Jeera Rice (Indian Cumin Rice)

4.22 from 19 votes

Jeera Rice (Indian Cumin Rice) is an Indian rice dish made using rice, cumin seeds, and a few other spices. My recipe tastes exactly like the one served at your favorite restaurant – fluffy, perfectly cooked, non-sticky, aromatic, and flavorful. Make it using simple ingredients in a pan, instant pot, or a stovetop pressure cooker (vegetarian, gluten-free, and can be easily made vegan).

Jeera rice served in a bowl.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

About Jeera Rice

Jeera=Cumin and Rice=Chawal in Hindi. Jeera Rice (Jeera Chawal, Cumin Rice) is an Indian dish made using long-grain basmati rice, ghee, cumin seeds, whole spices, and other ingredients.

It is one of the simplest recipes to make and even a novice cook can pull it together easily.

Jeera Rice is among the most popular dishes ordered at Indian restaurants worldwide.

Although it is one of the simplest dishes to make, it can be a disaster if done wrongly. It could be under or over-cooked, overly greasy, mushy, and gluggy.

In this post, I share all my secrets to making a perfectly cooked, non-sticky, fluffy, and flavorful restaurant-style jeera rice recipe every single time.

You can make flavorful jeera rice in multiple ways. I am sharing how to make it in a pan over the stovetop, in an instant pot, in a traditional stovetop Indian pressure cooker, and by using leftover cooked rice. Choose the method that suits you the best.

This recipe is vegetarian and gluten-free. You can easily make it vegan, too.

The recipe can be doubled or tripled, too. I use my 3-liter pan, a 3-quart instant pot, or a 3-liter pressure cooker to make it. Use a bigger pan, pressure cooker, or instant pot if scaling the recipe. The cooking time will remain the same.

Here are some more of my favorite rice recipes that you may like

Ingredients

Jeera rice ingredients 1
Jeera rice ingredients 2

Rice – Use good quality basmati rice for the best result. It turns out aromatic and non-sticky after cooking.

Having said that, zeera rice can be made using any white rice grains easily available to you.

Ghee – It tastes the best when cooked in ghee. You can use butter, canola oil, or olive oil as alternatives.

Cumin Seeds – This is the star ingredient of this recipe. It adds an earthy, nutty flavor to the dish.

Whole Spices – You will need green cardamoms (hari elaichi), cloves (laung), black peppercorns (kali mirch), cinnamon (dalchini), and bay leaves (tejpatta). When infused with hot ghee, these aromatic spices add a beautiful flavor and aroma. Slightly crush them in a mortar and pestle for the best result.

Green Chilies – Add less or more according to your taste. I used Indian chilies but you can also use Thai green chilies, jalapeno peppers, or Serrano peppers.

Lime Juice – Freshly squeezed lime juice makes the cooked rice fluffier and whiter. You can replace lime juice with lemon juice.

Cilantro – Add some freshness and a pop of green to this rice recipe with some finely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves).

How To Make Jeera Rice

Pan Method

Rinse 1 cup basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Rinsing the rice removes extra starch, making it fluffy post-cooking.

Soak it in 2-3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Set aside.

Soaked rice.

Heat 2 tablespoon ghee in a pan over high heat.

When the ghee is hot, add 2 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

Tip – Do not add cumin seeds to less hot oil; otherwise, they will not crackle properly, and their flavor will not be released in the ghee. Also, keep a close eye after adding the cumin seeds to the hot ghee; they tend to burn in a wink.

Cumin seeds added to hot ghee.

Add

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 whole green cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon

and saute for 20 seconds.

Tip – You can lightly crush the whole spices for an enhanced flavor.

Whole spices added to the pan.

Add 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies and saute for 20-30 seconds.

Green chilies added to the pan.

Drain the rice and add it to the pan along with

  • 2-3 drops of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of water

Stir gently.

