Jeera rice- learn to make best restaurant style jeera rice recipe! The only recipe you will need to make Indian cumin rice or rice flavored with cumin seeds. Not just any recipe but the one with perfectly cooked fluffy rice with spot on cumin flavor, grains full and separate and not greasy!
This is a super easy recipe, absolutely restaurant style, ready in less than 15 minutes , best with Indian curries, vegetarian and gluten free!
Today I am sharing a super simple yet very delicious, festive and fragrant rice suitable for parties, festivals and guests. This mildly flavored rice is best served with rich Indian curries.
What Is Jeera Rice?
Jeera rice recipe or Indian cumin rice if you want to call that is the most popular flavored rice recipe from north Indian food recipes. It is also called zeera rice. Jeera means cumin seeds in Indian languages.
It is basically fluffy long grained white rice or basmati rice cooked in ghee, flavored with jeera and few other whole spices.
The basic jeera rice recipe is just rice, cumin and whole spices, all sautéed in ghee. However you can add many other ingredients like cashews, onions or fried onions, herbs like cilantro to make it more flavorful.
In some recipe for jeera rice even vegetables like green peas are added. I always make jeera rice with onions and add chopped coriander leaves as garnish.
It is one of those easy recipes that you can make in less than 15 minutes, yet taste so delicious and hearty.
If you have fussy kids that won’t eat rice dish, this jeera rice is a good option. It is so flavorful with fluffy basmati rice that the kids will eat without fuss, at least my kid does 🙂 You can serve with dal, veg curry, paneer curry, salad or raita.
I many times add vegetables like corn, peas to this base recipe and make easy pulao. You can also add paneer cubes to make it more rich.
The cumin lend an earthy flavor and taste to this rice dish. Also jeera has digestive properties so you can easily serve this rice dish with heavy spicy curries.
Some more curries that go very well with this restaurant style jeera rice are
In this post I am sharing with you my best recipe for making restaurant style jeera rice, that I have perfected over the years. Here I am sharing two ways of making jeera rice- on stove top and using an instant pot.
This post also covers all tips and tricks to cook rice, fry spices and how to serve this rice.
I have been making jeera rice recipe for more than a decade and it only gets better each time. Try this out and you will love it too!
perfectly done with fluffy rice
Popular indian food in weddings, buffets
spot on flavors from cumin or jeera and other whole spices
so good with Indian lentil curry, dal, paneer
always a hit with kids
vegetarian & gluten free
best fit for Indian festival menus.
What Do You Need For Jeera Rice? (Ingredients)
Jeera rice recipe needs very few simple ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. You will need
ghee or butter for sautéing all the ingredients. Vegans can easily use oil for sautéing.
Cumin or jeera – the star ingredient of this recipe. Two teaspoons for 1 cup rice lends a wonderful flavor but not overpowering. You can add more or less as per your taste.
whole spices like bay leaf, cardamom, cloves, star anise, mace lend wonderful flavor to this jeera rice. If you don’t have any of these spices handy, you can just skip it. Won’t affect the flavor much.
Cashews- Adding few roasted cashews lends a rich taste to this rice.
Onions– You can either sauce finely chopped onions along with spices or add fried crispy onions as garnish.
Green chilies– Green chilies are not usually added in this recipe. If you want to make this rice spicy, you can saute 1 or 2 finely chopped green chilies along with spices.
Cilantro leaves– To add more flavor to this rice, add finely chopped cilantro leaves as garnish.
What Is The Rice To Water Ratio For Cumin Rice?
One common reason your jeera rice or even steamed plain bamati rice turns mushy or under cooked or burnt at the bottom is incorrect rice to water ratio. It is very important to cook rice properly for this recipe.
Basmati rice or long grained white rice is delicate compared to other short grain rice varieties. You will less water and it also cooks faster.
While the ratio of basmati rice to water varies with brand of the rice, age of the rice and quality of water used, here is a general thumb rule for cooking basmati rice.
Steamed basmati rice– In this method we will add raw rice and water in a heavy pan and close with a lid, so that the steam does not go out. The rice gets steamed in 6-7 minutes here. The ratio of rice to water is 1 : 2.25.
For every cup of rice you will have to add 2.25 cups of water. If you are doubling the recipe, make sure to sue a bigger pot and increase the cooking time too.
Pressure cooker or instant pot– For cooking basmati rice is pressure cooker or instant pot I use 2.5 cups of water for 1 cup raw basmati rice. I use aged basmati rice and this ratio works fine for me.
If you are a beginner, it helps to try few times and arrive at the correct water to ratio for your brand of rice.
How To Make Jeera Rice Recipe
Pick and rinse the rice grains well for 2-3 times.
Soak in water for 30 minutes.
Drain the water and spread rice on a plate. Set aside for 10 minutes.
To make jeera rice recipe heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a heavy pan.
Throw in the whole spices and saute well for a minute.
Next throw in cumin seeds or jeera and saute for 2 minutes.
Now in goes cashews and fry for a minute.
Next add finely chopped onions and saute until soft.
Next in goes drained rice. Mix well and saute until all the moisture from rice leaves.
Pour 2.25 cups water along with 1 teaspoon salt or you can add salt to taste.
Bring to a boil.
Close the pan with a lid and lower the flame.
Cook in low flame for 5-7 minutes or until the rice is done.
Once done, switch off the flame and keep the pan closed for 5 minutes.
Open, fluff up gently and serve jeera rice garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
Other Tips To Make Zeera Rice Recipe Perfectly!
