water content in the grains.
Well, that’s it for this guide on using leftover Basmati rice at home. I hope you enjoyed these ideas as much as I did while sharing them with you.
Different Types Of Rice In India
In case you are interested in knowing the different varieties of rice in India, I have shared a detailed guide on this topic. You can read the guide here. It will help you learn more about the types of rice varieties we grow in the country today.
Do let me know what you think about this guide as well.
As mentioned in the guide, you can prepare different dishes with this type of steamed rice. From Biryanis to Payasams, you can make a variety of dishes with them. However, make sure you check the freshness of the rice before using it in your preparation.
Yes, you can reheat cooked basmati rice without any issues. The only thing you need to do here is to reheat it on a low flame.
You may also place a tawa under the pressure cooker or cooking pot to prevent direct heat to the grains. Also, do not stir the long grains repeatedly.
It stays fresh for 2-3 days if you keep it in the refrigerator. Do not store it for more than 3-4 days. Otherwise, it will lose most of its taste, flavor, and texture.
Yes, you can freeze Basmati rice.
Over To You
Did you like this guide on how to use leftover Basmati rice?
You can use some of these tips for different types of rice as well. Since all rice grains show the same properties, the above ideas and tips should help with almost all leftover rice preparations. So, go ahead and enjoy making your delicious rice recipes!
If you have any questions on this topic, do leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this guide, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.