Tip – Use the water left after soaking the rice to water your house plants. It is rich in micronutrients, which will help the plants grow healthy.

Rice, water and salt added to the pan.

Reduce the heat to low.

Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Pot covered with a lid.

Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Remove the lid and fluff gently with a fork. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve!

Ready jeera rice.

Instant Pot Method

Rinse 1 cup basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak it in 2-3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Set aside.

Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot.

Saute button pressed.

Add 2 tablespoon ghee to the inner pot of the instant pot.

When the ghee is hot, add 2 teaspoon cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

Add

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 whole green cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns
  • 1-inch piece of cinnamon

and saute for 20 seconds.

Ghee added to the pot.

Add 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies and saute for 20-30 seconds.

Drain the rice and add it to the pot along with

  • 2-3 drops of lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and ¼ cups of water

Stir gently.

Close the instant pot lid and set the valve to the sealing position. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes on high pressure.

Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.

Fluff the Instant Pot Jeera Rice gently using a fork. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve!

YouTube video

Traditional Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method

Follow the instant pot recipe until adding rice and water at high heat. Then close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles on high heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and fluff the rice.

Using Leftover Cooked Rice

This is how jeera rice is made in restaurants. It is easier to cook the steamed rice in bulk and temper it as ordered. This method is also a great way to use up leftover rice.

Cook the white rice. Now cool it completely. It is advisable to use day-old rice. If you are making fresh rice for this recipe, spread the cooked rice on a baking tray, cover the tray with plastic wrap, and freeze it for 15 minutes to speed up the cooling process.

Heat ghee in a pan over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds. Now add green chilies and whole spices and saute for 20-30 seconds. Add the cooked plain rice and salt and toss until rice is coated with the tempering. Garnish the fluffy cumin rice with chopped cilantro, and serve!

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make vegan jeera rice?

Replace ghee with oil to make vegan jeera chawal.

Why is my jeera rice mushy?

The correct rice-to-water ratio is very important to get perfectly fluffy rice.
When cooking the rice in a pot over the stovetop, the general rule is 1:2, which is 1 part rice and 2 parts water.
But when cooking it in an Instant Pot, this ratio changes as it doesn’t allow steam to escape; hence, less water is needed to cook the same amount of rice. I use a 1:1-¼ ratio for instant pot rice, which is perfect.

Is it important to soak the rice?

Soaking the rice for 20 to 30 minutes gives you separate and fluffy grains. So, although it is not a hard-and-fast rule, it is advisable.

How to make jeera rice using brown rice?

If you want to make cumin rice using brown rice, it’s best to make it in an instant pot or a traditional pressure cooker. If making it in an instant pot, use 1 and ¼ cups of water per cup of rice and set the pressure cooker timer to 22 minutes at high pressure. In a traditional pressure cooker, use 2-¼ cups of water per cup of rice and pressure cook for 4 whistles on high heat.

Pro Tips By Neha

Use very good quality long-grain basmati rice to make perfect jeera rice. Long-grain and aged rice are the best.

Add cumin to the ghee only when it is nicely hot. The cumin will crackle immediately, releasing all its flavor in the ghee. This simple trick makes a huge difference in the taste of this rice dish, so do not ignore it.

Slightly crushing the whole spices before adding them to hot ghee makes it even more flavorful.

Adding a few lime juice drops to the rice is my old trick to get fluffy rice each time. It will also keep the color whiter.

Do not stir the rice while cooking. It will break the grains.

Serving Suggestions

This fragrant jeera rice tastes great with almost all Indian curries, kadhi, and dals.

Some of my favorite curries and dals to pair this zeera rice with are

You can also serve it with flavorful raita such as Cucumber Raita, Carrot Raita, Beetroot Raita, Palak Raita, etc for a simple meal.

I like to serve Dal Makhani and jeera rice with a side of Boondi Raita, sliced onions, and papad for special meals. 

