Jeera Rice – Stove-Top & Instant Pot Recipe

Perfect Jeera Rice

Jeera Rice is the most flavorful, common and easy variant of steamed rice. Jeera rice of course gets its aroma and flavors from toasted jeera, also known as cumin seeds. Essential oils from whole spices like bay leaves, cloves, cardamom and star anise all add a unique essence.

Jeera rice topped with Cilantro and Pomegranate Arils

Substitute Jeera rice in your everyday meal with plain steamed rice to enhance the experience of everyday meals. All you need is 15 minutes cooking time to make this vegan and gluten-free rice recipe that goes along with any curry or dal.

Jeera rice served with chana saag

What type of rice to use?

It’s hard to think of a food more universal than rice. Rice, as a grain, is a most widely consumed staple food in the whole world. There are many varieties of rice such as white, brown, red, black and purple; but white rice is the most popular and commonly consumed variety.

Jeera Rice Ingredients

White rice can be further classified into long, medium, and short-grained rice. Medium and short grain rice is more popular in Eastern Asia, while in Indian subcontinent long grain rice is commonly used. Basmati rice and Jasmine rice are the two most popular long gain variants of rice used in this region.

My favorite Basmati Rice

Even though Jasmine rice is the more common for daily use in most families, I grew up eating only the best quality Basmati rice. I have yet to taste Jasmine Rice.  Basmati Rice is popular for its size and fragrance. Older the basmati rice, better it is.

Jeera Rice

Aging process adds a distinct flavor to the basmati rice. Basmati rice should age at least for one year after harvesting, but the more aged basmati rice would be even better. That’s why, I prefer to use India Gate Classic Basmati Rice which is aged for two years. It has an amazing fragrance and cooks to an extra-long grain basmati rice.

Jeera Rice

Tips for making perfect Jeera Rice

Making Jeera rice is very easy and can be cooked either in a pan on stovetop or in pressure cooker, such as Mealthy or Instant Pot. Sharing few tips how to make perfectly fluffed and separated grains every time you make it. 

Jeera Rice
  1. First and foremost, you need a really good quality aged long grain Basmati rice. I would recommend India Gate Classic long grain and aged Basmati Rice.
  2. Rinsing rice prior to cooking is very important to get rid of dust and contaminants that rice gets exposed to during milling, storing and packing process.
  3. Rinsing rice 3-4 times also helps in removing extra starch, which results into more tender fluffier and separated cooked rice grains.
  4. If time allows, soak the rice for 15 to 20 minutes. Soaking rice helps in achieving the perfect texture of rice. Soaked rice always yields longer and fluffier cooked individual grain.
  5. Sauté whole spices in hot oil for few seconds before adding rice to them. This process releases the essential oils and adds more flavor to the jeera rice. Also be cautious that spices do not get burnt.
  6. Crush the whole cardamom and cloves slightly as they might pop in hot oil when added whole.
  7. Add 1 tsp of lime or lemon juice for more fluffy and separated rice grains, especially when cooking in pressure cooker or rice cooker.
  8. Water ratio depends on which method you are using to cook. For stovetop method 1:2 rice to water ratio and for Instant Pot 1:1.25 rice to water ratio works best.
  9. Roasting the rice with spices for a few minutes before adding water enahnces the overall flavor.
  10. When cooking rice using stovetop method, switch off the heat before all water is absorbed by rice. Let the rice sit and steam cook for 15 minutes.
  11. When cooking using Instant Pot, transfer the jeera rice to serving dish immediately once done to avoid any sticking and getting it dry.
  12. Always fluff the cooked rice with light hand to avoid any breakage of rice since rice would be very tender.
  13. Finally, pair this flavorful jeera rice with Dal Tadka, Chana Saag, Panchmel dal, Palak Dal or with this Everyday Matar Paneer Curry.
Jeera Rice

Jeera Rice Ingredients

Jeera Rice Ingredients

Dairy:

  1. Oil: 1 tbs

Pantry:

