Jeera is the Hindi name for cumin seeds. That’s where the famous Jeera Rice recipe got its name from. This fragrant rice dish gels quickly with rajma, tadka, kadhi, dal makhani, or any other Indian curries, which you can savor for lunch or dinner.
Most Indian restaurants serve Jeera rice with various side dishes. Many people love to have it instead of plain rice. The Jeera tempering and whole fragrant spices add to your taste buds on any given day.
Jeera Rice is very popular because of its easy cooking methods. Usually, there are two ways to make Jeera rice. Prepare it for your guests on a special occasion or any day to elevate the taste of your meal.
So, let’s see these two methods for cooking perfect Jeera Rice.
Restaurant-style Jeera Rice recipe
This ‘Jeera rice’ or ‘cumin rice’ recipe is restaurant-style. It’s mildly spiced and fragrant as far as its taste is concerned.
Under this method, the rice grains are cooked with whole spices. After that, it includes tempering with cumin seeds and green chillies.
The tempering is then added to the cooked rice. Most Indian restaurants use this method to make Jeera rice.
Use some saffron strands for added color and flavor in this recipe. You can use the same method also for the leftover cooked rice. Exclude or include the ingredients as per the quantity of the rice.
Jeera rice using the one-pot method
In this method of Jeera rice, you need to sauté the whole spices and Jeera together in a pot. Then, add soaked rice, and cook it along with the spices. This method resembles pulao making process. Hence, it’s also called Jeera pulao.
You can make it in a pan/pot or pressure cooker as it's a one-pot method. This method imbibes the flavor of cumin seeds as well as whole spices perfectly as everything is cooked in one pot.
This Jeera rice tastes similar to the Jeera rice that you can find in a Dhaba. You can add saffron or turmeric to make it colorful. We would advise you to avoid artificial coloring agents in food.
Expert tips for fluffier Jeera rice
Consider using good quality basmati rice: For your Jeera rice to be fluffier and non-sticky, you must choose the best basmati rice (aged basmati rice is excellent). You can also consider Sella Basmati rice (parboiled rice), which also provides excellent results.
Rinsing rice: It’s always good to rinse rice before cooking. This process removes impurities and starch from the rice. You have to rinse the rice grain many times until the starch is clear from the water.
Soak the rice before cooking: As an old practice, it’s always better to soak rice before cooking. You can soak it for about 20 to 30 minutes. Soaking makes the rice cook well and become fluffier. Also, it requires less water to boil rice and reduces the cooking time.
Rice-to-water ratio: It depends on the quality of rice you use. Compared to regular basmati rice, organic basmati rice requires more water for cooking. Keep the rice to water ratio to 1:2.
Stirring: You don’t need to stir frequently while cooking rice. Use a fork to stir the rice if it’s required. A spoon can break the rice grains more than a fork.
Frying cumin seeds and spices: It is important to fry the cumin seeds, along with other spices, beforehand. They need to be aromatic. Make sure the oil or ghee you use is medium-hot while tossing in these spices. As soon as they start crackling, add other ingredients. Avoid cumin seeds and other spices from burning.
Secret ingredient: There is one spice that you can consider adding to your Jeera rice for enhanced flavor. And that’s — mace (Javitri). Add just one or two strands since it can have a substantial effect.
You can serve Jeera rice with lentils or any Indian curry dish.
Here is a quick Jeera rice recipe to get you started.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Ingredients you require
For Cooking Rice
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 4 cups water
- 1 tej patta/Indian bay leaf
- 1 black cardamom
- 2 green cardamoms
- 2 cloves
- ½ inch cinnamon
- 1-2 single strands of mace
- Salt or as required
Ingredients for Tempering Jeera Rice
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons oil or 1.5 tablespoons ghee
- 1 green chilli (chopped) — it’s optional
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves
- Rinse basmati rice of your choice until the water runs clear. Soak it for 30 minutes, then drain and keep it aside.
- Boil 4 cups of water. Add whole spices. Add rice and salt. Cook the rice on low flame. Cover the lid.
- Cook the rice grains till tender. Then, drain the excess water and set the cooked rice aside.
- If required, you can rinse the rice with fresh water. This prevents overcooking of the rice.
Making Jeera Rice
- Take a small pan and heat cumin seeds or Jeera.
- Let the seeds crackle. Once it starts crackling, add green chillies and stir it for a few seconds. Don’t let the chillies get brown.
- Add the tempering to the cooked rice.
- Gently mix the tempering using a fork.
- Add coriander leaves to garnish Jeera rice.
- Serve hot with Dal, Rajma, Paneer, or any other curry dish.