How to Cook Jeera Rice?

Jeera Rice is that Indian Dish which consists of cumin seeds and rice. In Pakistan this dish is called “Zeera Rice”. This dish is very popular amongst people of North India. This recipe is an everyday main course rice dish. Jeera is Hindi translation for cumin seeds. This dish also has light spices of garam masala wholly.

Jeera Rice goes well with Dal Tadka. This dish can be fabulously accompanied with many North Indian dals and curries like Gujarati kadhi, Punjabi dum aloo, methi mushroom, panchmel dal, mah kid al, Punjabi kadhi pakora.

There are 2 processes of preparing jeera rice. First is in which spices are tempered, and then those spices are added to rice that is cooked. This process is used for restaurant style preparation of jeera rice. Second is in which spices are firstly fried and then rice is prepared together with spices. Second method is mostly preferred because rice imbibes very nicely the flavour of garam masala wholly and jeera.


Onions can be used as an ingredient for the preparation of this dish. Jeera Rice is an aromatic and simple pilaf which is flavoured with whole spices and cumin. Mace or javitri imparts unique fragrance and perfect flavour to the dish. Therefore this dish must be certainly added. Mace is quite a very strong ingredient, so it is better that you should add them in little amounts. 2 threads of mace will suffice.

The jeera rice is got in Punjabi dhabas without orange yellow and reddish colour. If there is any requirement of colours add turmeric or saffron. It is advised to use colouring agents that are natural   instead of using artificial ones.  People mostly like to eat jeera rice in place of plain basmati rice. Jeera rice increases the level of a simple rich dish by a notch up.

Bachelors can prepare this dish in an easy manner. It is made for special occasions and for guests. Jeera rice goes well with Dal Makhani, Shahi Paneer, Palak Paneer and Malai Kofta.

Ingredients-(Measuring cup that is used in America, 250ml=1 cup)

  • Basmati Rice-3 cups
  • Cumin/Jeera-4 teaspoon
  • Dalchini/cinnamon-2 inch
  • Badi elaichi/black cardamom-2
  • Choti elaichi/green cardamom-4
  • Tej patta/bay leaf-2
  • Laung/cloves-5
  • Kalimirch/black peppercorns-10 to 12
  • Javitri/mace threads-3 or4
  • Badian/star anise-4 to 6 petals (this is an optional feature)
  • Water cups-6
  • Oil or ghee-4 tablespoon
  • Coriander leaves-some-(this is an optional feature for garnishing purpose)
  • Salt as per requirements


  • Basmati rice is soaked in water for one hour. Rice is drained. Then set aside. A pan is heated. Oil or ghee is added. When oil turns hot by putting the pan on medium or low flame, it is time to add all whole garam masala and cumin. Allow the cumin to become brown. Allow the oil to get fragrance from garam masala.
  • Add rice that is soaked. Sauté and stir for 5 minutes. Add water and salt. Cook by covering it the cooking of rice happens. Rice which is cooked should not get pasty or mushy. Check whilst the cooking of rice is taking place. Then the jeera rice is fully prepared. You can know this by seeing the fluffiness of rice. Serve it hot to people. Coriander leaves in small amounts are used as garnishing before you serve the jeera rice.

Few notes and tips for the preparation of jeera rice dish-

  • This jeera rice can be prepared in a pressure cooker also. In this case you have to add four and half cups of water.
  • If you want colour in the dish add some quantity of saffron or some quantity of turmeric to the rice.
  • This delicacy may be tripled or doubled.
  • In case you are taking onions as an ingredient please see to it that they are sliced properly. Caramelize or make the onions brown in the first stage. In the second stage add them to rice which has been soaked. You will see that rice turns to a light brown colour because of onions browning.