  1. Long grain Basmati Rice: 1 cup 
  2. Water: 2 cups for Cooktop method and 1.25 cup of Instant Pot Method.

Spices:

  1. Bay leaf: 2 in number
  2. Cinnamon Stick: 1inch stick
  3. Green Cardamom: 4-5 in number
  4. Cloves: 4-5 in number
  5. Star Anise: 1 in number
  6. Cumin Seeds: 1 tsp
  7. Salt: ½ tsp

Produce:

  1. Green Chilis: 2 slited or adjust as per your spice level
  2. Lemon or Lime Juice: 1 tsp
  3. Cilantro: handful/15 gm chopped
  4. Pomegranate Arils: ¼ cup
Jeera Rice Ingredients

Jeera Rice Method

Instant Pot Recipe

  1. Wash the rice 4-5 times until the water turns clear. Drain and set it aside.
    One cup rice rice being washed
    cloudy water after washing rice washed rice soaked in water
  2. Press the saute button of the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil. Then add Cumin seeds, let the cumin seeds splutter.
    oil being added to instant pot pan cumin seeds being added
  3. Now add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, lightly crushed cloves, green cardamom and star anise.
    bay leaves being added to instant pot pan for jeera rice recipe Whole spices being added to instant ot pan
  4. Add slits of green chilies. Spices sputtering in oil in instant pot pan
  5. Roast all the spices for few seconds until you start getting aroma of whole spices.
  6. Then add the rinsed and soaked basmati rice to the pot. Roast the rice with the spices for 2 to 3 minutes.
    rice being added to instant pot pan after sauteing the spices Jeera rice being cooked in an instant pot pan
  7. Add 1.25 times water of rice quantity, salt and stir.
    water being added to jeera rice recipe salt being added to instant pot pan
  8. Close the pot with the lid and press the manual/pressure cook button. Cook on high pressure for 4 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position.
    making sure that instant pot wsitle is in sealing location Instant pot settings for Jeera rice recipe
  9. Let the pressure release naturally. Open the pot and fluff the rice.
    Cooked jeera rice in instant pot pan Cooked Jeera rice closeup
  10. Sprinkle handful of chopped cilantro and pomegranate arils. Jeera rice topped with cilantro and pomegranate
  11. Serve hot!

Stove Top Recipe

  1. Wash the basmati rice a few times, and then soak it in enough water so that the rice is completely soaked and has an inch of extra water on top. Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes.
    One cup rice rice being washed
    cloudy water after washing rice washed rice soaked in water
  2. When you are ready to cook, drain all the water from the rice and set the rice aside. 
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it.
    Oil being added to pan Cumin Seeds being added to hot oil
  4. Now add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, lightly crushed cloves, green cardamom and star anise.
    Whole spice being added to jeera rice recipe bay leaves being added to jeera rice recipe
  5. Add the chopped green chili and drained rice to it.
    slit green chilies being added to jeera rice recipe washed and drained rice being added to jeera rice recipe
  6. Sauté the rice with spices in the pan for two to three minutes on a medium flame. This helps add more flavor to the rice. 
  7. Add two cups water and salt to the rice and mix well.
    water being added to jeera rice recipe Salt being added to jeera rice recipe
  8. Squeeze around 1 tsp lemon or lime juice to it for fluffier and not sticky rice. few lemon drops being added to jeera rice recipe
  9. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for approximately five to six minutes, till 90 percent of water has been absorbed by rice. During cooking little water still remaining
  10. Give it a quick stir and switch off the heat.
  11. Cover the pan with a lid and let the rice sit for 15 minutes. Rice being steam cooked
  12. The rice will completely cook with the remnant heat of steam without getting mushy. 
  13. Take the lid off and fluff the rice. cooked Jeera Rice closeup
  14. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and Pomegranate arils. Jeera rice topped with cilantro and pomegranate
  15. Serve hot!

“For pleasure has no relish unless we share it.” 

― Virginia Woolf, The Common Reader

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Some of my favourite Jeera Rice accompaniments:

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4.5 from 2 votes