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Jeera Rice - An Easy Indian Rice Recipe

Updated on May 22, 2015
So easy, so yummy - Jeera Rice
So easy, so yummy - Jeera Rice

Jeera Rice - An Easy Dinner Recipe

Rice is a staple food in many countries. It can be eaten as plain cooked rice or cooked with many vegetables, chicken, mutton, prawn or egg - it tends to get better when you add additional ingredients to it. Today I'm sharing with you Jeera or Cumin Rice (occasionally referred to as Zeera Pulao) without adding any vegetables or meat.

Originally a North Indian cuisine, this has developed a universal popularity among food lovers. Extremely popular in restaurants (goes really well with curries), this is just as easy to cook at home, either on special occasions or even on an every day basis. You don't have to be an expert cook to master this dish, yet, what you will get is a dish that is loved and adored by one and all, just the way they love and adore it.

About the recipe

Rice is the chief ingredient here so try not to shortchange on the quality of rice you use. Preferably, go with Basmati long grain rice, both for its aromatic quality as well as its texture of fine, long grain rice whose cooked grain has a firm, yet soft texture to it, and is never mushy. However, if you cannot get your hands on Basmati rice, go with long grain rice.

The Jeera (cumin) adds its native flavor also blending with the rice really well thereby bringing out its wonderful taste and aroma, while the whole spices (along with the ginger and garlic) enhances the dish to its all round finesse. Vinegar is used in minimal quantity adding a certain sourness which due to its appropriate (small) quantity adds to the overall taste.

So lets launch into the recipe right away.

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: 3 people


  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp jeera (cumin)
  • 1 tsp whole garam masala (clove, cinnamon, cardamom)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • Salt (according to taste)


1. Basmati Rice should be soaked in water for half an hour. After half and hour, drain the water and keep aside. Soaking helps the rice grains to separate from each other.

2. Take 6 cups of water in a pan and heat it on a high flame. After heating for 5-7 minutes, switch off the flame and keep aside. Mind that the water doesn't necessarily need to boil, so long as it is hot enough.

Instructions for cooking the Jeera Rice

1, Take another pan and add 4 tbps of oil to it. Heat the oil, then slow the flame, add whole, garam masala, jeera (cumin) and bay leaf to it. Let these splutter properly.

2. Add drained rice to it and fry it on a medium flame for 5 minutes. Then add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 5 minutes. The rice will begin changing to a light golden brown color.

3. Now add the hot water (from Step 2) to the rice. Add salt (according to taste) and vinegar.

4. Now cook the rice till the water evaporates and the rice fluffs up. Please bear in mind that even though the water has evaporated, there is enough moisture in the rice and it is with this, that the rice will cook further. Slow the flame and cook on this flame till the rice is cooked and its texture is tender. You will enjoy a nice aroma of the jeera (cumin) and the whole spices during the cooking process.

5. The delicious Jeera (Cumin) Rice is now ready to eat.

Please note that you may alternately transfer everything after Step 3 to a rice cooker and cook the rice in it..

Cooking the rice with the whole spices (garam masala)
Cooking the rice with the whole spices (garam masala)

Some Curries or Dals you can enjoy Jeera Rice with

Veg Dishes you can enjoy Jeera Rice with -

or any any other vegetarian curry.

Non Vegetarian dishes you can enjoy Jeera Rice with -

and other non-veg masalas or curries.

Additional tips

If you'd like, and I know some people do it this way, you can add some veggies to the rice - like carrots, beans and peas, or you may use them individually. Fried or roasted cashews can also be used as garnishing - cashews, you may have noticed are often used in many rice preparations because they add an immeasurable richness to the overall taste of the dish.


This tasty rice dish is awesome, incorporating the aromatic and fragrant qualities of jeera (cumin) and whole spices and can be enjoyed, as has been been described above, with any vegetarian or non vegetarian curry or tadka dal (dal is basically any split pulses, in particular lentils). I enjoy cooking this and I'm sure, you will too.

5 stars from 1 rating of Jeera Rice


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