Jeera rice – One whiff of this aromatic, fluffy basmati rice tempered with cumin seeds is enough to get your taste buds tingling. Learn how to make this flavorful rice in ten minutes or less.
After a long day at work, our hungry stomach often demands a satisfying meal that doesn’t take hours to make. That’s when a good recipe for jeera rice will come in handy. Pair it with dal and a side dish to make an elegant yet effortless dinner.
How to make jeera rice
There are 3 main ingredients that makes jeera rice so flavorful – Basmati rice, ghee, and cumin seeds. You can always make the following substitutions –
But remember this – ghee and basmati rice are the real deal when it comes to jeera rice. They make this rice recipe aromatic, flavorful and worth writing about. My 2 cents – don’t substitute it if you can help it.
Spices used in jeera rice
While you can add any of the spices used in a garam masala mix to make your jeera rice, my advice – don’t. Remember that jeera rice is an accompaniment and you’ll be pairing it with a curry which will have its own seasonings. Please don’t slaughter your meal by overwhelming it with spices.
That’s why apart from cumin seeds, you should stick to using bay leaf and a cinnamon stick and maybe a black cardamom or two. That’s it.
Tips for perfect and fluffy jeera rice
- Buying the right kind of rice – Royal Basmati Rice is something we have been using for years and have always appreciated the consistent quality. Tilda basmati rice is yet another option. Irrespective of which one you pick, make sure to buy the Indian or Pakistani ones to get the authentic Basmati rice.
- Washing and soaking the rice – Make sure you wash the rice in a few changes of cold water to remove the extra starch and dirt. Getting the starch off makes it easier for your stomach to digest the rice. Also, soaking the rice makes it less brittle and also helps the rice elongate.
- Let the rice rest undisturbed for 5 minutes after it is cooked. This allows the steam to redistribute and allows all the layers of the rice to evenly cook. After 5 minutes, uncover the saucepan and let the steam escape. Fluff the rice gently with a fork and it is ready to serve.
Testers notes –
- I’ll let you in on a secret – you can make jeera rice with leftover rice. Start with the tempering process outlined in the recipe and then mix the leftover rice along with salt. Ta-da! Your leftover rice now has been revived into something delicious!
- Preferred method – Instant Pot – I prefer making jeera rice in an Instant Pot because it is much faster compared to stove-top and requires no supervision.
Jeera rice tastes great with just about anything or on its own with a bit of yogurt and pickle. My top picks would be
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If you love rice as I do, here are some other rice recipes for you –
- Lemon rice – a simple tangy rice preparation
- Curd rice – a soothing and delicious combination of yogurt and rice
- Vegetable biryani– an aromatic biryani that is loaded with veggies
- Chettinad chicken biryani – a specialty biryani from Chettinad
- Shrimp biryani made super easy using Instant Pot
Aromatic Jeera Rice (Cumin rice)
Wash and soak the rice:
- Add rice to a medium-deep saucepan and fill it with water till the rice is completely covered.
- Wash the rice by gently rubbing them with your fingers to dislodge any dirt and starch.
- Change the water couple of times till the water runs clear. Drain the water and add 3 cups of water to the rice. Let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
- Drain the rice and set it aside.
- Place a wok/kadhai over medium-high heat and add ghee. Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and once it starts sizzling, add green chilies, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Fry it for about 10-15 seconds and then add rice.
- Saute the rice for about 1-2 minutes before adding salt and 2 cups of water.
- In approximately 6-8 minutes, the water will start to boil and evaporate from the surface. When craters appear, cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and turn down the heat to the lowest setting and cook for another 5 minutes and turn off the heat.
- Open the lid and let the steam escape.
- Resting the rice: Cover the saucepan and let the rice rest undisturbed for 5 minutes – this allows the steam coming out of the rice to redistribute and allows all the layers of the rice to evenly cook.
- Wait for 5 minutes and then fluff the rice gently with a fork and sprinkle chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.
Instant Pot cooking:
- Drain the rice and set aside.
- Add ghee to the steel insert of the Instant Pot and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to “Normal” and wait until the display reads “Hot.”
- Once the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and once it starts sizzling, add green chilies, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick. Fry it for about 10-15 seconds and then add rice.
- Saute the rice for about 1-2 minutes before adding salt and 1 cup of water.
- Press the “Warm / Cancel” button and then select “Pressure Cook.” or "Manual" depending on your model.
- Adjust the time to 5 minutes and set the pressure selection at low. Cover the Instant Pot lid and lock it. Make sure the vent is at sealing position.
- Once the cooking cycle completes, the Instant Pot will switch to the Warm cycle. Press the Warm/Cancel button and carefully release pressure. Open the lid and let the steam escape.
- Resting the rice: Cover the Instant Pot and let the rice rest undisturbed for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice gently with a fork, sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and serve immediately.
- Follow the 1:1 ratio when making basmati rice in an Instant Pot whereas on stove top follow the 1:2 ratio where for every 1 cup of rice, you'll need 2 cups of water
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Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.