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  • Writer's pictureheutemalindisch

Jeera Rice - Cumin Rice

Cumin seeds are known as Jeera in Hindi. This is how this famous rice dish got its name Jeera Rice. Thus, Jeera Rice or cumin rice is one and the same. It is an aromatic rice dish lightly flavored with Khada Garam Masala (whole spices), and has the earthy flavors of cumin. Fluffy long grain rice with warm, nutty flavors of cumin seeds sizzling in ghee, along with the mild spice of whole cloves and green cardamom pods, makes Jeera Rice a perfect combination for Indian main dishes.

Jeera Rice is also one of the most popular Indian rice-based dishes served in Indian restaurants. Many people prefer Jeera Rice instead of plain basmati rice, as an accompaniment to dals or curry dishes. Tempering it with cumin and fragrant whole spices, takes the simple rice dish up a notch.

Jeera Rice can be prepared in two methods. It is easy to prepare using either method and even absolute novice cooks can make it. You can make it for guests or special occasions or even for everyday meals when you want to spice up your meals.

Here are my two recipes or better methods to prepare Jeera Rice:

1. Jeera Rice or Jeera Pulao - one pot method

  • In this recipe method for Jeera Rice, jeera and whole spices are first sauteed in oil. Then the rice is cooked along with the spices. This method is similar to the preparation of pulao (pilaf). Therefore, this dish can also be called Jeera Pulao.

  • This is a one-pot method and can be prepared in a pressure cooker as well as in a pan or a regular pot. In this method of preparing cumin rice, the rice absorbs the flavor of jeera (cumin) and the whole garam masala very well because everything is cooked together in one pot.

2. Restaurant style Jeera Rice or Jeera Pulao

  • This Jeera Rice recipe gives a restaurant flavor and is mildly spiced, fragrant and tastes so delicious with the full flavors of the cumin.

  • In this recipe method, the rice grains are first cooked with whole spices. Then a tempering is made with cumin and green chilies. This tempering is then added to the cooked rice and mixed. This method of preparing Jeera Rice is mainly used in restaurants.

  • Optionally, the rice can be cooked with some saffron threads to add some color and flavor to the cumin rice.

  • This method is also useful if you have some leftover cooked rice. If you are using leftover cooked rice, modify the ingredients accordingly depending on the amount of rice.

Tips for preparing non-stickt, fluffy and the best Jeera Rice

1.Quality of basmati rice - To get a loose and non sticky Jeera Rice or Jeera Pulao, the quality of basmati rice must be very good. Each grain should expand and plump up after cooking, yet remain separate. Aged basmati rice is very good for making Jeera Rice, Pulao or Biryani. You could even use cooked basmati rice (Sella Basmati Chawal) which also gives great results.

2. Soak the rice - In practice, it is always better to soak rice for at least 20 minutes to a maximum of 30 minutes. Soaking rice ensures that the grains expand and cook really well. Less water is also needed to cook soaked rice grains, which also reduces the cooking time.

3. Rinse the rice - I always rinse rice before cooking. Rinsing rice removes some starch from the grains and keeps them from sticking after cooking. The rice grains need to be rinsed a few times before the water is starch free.

4. Rice-to-water ratio - The rice-to-water ratio always depends on the quality of the rice used. Usually, I have found that organic basmati rice requires more water to cook than regular basmati rice. Most of the time, the rice to water ratio for cooking is 1: 2 for rice (which has been previously soaked) and water, respectively

Also check the following ratio :

  • Rice to water ratio in a pressure cooker - 1:1.5 or 1.75.

  • Ratio of rice to water in a pan or pot - 1:2 or 1:2.5

5. Stirring rice - If you need to stir the rice grains while cooking, use a fork, not a spoon. A spoon will break the rice grains more than a fork. Also, do not stir the rice often as this will break the rice grains.

