Fodni Bhaat (Indian Fried Rice) Recipe

A quick Indian breakfast dish that's also perfect for lunch or dinner.

Overhead view of fodni bhaat on a blue and yellow stripped linen

Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

Why It Works

  • Chile, spices, and garlic enliven day-old rice.

If you're ever wondering what to do with leftover rice, the answer is fodni bhaat. It's a no fuss, few ingredient boost to last night's dinner. Many homes in India have it for breakfast, but you can just as easily make it for lunch or dinner.

There's a saying I recently came across that goes: if a man gets fodni bhaat sent to the office for lunch, it means he didn't show up on time at home for dinner! It's sort of a wife's subtle way of telling him that he's going to have to finish last night's dinner, one way or the other. I think it's so delicious, that most men would embrace tardiness quite eagerly. The garlic gives the dish a nice flavor and bite, while the green chile imparts a subtle heat. Fodni bhaat is the kind of delicious reincarnation every leftover should have.

September 2012

Recipe Facts

Cook: 10 mins
Active: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Serves: 2 servings

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  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (23ml) vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds

  • 3 medium cloves garlic (15g), roughly chopped (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 4 green Thai chiles or 2 serrano peppers, stemmed and halved lengthwise

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile powder

  • 2 cups (12 ounces; 350g) cooked white rice (see notes)

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves


  1. In a medium cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Reduce heat to medium heat, add black mustard seeds, and cook, stirring, until seeds pop, about 15 seconds. Add garlic and green chiles and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes, adjusting heat as needed if garlic is browning. Add turmeric and chile powder and stir until they impart their color to the oil, about 10 seconds. Immediately add rice and stir until thoroughly coated with oil. Season with salt to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

    Four image collage of an overhead view of oil, garlic, spices, peppers and rice being added to a cast iron skillet

    Serious Eats / Fred Hardy

Special Equipment

Cast iron skillet


Rice should either be cooked fresh, spread on a tray, and allowed to cool for five minutes, or, alternatively, cooked in advance and refrigerated in a covered container for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
324 Calories
11g Fat
50g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 324
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 338mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 178mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)