Red rice with caramelized onions and corn. Gluten free,vegan.

Red rice is combined with caramelized onions, fresh chopped garlic, peanuts, carrots and cilantro to create a hearty and satisfying side dish. Red rice is a whole grain rice with a nutty flavor, providing about 2-3 grams of fiber per serving.  The dish combines the goodness of whole grains with antioxidant rich carrots and garlic. The peanuts add an unexpected crunch along with healthful mono unsaturated fats. Gluten free, vegan.

Raw, whole grain red rice. © Copyright 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Raw, whole grain red rice. © Copyright 2015  Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Servings: 8

Serving size: 1/2 cup,  cooked


1 cup raw red rice, rinsed

1.5 tbsp peanut oil

3 tbsp peanuts, roasted, without skin

1 large yellow onion, sliced into thin slivers

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

3/4 cup carrots, cut into 2″ julienne strips

3/4 cup frozen corn

1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 tsp salt

pinch of turmeric

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, divided


  1. Prepare red rice according to package instructions and set aside.
  2. Heat peanut oil in a thick bottomed pan.
  3. Add fresh chopped garlic and saute until it turns a light golden brown.  Watch for signs of burning and regulate heat accordingly
  4. Add the jalapeno pepper and saute for a few more seconds.
  5. Add the slivered onions and saute for several minutes until they caramelize and turn a light golden brow
  6. With a slotted spoon, remove a tablespoon or two of the caramelized onions and set aside on a paper towel.
  7. Add the roasted peanuts, turmeric, chili powder, 1 tbsp of cilantro. Add the carrots, stirring gently.
  8. Add 2-3 of tablespoons of water to the pan, turn down the heat, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for a couple of minutes until carrots are crisp tender.
  9. Open the lid, and stir in the corn and salt, cooking for a few minutes, until any water in the pan completely evaporates.
  10. Now fold the cooked red rice into the mixture in the pan until thoroughly mixed.
  11. Serve hot, garnished with the remaining tablespoon of cilantro and thecaramelized onions set aside in step 6.


    Red rice is a whole grain with more fiber and antioxidants than polished white rice. © Copyright 2015, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Chef’s tip: If you like spicy food, do not remove the inner white membrane in the jalapeno peppers as this part is concentrated in capsaicin, the active ingredient in peppers that contributes to the heat and spicy flavor and which has been associated with healthful benefits. If you prefer a milder flavor, remove the inner membrane and omit the chili powder in the recipe.

red rice reduced label

Nutrient Analysis Source: is an independent website that is not affiliated with this blog in any way.

Diabetic exchanges: Per 1/2 cup serving: 2 carb servings, 1 fat serving.

Disclaimer: This blog is strictly for informational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your Doctor or Registered Dietitian for recommendations tailored for your specific needs.

About Sangeeta Pradhan RD, CDE

Hi there! Welcome to my blog! If you are confused with all the conflicting messages you get bombarded with every day on carbs, fats, proteins, gluten and anything you can think of related to nutrition, look no further! The purpose of my blog is to cut through all this clutter, utilizing scientific, evidence based guidelines to help you, the consumer, navigate the complex, dietary landscape, and thus empower you to make informed decisions.
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5 Responses to Red rice with caramelized onions and corn. Gluten free,vegan.

  1. Roo's Muse says:

    I make something very similar using brown rice, but hadn’t thought to add turmeric or peanuts. It sounds great. I may have missed an article distinguishing red rice from brown rice. Is there a marked difference?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good question. There is some concern that brown rice from certain parts of the US, particularly the Southern states like Texas may have higher levels of arsenic. Although arsenic is a naturally occurring element and can be found in the soil and water, use of pesticides by man has been associated with higher levels in certain regions. Brown basmati rice from India and Pakistan have lower levels of arsenic compared to brown rice that comes from some ofthe Southern States. I would recommend reading this article for more details on this topic:
    Anyways, given this, I have been incorporating red rice that comes from other parts of the world instead of brown.There is unfortunately not a lot of scientific literature on red rice, but it does happen to be slightly higher in fiber than brown overall,( albeit this may depend upon brands chosen) and also contains antioxidants. Hope this helps. Best regards:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Also wanted to add that quinoa, amaranth and millet have lower levels of arsenic, so better choices overall for whole grains. One can reduce the arsenic level somewhat by soaking brown rice overnight in water and discarding the water to allow the arsenic to leach, and boiling in fresh water. Best:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Roo's Muse says:

    This is good to know as I recently relocated to north Texas, USA! Thank you for the information. I will look at the link also.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are welcome. This is also why it makes sense to include a diverse variety of nutrients including whole grains in one’s diet. You get a variety of different nutrients but in this case you also spread the risk…i.e. don’t put all your eggs in one basket:), if that makes sense. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

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