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


  1. Oil: 1 tbs


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


  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


  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