Storage Suggestions

Jeera rice will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container. If you make it in large quantities, heat only the amount you want to serve.

If you feel it has become a little dry after refrigerating, sprinkle a little water on top, mix, and heat either in the stovetop or microwave pan.

You Might Also Like

Jeera Rice (Indian Cumin Rice) is an Indian rice dish made using rice, cumin seeds, and a few other spices. My recipe tastes exactly like the one served at your favorite restaurant - fluffy, perfectly cooked, non-sticky, aromatic, and flavorful. Make it using simple ingredients in a pan, instant pot, or a stovetop pressure cooker (vegetarian, gluten-free, and can be easily made vegan).
4.22 from 19 votes

Perfect Jeera Rice Recipe (Indian Cumin Rice)

Jeera Rice (Indian Cumin Rice) is an Indian rice dish made using rice, cumin seeds, and a few other spices. My recipe tastes exactly like the one served at your favorite restaurant – fluffy, perfectly cooked, non-sticky, aromatic, and flavorful. Make it using simple ingredients in a pan, instant pot, or a stovetop pressure cooker.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup long grain basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (use oil for vegan version)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 whole bay leaf (tejpatta)
  • 2-3 whole green cardamoms (hari elaichi)
  • 3-4 cloves (laung)
  • 3-4 whole black peppercorns (kali mirch)
  • 1 inch piece of cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies (or to taste)
  • 2-3 drops freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Instructions 

  • Rinse rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear.
  • Soak it in 2-3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Set aside.

In A Pan Over The Stovetop Method

  • Heat ghee in a pan over high heat.
  • When the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
  • Tip – Do not add cumin seeds to less hot oil otherwise they will not crackle properly and their flavor will not be released in the ghee. Also, keep a closed eye after adding the cumin seeds to the hot ghee, they tend to burn in a wink.
  • Add bay leaf, green cardamoms, cloves, black peppercorns, and cinnamon, and saute for 20 seconds.
  • Add green chilies and saute for 20-30 seconds.
  • Drain the rice and add it to the pan along with lime juice, salt, and 2 cups of water. Stir gently.
  • Reduce the heat to low.
  • Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook undisturbed for 20-25 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
  • Remove the pan from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and fluff gently with a fork. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve!

Instant Pot Method

  • Press SAUTE button of the instant pot.
  • Follow the recipe until adding green chilies.
  • Drain the rice and add it to the pot along with lime juice, salt, and 1-¼ cups of water. Stir gently.
  • Close the lid of the instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position. Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes on high pressure.
  • Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
  • Fluff the rice gently using a fork. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve!

Traditional Stovetop Pressure Cooker Method

  • Follow the instant pot recipe until adding rice and water at high heat. Then close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles on high heat. Remove the cooker from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid and fluff the rice.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Remove the whole spices on the side of the plate before eating.
Slightly crushing the whole spices before adding them to the hot ghee makes the rice even more flavorful.
The recipe to make jeera rice using leftover rice is mentioned in the post above.
The recipe can be doubled or tripled too. I use my 3-liter pan, a 3-quart instant pot, or a 3-liter pressure cooker to make it. If scaling the recipe, use a bigger pan, pressure cooker, or instant pot. The time of cooking will remain the same.

Nutrition

Calories: 243kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 594mg, Potassium: 85mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 14IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




12 Comments

  1. If we don’t have specialty stores near us, what substitutes would you use instead of the cumin seeds, green cardamom & fresh coriander? I have regular cumin & dried cardamom pods but not sure if it’s the same. Excited to try with our chicken makhani tonight even if it doesn’t turn out quite the same…

    1. Hey Amber, do you mean ground cumin? If yes, then I suggest you don’t use it. If it’s whole cumin, then it’s the same as cumin seeds. Dried cardamom works fine and coriander is cilantro 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Hi neha…i made jeera rice and dhal makhani….came out nice….your receipes are very inspiring to actually cook something new everyday….very motivated????