Filled with aromatic flavor of earthy spices, and a lot of cumin seeds, Jeera Rice is a North Indian classic flavored rice prepared during any special occasions. It pairs well with vegetarian dishes and non-vegetarian dishes. With the right ratio of water and cooking time, you will get fluffy Jeera Rice every time.
What is Jeera Rice ?
Jeera rice is cumin flavored rice. Jeera is cumin seeds. Cumin Seeds are tempered in ghee along raw rice and then cooked together. To enhance the flavor, you can add a few other whole spices too along with lemon juice.
You can prepare Jeera rice in stove top on a heavy bottom pot, or in an electric pressure cooker or even in microwave.
Keep in mind that depending on the variety of rice you use, the ratio of water will change.
Ingredients you need for Jeera Rice
Basmati Rice - You can make this rice dish with short grain rice too, but basmati rice or any variety of long grain rice works best. You can use brown rice too, just avoid sticky rice.
Spices - Mace, Cinnamon Sticks, Black Cardamoms, Clove, Bay leaves and Cumin Seeds. Cumin Seeds are the key flavoring spice here, and you can ignore the rest of the whole spices. However, adding those other whole spices, will add a floral note to the rice dish that goes so well with the woody earthy aroma of cumin seeds.
Ghee - Ghee is a must when it comes to jeera rice. It adds a richness and aroma to the dish that you will not get if you use oil.
Lemon Juice - Lemon juice not only adds a mild refreshing taste but also helps the rice to not clump up as it cooks. It will help to create that fluffy texture.
Steps to prepare
- The first step is the most important step. Washing the rice with water a few times will remove all the excess starch in the rice. This will help to create the fluffy texture we all enjoy in cooked rice. If you don't wash, chances are you will get a gummy texture and the grains will stick to one another.
2. Cook the whole spices with ghee. I used an electric pressure cooker to prepare this jeera rice, but you can use stove top too and follow the same method. Cook the whole spices in ghee for about a minute to release the aroma of the spices.
3. Add the washed rice and stir it around to incorporate everything, and then cook the grain for 1 minute.
4. Pour water and squeeze the lemon juice. At this point, you can add turmeric powder if you want the yellow color to your jeera rice. Traditionally, jeera rice is always kept white.
5. Cook the rice - If you are using an electric pressure cooker, then cook the rice in pressure cook mode for 14 minutes and then release the steam. If you are cooking in a stove top, then let it simmer for 20 minutes for the rice to cooked.
6. Once done, open the lid and leave aside for 5 minutes. Let the extra steam release away. Then use a big fork and slowly stir the rice around and let the bottom rice also come on top. By doing so, we remove the excess moisture while the rice is still hot, and it will help the grains to separate. This technique is called fluffing the rice.
Ratio of water to rice
There is definitely a standard ratio followed when cooking rice, however I will always say this depending on the variety of the rice, the brand and your cooking method, the ratio might change.
Stove Top ratio - When cooking rice in a pot in stove top, the ratio is typically 1:2, 1 cup rice to 2 cups water.
Pressure Cooker - Traditional Indian pressure cooker or electric pressure cooker typically requires tad bit less water. So I would say 1 cup rice needs 1 and ½ cup water.
Jeera rice is cumin flavored rice, often prepared with basmati rice. It is very popular in North of India, and it is paired with several vegetarians and non-vegetarian dishes.
Too much of anything is not good, so consuming jeera rice on daily basis. A tiny amount of cumin on every day is healthy but when making jeera rice, we do add a good doze of jeera and consuming that much everyday is not good for health.
As long as the rice is not sticky rice, you can use it to prepare jeera rice. Jeera rice however tastes best when prepared with white basmati rice.
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 2 tablespoon Ghee
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- Few cloves
- 1 Black cardamom
- 1 Mace
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice
- Wash the rice several times, changing water until the milky water is gone and you see clear water. If you have time in hand, soak the washed rice for 30 minutes.
- Turn the electric pressure cooker in sauté mode and pour the ghee. Then add all the whole spices along with cumin seeds and stir around for a few seconds.
- Add the drained rice and stir it around to incorporate everything.
- Season lightly with salt, and pour 1 and ½ cups of water. Add the lemon juice, give a stir and pressure cook for 13 minutes.
- Once done, release the steam and keep the lid open for a few minutes.
- Then take a fork and gently stir around the cooked rice to release the trapped steam and separate the grains. You have to do this step while the rice is still hot.
- Enjoy Jeera rice warm with your choice of sides.