Jeera rice or Zeera rice is a popular Indian and Pakistani dish consisting of rice and cumin seeds.It is vegan and gluten free. In this post I am going to explain how to make Jeera rice.
“Zeera” is the Hindustani word for cumin seeds, often pronounced Jeera.
What is Jeera Rice?
If you are looking for a flavored, quick and easy recipe which is healthy, Jeera rice has it all. Jeera rice is an everyday Indian rice dish which pairs beautifully with any curry or dal. It’s so easy to make with just a handful of ingredients which are mostly pantry staples. It can be made both in the pressure cooker or in an Instant Pot!
Jeera rice is made with cumin seeds .Non-natives call this preparation cumin rice, while in India it is popular as jeera rice.
It is one of the most ordered dishes in a restaurant.
What is Jeera?
‘Jeera’ is the Hindi word for cumin seeds. They both mean the same. It’s a good source of iron and is helpful in digestion.
Jeera is a popular spice in Indian cooking, used often for its nutritional and health benefits.
Tips to make the best Jeera rice
- Choice of Rice : Aged Basmati Rice is the best choice for making this rice. Aged rice is healthy because it is less starchy and does not stick to each other when cooked.
- Preparing the rice : Soak Basmati rice for 15-20 minutes before cooking after washing it thoroughly 2-3 times under cold running water. This helps remove the starch & when cooked the rice becomes fluffy and soft.
- Toasting the Jeera : When spices are toasted in a spoonful of ghee or oil on a low flame before cooking, they tend to liberate the essential oils within. The release of essential oils is what flavors the dishes, hence Jeera rice tastes best when Jeera/Cumin seeds are toasted before cooking the rice.Toasting can be done on an iron skillet.
- Frying the rice before cooking : To make fragrant Jeera rice, always fry the soaked and drained rice, along with the spices. Take care not to break the rice grains when you fry the rice gently over medium flame.This process helps make the rice fragrant & fluffy when cooked, preventing rice grains from sticking to each other.
- Rice to water ratio : While cooking , 1 cup of rice requires 2 cups of water.
- Addition of Onions : This is completely optional. Some prefer to add, some skip the step. Adding onions to the rice makes it more flavorful, though sauteing them might take a few minutes more in the cooking process.
- Other spices and nuts : Apart from Jeera/cumin seeds , addition of other spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves also add to the flavor of the dish.Nuts like cashew also add to the flavor & festive look of the dish. I add all of them along with raisins too for that extra touch, its completely optional.
How to Make Jeera Rice
Jeera rice is made by adding a tempering of cumin seeds to the basmati rice before cooking it. The toasted cumin seeds, along with other spices like cloves , cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves infuses the basmati rice with so much flavor and aroma.I also add some cashew nuts & raisins to enhance the flavor.
The addition of onions is completely optional, though I must say it makes the rice dish delicious.
It can be made either in a pressure cooker or on an instant pot.If using the Instant Pot simply saute the spices until fragrant, then add the rice, water and let it cook.
The easiest & quickest rice dish to make and what’s more it pairs well with many spicy curries.
Jeera rice is best paired with
Here’s a list of my previously published recipes, that this rice would pair well with and compliment the taste
- Chicken Ghee Roast (Mangalorean style)
- Chicken Chettinad
- Curry leaf Chicken Curry
- Dhabha style chicken
- Chole Palak
- Cauliflower Kootu
The Bottom Line
If you get to try this recipe, don’t forget to share your feedback in the comments section below. A quick snap of your recipe with a #stirringmyspicysoul, would be a great help in sharing our recipes.