Basmati rice– Use very good quality aged basmati rice to make jeera rice for best flavor and texture. Also you need to prep the rice a bit before cooking.
Pick and rinse the rice grains very well changing the water multiple times. Rinsing removes the starch from the grains and makes it non sticky.
Next soak the rice grains for 30 minutes. Soaking helps in making the rice grains super long.
Once soaked, drain the rice thoroughly and spread on a a pate for 10 minutes before cooking.
Frying Jeera– Add cumin seeds or jeera to the ghee or butter only after it turns hot.
Next after adding the cumin, reduce the flame and fry for 2 minutes. This will release the essential oils from cumin and impart the maximum flavor.
Frying other spices- Add the whole spices one by one and fry in low flame carefully without burning the spices.
Sauteing the rice– After adding the drained rice to the pot, saute it in medium flame or high flame until all the moisture from the rice leaves. This step will make all the grains separate in cooked rice.
After adding water to the rice, bring to a rolling boil before closing the lid. After it reaches a boil, close the lid simmer the flame and cook for 6-7 minutes. Do not open the lid or stir the rice often while it is cooking.
Once done switch off the flame but keep the pan closed for 5-6 minutes. Then gently fluff up the rice with a fork before serving. This way your jeera rice recipe turns out fluffy with super long grains
Variations & Other Methods For Making Cumin Rice
Jeera rice with cooked rice– This is an easy variation you can try when you have leftover cooked rice. Also this is the method used in restaurants for making jeera rice to order.
For this method, steam or use pressure cooker to cook basmati rice, fluff up, add few drops of oil and mix well. Set aside to cool a bit.
To make the recipe heat ghee in a heavy pan. Add bay leaf, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Saute in low flame for a minutes.
Add cumin seeds and fry for 2 minutes. Next add chopped onions and fry until they turn soft. Add cooked rice, salt to taste and toss well. Serve.
Instant Pot Jeera Rice– This method you can use for both regular and electric pressure cooker. If using regular pressure cooker, just follow the steps on stove top with pressure cooker base and cook upto three whistles in medium flame.
For instant pot cumin rice here are the steps.
Place the inner pot inside your instant pot and switch it on.
Press saute mode and once it displays hot, add ghee followed by all the spices. Saute well for a minute.
Add finely chopped onions if using and saute.
Next add soaked and drained rice. Mix well and saute for a minute.
Pour 2.5 cups water and mix gently. Add 1 teaspoon salt or to taste. If your rice is new you can add 2 cups water.
Let the water come to a boil.
Close the instant pot, cancel saute mode and press pressure cook or manual button.
Set timer to 4 minutes, seal the pressure valve.
Once done, release the pressure manually and fluff up the rice. Add coriander leaves, mix well and serve jeera rice hot
With Vegetables– You can throw in finely chopped vegetables like carrot, corn, green peas in this jeera rice recipe. Add after sauteing onions and before adding rice.
With Protein– You also make jeera rice recipe with some added protein. I sometimes add pan roasted or plain paneer cubes after adding the rice.
You can also add pan fried tofu, chopped mushrooms, beans like butter beans etc. You can also add cooked chickpeas for a hearty jeera rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are jeera rice and cumin rice one and the same?
Yes, this rice goes by many names like cumin rice, zeera rice, zeera pulao. There may be minor variations in spices and method but the base recipe is the same only.
Is cumin rice good for health?
Yes cumin has many health benefits, so this is good for health when eaten in moderation.
Can I use oil instead of ghee?
Yes for vegan variation use oil or even vegan butter.
Perfect Jeera Rice (Indian Cumin Rice)
- Heavy pan with lid or pressure cooker base.
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 1 cup raw basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons ghee or butter or oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 cardamoms
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions optional
- 2 green chilies finely chopped (optional)
- 12 whole cashews optional
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves
- Pick and rinse the rice grains well for 2-3 times. Soak in water for 30 minutes. Drain the water and spread rice on a plate. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- To make jeera rice heat 2 tablespoons ghee in a heavy pan. Throw in the whole spices namely bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and saute well for a minute.
- Next throw in cumin seeds or jeera and saute for 2 minutes.
- Now in goes cashews and fry for a minute.
- Next add finely chopped onions and saute until soft.
- Next in goes drained rice. Mix well and saute until all the moisture from rice leaves.
- Pour 2.25cups water along with salt to taste. Bring to a boil.
- Close the pan with a lid and lower the flame.
- Cook in low flame for 5-7 minutes or until the rice is done.
- Once done, switch off the flame and keep the pan closed for 5 minutes. Open, fluff up gently and serve jeera rice garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
Jeera rice with cooked rice
- Steam or use pressure cooker to cook basmati rice, fluff up, add few drops of oil and mix well. Set aside to cool a bit.
- Add cumin seeds and fry for 2 minutes. Next add chopped onions and fry until they turn soft. Add cooked rice, salt to taste and toss well. Serve.
Instant Pot Jeera Rice
- Place the inner pot inside your instant pot and switch it on.
- Press saute mode and once it displays hot, add ghee followed by all the spices. Saute well for a minute.
- Add finely chopped onions if using and saute.
- Next add soaked and drained rice. Mix well and saute for a minute.
- Pour 2.5 cups water and mix gently. Add salt to taste. Let the water come to a boil.
- Close the instant pot, cancel saute mode and press pressure cook or manual button. Set timer to 4 minutes, seal the pressure valve. Once done, release the pressure manually and fluff up the rice. Add coriander leaves, mix well and serve.