Easy Caribbean carrot rice recipe

10.3.23 | Recipe by Renz

Carrot rice is a delicious side dish that we see so often in our culture and everyday cooking. It is an easy one-pot meal that combines aromatic spices, tender rice, and sweet grated carrots. It can also become a full meal when adding ingredients to it. However, this dish is super tasty just as it is.

Finshed carrot rice, garnished with chopped scallion in a black cast iron dish on a brown tray.

This is a very easy dish to make. Essentially, a quick-boiled rice dish with carrots that are delicately spiced with warming delicious turmeric and black pepper. It can be made in one pot, making it really easy to make for the whole family to enjoy.

This rice is a versatile dish and works well as a whole dish or a side dish for stew chicken or other meats.

Since we sometimes get tired of plain rice, I wanted to share with you this incredibly delicious dish and help you create carrot rice at home.


What is carrot rice?

This simple dish is basically rice steamed with fresh carrots and shallots, and spices including turmeric and other seasonings. Carrot is often an underrated root vegetable, but it has a sweet flavor and works well with other savory flavors.

The rice is cooked in a mixture of oil, garlic, onions, and spices like tumeric (sometimes people also use cumin and coriander to heighten the flavor). Grated carrots are added to the rice mixture and cooked until tender.

Some variations may also include sweet peppers, pigeon peas, and coconut milk.

The finished dish is a vibrant orange color and has a sweet and slightly spicy flavor. It is often served as a side dish to curries, stews, or grilled meats.

Carrot rice is delicious and is a nutritious alternative to plain white rice and is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.

Ingredients needed to make this carrot rice recipe

Ingredients needed to make delicious carrot rice

First of all, it is a good idea to ensure that you can get all of the ingredients together. Focusing on this first means that the cooking process will be simple. You will need:

  • Parboiled rice - parboiled rice is rice that is partially boiled in the husk. It is not precooked and needs to be cooked prior to eating. This type of long-grain rice works great for dishes that take longer to cook. 
  • Grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • Turmeric
  • Shallots 
  • Scallions
  • Black pepper
  • Medium onion
  • Salt
  • Hot pepper - You can use scotch bonnet pepper or even a jalapeno pepper
  • Water
  • Oil - I like to use coconut oil for this dish to give the whole dish an additional layer of flavor.


  • A grater - I use a wide, hand grater for this. I have also tried using the grating blade on my food processor but I much prefer the hand grater. I found mine on amazon.
  • A large pot - I suggest using a wide bottom pan versus a deep pan with a narrow bottom. It will allow the rice to steam more evenly. 

How to make 

Now that you have all your ingredients to hand it is time to make this flavorful dish.

  1. Get yourself a large pot that is big enough to hold all of your ingredients and then add the oil and heat on medium heat. Start to saute the onion, the shallots, ½ of the scallions, and also the hot pepper. Stir to make sure nothing catches at the bottom.
    Scallions and shallots in coconut oil being sauteed.

  2. Once they have softened you can add the raw rice to heat through by continuously stirring for a few minutes.

    Long-grain rice added to the sauteed onions.

  3. Now you can add carrots, and turmeric, and mix everything together to make sure that everything has combined.

    Sweet shredded carrots added to rice and sauteed onions and shallots.

  4. Add water to the pot (hot water or room temperature), you will want to make sure that it hits the same level as the rice.

    Water added to carrots, rice and herbs and spices and about to be steamed.

  5. Finally, add the remaining scallions. You will then need to lower the heat and simmer till the rice is cooked through and the water has reduced.
  6. Fluff up when completed and you are then ready to serve your carrot rice.

    Steamed carrot rice, on a spoon, ready to be served.

Recipe notes and tips

When it comes to any recipe, it is always a good idea to understand what notes and tips you can use to help you fully utilize the recipe and have success each and every time.

If you want to make the most out of this delicious dish then here are some recipe notes and tips to help.

  • Make sure you don’t put in too much water, as this can overcook the rice or leave too much liquid when the carrot rice is cooked through and ready to enjoy.
  • Grating the carrot helps to cook it quickly. If you really do not have a grater then you can chop up the carrot, but try and keep it as small as possible. You may need to be wary of the cooking time if you cut the carrots rather than grate them.
  • If you don’t like heat you can avoid putting the red hot pepper in this dish. Or reduce/increase the pepper quantity should you want to change the flavors.
  • Double up the quantities as this makes a great dish to batch cook.

Variations to try

Like with a lot of recipes, once you have tried them out a few times you can look to make some changes and vary the recipe to suit your tastes and preferences. So I wanted to share with you some of them that you might want to try.

  • You could treat this as a fried rice dish instead. You will need to use pre-cooked (leftover rice) instead and then fry the ingredients together. Cook up the carrot and seasoning a little first before adding the rice.
  • Add additional spices like coriander leaves (or the powder), bay leaf, shado beni.
  • You can also try different varieties of rice instead of white rice. Brown rice, jasmine rice, or basmati rice are other great options.
  • Why not add a protein to this? When it is fluffed up and ready you could add cooked chicken or prawns. Any meat would work well with these flavors.
  • Add in some extra vegetables. Zucchini, mushrooms, sweet corn, and bell peppers will all work well with this very flavorsome dish.
  • Roasted nuts can also add texture and crunch to this dish.

A clse up of carrot rice in a black serving dish, garnished with fresh chopped scallion.


Like with any recipe, there are often questions that need answering. I thought I would share some of the common questions here, but if you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

How should I serve the Carrot Rice?

You can enjoy this carrot rice dish as a whole on its own. There is enough flavor and depth to it to enjoy a bowl when you want something simple and delicious. It is also the perfect side dish for stew meat like chicken. It would work well with pan-fried fish or seafood. It is such a flexible and versatile dish to enjoy.

How do I store the carrot rice?

If you have any leftover carrot rice then you will need to let them cool completely before adding it to an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator. It will last in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. You can also freeze this dish.

Again let it cool before adding it to an airtight container or freezer bag and storing it in the freezer. It will last up to 2 months. Defrost thoroughly before reheating and enjoying. You can portion this up to make it easier.

What else can I add to the carrot rice for more flavor?

You could look to add some fresh herbs to this dish, other vegetables, and also meat, fish, and other seafood. You can also look to add frozen vegetables to this to make it more filling or extra value for money. It is a very versatile and flexible dish so you can really make it your own. Raisins are also a nice addition.

Check out some more flavorful rice recipes: 

And here are some meat dishes  to pair with the rice: