Ever wondered what to serve with that delicious curry you have mastered or to add some oomph to make your plain white rice more exciting.Well then you don’t have to search any further than jeera rice! Whether you’re making a simple dal or a delicious creamy curry, this rice will make your dinner extra delicious. I can also assure you that once you try it, you won’t be able to resist making it again and again!
What’s Jeera rice?
Jeera is cumin in Hindi and Punjabi. Also called Jeerige in Kannada, Jeeragam in Tamil and Jeelakarra in Telugu. Its widely used in Indian and other cuisines across the globe. The unique flavor and fragrance it imparts to rice is what makes it special. We also use a a few other additions to make it more flavorful but in its simplest form its tempered jeera mixed with seasoned cooked rice.
Jeera rice is a dish from the northern parts of India that is popularly served with dal. It can also served with any Indian gravy dish and it will fit right in.
There are a few different ways to make jeera rice and I will cover all of them in the sections below.
The full list of ingredients we need are
- White medium grain or long grain rice – You can use any low starch rice like Sona Masoori. Basmati is also a popular choice.
- Jeera or Cumin – Ideally 1 teaspoon of jeera should be used for each cup of uncooked rice
- Cloves – 2-3 cloves per cup of uncooked rice
- Green Chillies – This is highly recommended but you can skip them if you want to keep it mellow
- Onions and Green Bell Pepper – I thinly slice both of them since I prefer the way it looks. Typically only onions is used but I also like using bell pepper. They both are used as topping after frying them and add a wonderful flavor to the rice. I skipped the frying and instead just sautéed them until well browned.
- Salt – as required
- Cilantro(Coriander leaves) – To use as a topping.This is optional and can be skipped. If you don’t like cilantro, you can use finely chopped mint leaves for topping.
- Roasted Cashews or Almond Slivers – To use as a topping. This is optional.
One tip is to soak the rice for 10-15 minutes before cooking the rice. This removes the extra starch and helps cook the rice well separated.
How to make great jeera rice?
There are 3 ways to make jeera rice depending whether you make it in the instant pot, on the stove top or using a pressure cooker. The recipe card contains instructions for the instant pot method. Please refer to instructions for stove top or pressure cooker method below.
Stove Top method
Duration : Approximately 30 minutes
1. Heat a deep heavy bottom pan. Add the ghee and saute the whole spices until the jeera splutters. Now add the onions and green bell pepper. Saute and let it cook for 5 minutes. Add the green chillies. Now add the drained rice, water and salt to taste. The ratio of rice to water is 1:2 for any type of rice you use.
2.Turn up the heat to medium and cover the pan with a lid. Check after 10-12 minutes to see if it needs any more water. If it does, then add a few more tablespoons of water and let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Once done, turn off the stove and keep aside
1. Follow steps for cooking the rice but just skip adding the onions, bell pepper and green chillies. Instead shallow fry or saute them in a separate pan similar to the instant pot method.
2. Once the rice is cooked, top with the sautéed vegetables and serve.
My preferred way is to cook in the instant pot since it is more hands off. I also like cooking the onions & bell pepper separately most of the time since I like the crispier finish. If short on time, I choose the first option and it still turns out delicious all the time!
Pressure cooker method
Duration : Approximately 30 minutes
Follow similar steps to the instant pot. The ratio of rice to water is 1:2 for a pressure cooker. Once you see steam being released from the valve, place a “weight” and let the cooker “whistle”(release steam) 3 times before turning off the stove.
What can you serve jeera rice with?
If you want add more texture, then you can also top the rice with some roasted cashews and sprinkle some chopped cilantro. You can serve it with any dal, stew or a gravy based curry. Popular sides that go great with it are Indian pickles, yoghurt, fried or dry roasted papad(lentil/rice wafers). However you can practically serve this rice with whatever you want like a delicious chickpea stew or a Japanese style curry. The opportunities are endless.
It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days and frozen for up to 6 months. Let the rice thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat it in the microwave or the oven in a suitable container.
I hope you can take a few minutes to let me know what you think of this jeera rice! If you have any questions, comments or thoughts please share below in the comments. Want to share your creations on social media? Tag me in Instagram @dillandthyme using #dillandthyme or follow along on Facebook or Pinterest.
- 11/2 cup Basmati Rice washed and soaked for 10-15 minutes
- 2 cup Water
- 1 Small Red Onion peeled and sliced
- 1 Small Green Bell Pepper seeded and sliced
- 2 tbsp Ghee or Avocado Oil
- 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
- 11/2 tsp Jeera(cumin Seeds)
- 5 Cloves
- 2 Fresh Green Chilis
- Salt to taste
- Handful of chopped cilantro optional
- 4 tbsp Roasted cashew halves or Almond Slivers optional
- Turn on 'Saute' mode in the instant pot and press the saute button until the saute level is at 'medium'. Once hot, add the 2 tablespoons of ghee or avocado oil. Add the jeera and wait for it to splutter. Add the cloves and wait for 30 seconds.
- Now add the onions, green bell peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the green chillies and let cook for a minute more.
- Now add the drained rice and saute for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups of water and salt. Turn off 'saute' mode and close the lid. Turn the valve to 'sealed' position. Select 'pressure cook' mode and select time as 10 minutes.
- Once the steam has released and safety valve has 'dropped', open the lid of the instant pot. Once cool enough to handle, mix the rice before serving. Also add cilantro and cashews if desired.
- Follow the first step from method 1.
- Add the drained rice and saute for 30 seconds. Add the 2 cups of water and salt. Turn off 'saute' mode and close the lid. Turn the valve to 'sealed' position select 'pressure cook' mode and select time as 10 minutes.
- While waiting for the steam to release, heat a frying pan to medium. Add the tablespoon of avocado oil. Once hot, add the onions and saute. Let it cook for 4-5 minutes before adding the bell pepper. Once both are well browned, add the slit green chilies and cook for one more minute. Turn off the stove.
- Once the stew has released and safety valve has 'dropped', open the lid of the instant pot. Once cool enough to handle, remove the rice and place in the serving bowl/plate. Top the rice with the cooked onions and bell pepper mixture before serving. Also add cilantro and cashews if desired.
- If fresh green chilies are too hot, substitute with jalapeño or Anaheim peppers or skip it entirely.
- If basmati is not available, you can use any medium grain white rice.
- Substitute green bell peppers with any other colored bell pepper if you prefer.
- The nutrition information provided are approximate values only and not exact values.