Jeera Rice – Cumin Rice 3 Ways (Stovetop, Instant pot, Rice Cooker)
Jeera rice is an everyday, easy basmati rice dish. It is a great example of simple food with a few ingredients tasting amazing. The key ingredients are basmati rice, ghee and cumin seeds.
Using a good quality Basmati is important. If you notice how each grain looks separated and slightly turned up in the above picture, that is because of aged basmati rice. In Gujarati, you would say “kheeligya.” Meaning the rice “bloomed.” You can find good quality basmati rice in your local Indian grocery stores.
Note: In English, jeera means cumin seeds.
Making it vegan
If you are looking for a vegan alternative to ghee, we use olive oil often. It still gives a delicious flavor and makes the jeera rice vegan. Or you can skip the ghee altogether and just have rice with the other flavors in this!
What goes with it?
So, since jeera rice is an everyday rice dish it can be served with any Indian main dish for dinner or lunch. Typically, it is served with shaak/subzi (vegetable dish) or with dal.
In Gujarat, an every day meal consists of rotli (roti), dal, bhaath (rice) and shaak (vegetable dish).
I have some vegetable dish options up you can pair it with:
Also, here is a yummy dal it can be served with:
Keys to the best jeera rice
- Basmati rice quality – I love India Gate brand. Royal is also popular.
- Wash the rice – remove excess starch
- Tempering of oil – don’t skip tempering the oil with spices and then coating the rice grains with that oil. This is where the flavor is!
Making jeera rice at home
There are multiple ways to make this Indian cumin rice at home. You can make it stove top, in an Instant Pot or in a rice cooker.
The process is pretty much the same for all methods. Here is an overview of the stove top method. I will then outline steps for Instant Pot and rice cooker below.
Making In Instant Pot
In Saute mode, add ghee or oil then spices. Then, add rice and mix to coat. Next, water and salt goes in. Put on High Pressure and cook for 5 minutes. Then do natural release for 3 minutes. After 3 minutes, you can do quick release. Jeera rice is ready.
Making it in a rice cooker
My preferred way is to heat oil and spices in a pan then add rice to the pan. Then, I add water and this rice to the rice cooker. Follow usual rice cooker method and you are set!
Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice
- Small pot and lid
- ½ cup basmati rice
- 1 tsp ghee
- ½ tbsp jeera
- 2 sticks cinnamon optional
- 2 cloves optional
- Wash and drain rice
- Add 1 tsp ghee in pan low medium heat. Once melted add jeera, cinnamon and cloves. Add rice. Mix to coat.
- Add rice and mix to coat
- Add 1 ⅓ cup water and ½ tsp salt.
- Let cook uncovered for 12 minutes on medium heat
- Then cover and cook 5 more minutes
- Rice grains will look separated once done