This Jeera Rice tastes exactly like the one served at your favorite restaurant – fluffy, perfectly cooked, non-sticky, aromatic, and flavorful. Make it with minimal ingredients in under 20 minutes (Stove Top, Instant Pot).
About This Recipe
Jeera=Cumin and Rice=Chawal in Hindi. Jeera rice or Jeera Chawal is a flavored Indian rice dish made using long grain basmati rice, cumin seeds, ghee, and a few whole spices. It is one of the simplest recipes to make and even a novice cook can pull it together easily.
Jeera Rice is one of the most popular dishes ordered at Indian restaurants all around the world and can be paired with curries or dal. It can also be packed for lunch boxes along with raita. I like to make it for my festive and special meals as it instantly perks up the entire menu.
If done wrongly, this simple dish can be a disaster. It could be under or over-cooked, overly greasy, mushy, and gluggy. But I am sharing all my secrets with you to make perfectly cooked, non-sticky, fluffy, and flavorful jeera rice every single time.
This rice flavored with cumin seeds is not only delicious to eat, but it also has a lot of health benefits. Cumin seeds are considered great for digestion and stomach-related issues. They are also a good source of zinc, iron, copper, and other nutrients, which gives us more reason to include these tiny seeds more in our diet.
You can make jeera rice in multiple ways. In today’s post, I am sharing how to make it in a pot over the stovetop, in an instant pot, in a traditional Indian pressure cooker, and by using leftover cooked rice.
Rice – Use long grain basmati rice for the best result. It turns out aromatic and non-sticky after cooking.
For a healthier option, you can swap white rice with brown rice. The time and water ratio will differ.
Ghee – It tastes the best when cooked in ghee. Use butter, vegetable 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 also need green cardamoms, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, and bay leaves. These whole spices when infused in hot ghee adds a beautiful flavor and aroma. Slightly crush them in mortar pestle for the best result.
Green Chili Peppers – Add less or more according to your taste.
Lime Juice – Lime juice makes the cooked rice fluffier and also makes it whiter.
Cilantro – Add some freshness and a pop of green in this rice recipe with some finely chopped cilantro.
How To Make Jeera Rice
Stove Top Method
Wash 1 cup basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Washing the rice removes extra starch which in turn makes it fluffy post-cooking. Soak it in 2-3 cups of water for 30 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a medium pot over high heat.
When the ghee is hot, add 2 tsp cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
Add 1 tsp chopped green chili and saute for 20-30 seconds.
Add 2-3 whole green cardamoms, 3-4 cloves, 3-4 black peppercorns, and a 1-inch piece of cinnamon and saute for 20 seconds.
You can crush the whole spices for an enhanced flavor.
Drain the rice and add it to the pot along with 2-3 drops of lime juice, 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp salt, and 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 to grow healthy.
Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat till all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender.
Remove the pot 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
Wash and soak the rice. Press SAUTE button of the instant pot.
Add ghee and when the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds.
Let them crackle for 4-5 seconds. Add green chili and saute for 20-30 seconds. Add the whole spices and saute for another 20-30 seconds.
Drain the rice and add it to the pot along with 1-¼ cups of water, lime juice, bay leaf, and salt. 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. Serve!
Indian Pressure Cooker Method
Follow the pot recipe until adding rice and water. 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 per the order.
Start by cooking the rice. You can cook it however you wish to. Now cool it completely. It is advisable to use day-old rice. If you are making fresh rice for this recipe, then 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 chili and whole spices and saute for 20-30 seconds. Add the cooked rice and salt and toss until rice is coated with the tempering. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve!
Frequently Asked Questions
Replace ghee with oil to make vegan jeera chawal.
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 the instant pot doesn’t allow steam to escape out and hence less amount of water is needed to cook the same amount of rice. I use a 1:1-¼ ratio for instant pot rice and it turns out perfect.
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.
Pro Tips By Neha
Use very good quality long grain basmati rice to make jeera rice. Long grain and aged rice is the best.
Add cumin to the ghee, when it is really 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 in hot ghee makes it even more flavorful.
Adding a few lime juice drops in 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.
Jeera rice tastes great with almost all the Indian curries, kadhi, and dals. Some of my favorite curries and dals to pair this zeera rice with are dal tadka, bhuna gosht, lauki chana dal, laal maas, Amritsari chole, Kashmiri rajma, rajma masala, vegetable kadhi, paneer butter masala, etc.
I like to serve dal makhani and jeera rice with a side of boondi raita, sliced onions, and papad for special meals.
Jeera rice will last in the fridge for a good 3 to 4 days when stored in an airtight container. If you are making it in large quantity, heat only the amount you want to serve.
If you feel cumin rice has become a little dry after refrigerating, sprinkle a little water on top, mix, and heat either in the pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.
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Jeera Rice Recipe
- 1 cup long grain basmati rice
- 2 tbsp ghee
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chopped green chili peppers
- 2-3 whole green cardamoms
- 3-4 cloves
- 3-4 whole black peppercorns
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon
- 2-3 drops lime juice
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Stove Top Method
- Wash basmati rice with water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Soak it in 2-3 cups of water for 30 minutes.
- Heat ghee in a medium pot over high heat.
- When the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
- Add green chili and saute for 20-30 seconds.
- Add whole green cardamoms, cloves, black peppercorns, and 1 inch piece of cinnamon and saute for 20 seconds.
- Drain the rice and add it to the pot along with lime juice, bay leaf, salt, and 2 cups of water. Stir gently.
- Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook on low heat till all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender (15-20 minutes).
- Remove the pot from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice gently with a fork. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve!
Instant Pot Method
- Wash and soak the rice.
- Press SAUTE button of the instant pot. Add ghee and when the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds. Let them crackle for 4-5 seconds. Add green chili and saute for 20-30 seconds. Add the whole spices and saute for another 20-30 seconds.
- Drain the rice and add it to the pot along with 1-¼ cups of water, lime juice, bay leaf and salt. 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. Serve!