jeera rice is basically rice flavored with cumin and lightly spiced with whole garam masala. i wonder why i did not post the simple & humble jeera rice recipe till now. whenever i make dal tadka or dal fry….. and when i want to add some more perk in the menu, then i make jeera rice. along with dal tadka, jeera rice also goes very well with some north indian curries & dals like:
there are two methods of making the jeera rice:
1: one is too temper the spices and then add to cooked rice. this technique is mostly used in restaurants.
2: the second method is where the whole spices are fried first and the rice is cooked along with the spices. this method is similar to that making of pilaf/pulao.
i prefer the second method as the rice imbibes the flavor of jeera/cumin and the whole garam masala really well. as a variation some onions can also be added while making the jeera rice.
one spice which i never miss adding in jeera rice is mace (javitri). mace gives a unique flavor and fragrance to the jeera rice. so make sure to add this spice.
since mace can become quite strong in any dish, add very less quantities. just one or two strands/threads are enough for two cups of rice.
this jeera rice tastes very much similar to the jeera rice we get in the punjabi dhabas minus the reddish orange and yellow color. if you want some color, then add saffron or turmeric. better to use natural coloring ingredients than artificial coloring agents.
in the pic below, the jeera rice is served with south indian mushroom peas curry.
jeera rice recipe details below:
- 1.5 cups basmati rice
- 2 tsp cumin/jeera
- 1 inch cinnamon/dalchini
- 1 black cardamom/badi elaichi
- 2 green cardamom/choti elaichi
- 1 bay leaf/tej patta
- 2-3 cloves/laung
- 5-6 black peppercorns/kalimirch
- 1 blade of mace/javitri
- 2-3 petals of star anise/badian (optional)
- 3 cups water
- 2 tbsp oil or ghee
- some coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)
- salt as required
- soak the basmati rice in water for 30-40 minutes.
- drain the rice and keep aside.
- heat a pan.
- add oil or ghee.
- on a low or medium flame when the oil becomes hot, add the cumin and all the whole spices mentioned above.
- let the cumin get browned and the oil fragrant from the spices.
- add the soaked rice.
- stir and saute for 1-2 minutes.
- add salt and water.
- cover and cook the rice is cooked.
- the rice should get cooked but not mushy or pasty.
- keep checking in between whilst the rice is cooking.
- when the jeera rice is done, fluff the rice and serve hot.
- garnish with some coriander leaves before serving.
you can also make the jeera rice in the pressure cooker. then add 2 and ¼ cups water.
to add some color, add a pinch of turmeric or a pinch of saffron to the rice.
this recipe can be double or tripled.
if using onions, then slice them. brown/caramelize the onions first before adding the soaked rice. the rice gets a nice light brown color due to the browning of the onions.