6. Fry Jeera (cumin seeds) and spices - The cumin seeds and whole spices must crackle and smell aromatic before you proceed. In simple words, they need to be well fried. To get the browning and crackling of these spices, the oil or Ghee must be medium hot when you add the spices. Once you add the spices, they will crackle and release their essential oils into the Ghee or oil. At this point, you need to be quick and move on to the next step in the recipe. Also, be careful not to burn the spices.

7. Secret Ingredient - One spice I never leave out of Jeera Rice is Mace (Javitri). Mace adds a unique flavor and fragrance to Jeera Rice. So add this aromatic spice when ready. Since mace can become quite strong in any dish, add very little. Just one or two strands is enough for one cup of raw rice.

This Jeera Rice recipe is PERFECT, not sticky, fluffy, fragrant and delicious.


  • 1 cup basmati rice

  • 1 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)

  • 1 Tej patta (bay leaf)

  • 2 Lavang (cloves)

  • 2 Hari Elaichi (green cardamoms)

  • 2,5 cm Dalchicni (cinnamon stick)

  • 2 tsp Jeera (cumin)

  • 1 strand of Javitri (mace)

  • 1 Hari Mirch (green chili), optional

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 2 cups for stew method or 3 cups for restaurant style method

  • 1 tbsp chopped Dhaniya patta (coriander leaves), for garnish (optional)

  • 1 tbsp Kaju (cashew nuts) (only for restaurant style version)


Method 1: How to prepare Jeera Rice (in one pot, stove top method)

Rinse basmati rice under cold running water until water runs clear. Soak rice in enough water for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain rice in a colander and let dry for 10 minutes. This step is optional if you are in a hurry.

Heat Ghee in a thick-bottomed pot over medium heat. Once your Ghee is hot, add bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, mace and cinnamon stick and fry everything for a minute until the spices give off a nice aroma.

Then add cumin and fry until it crackles.

Add rice and stir to fry for a minute.

Add 2 cups of water and salt; mix well.

Let the water come to a boil. Once it begins to boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Then turn off the heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes to allow the rice to set, then open the lid after 10 minutes.

Use a fork to loosen it up. Your Jeera Rice is ready to serve. Transfer everything into a serving bowl and serve with your preferred Dal and Sabji.

Methode 2: How to prepare Jeera Rice (Restaurant style)

Rinse basmati rice under cold running water until water runs clear. Soak rice in enough water for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain rice in a colander and let dry for 10 minutes. This step is optional if you're in a hurry.

Take the rice to a pan. Add water, salt and whole spices (bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, mace and cinnamon stick).

Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Then simmer for 10 minutes without a lid over medium heat. Check the rice grain, it should be cooked. Turn off the heat.

Drain the excess water with a colander and let everything drain for 5 minutes. Then spread the rice on a large plate so there are no lumps of rice. Let cool for 10 minutes. Spreading the rice on the plate and letting it cool are two important steps. This ensures that the separated rice grains will not break when mixed later.

Once the rice has cooled a bit, heat the Ghee in a pan over medium heat. Then add cumin seeds. Fry the seeds until they are light brown and the cumin seeds spread their fragrant aroma. Add cashews and roast, stirring constantly, until they are light brown. Then add chopped green chili and roast for about 30 seconds.

Then add cooked rice and mix everything gently. Add the chopped coriander leaves over the rice and fold in carefully.

The addition of cashews is optional. I added them because I wanted to make the dish similar to restaurant style. In addition to cashews, you can also add raisins.

Your Jeera Rice is ready to serve. Transfer everything into a serving bowl and serve with your preferred Dal and Sabji.


  • If you are using leftover rice, you will need about 3 cups of cooked rice to use the same proportion of ingredients as indicated in the recipe.

  • Take out the whole spices (bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, mace and cinnamon stick) before serving.

I look forward to hearing from you...

...if you like my blog, my recipes inspire you and your curiosity for Indian cuisine has been piqued.

Feel free to give me feedback if you would like to share your cooking accomplishments or have a suggestion for improvement. I appreciate any kind feedback. Whether via the comment function, email, Facebook or Instagram (best tagged with #heutemalindisch and @heutemalindisch, then your cooking success can also inspire others).



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