Jeera Rice | Cumin Rice (Restaurant Style Recipe)

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Nearly as ubiquitous as Naan and just as satisfying, this Jeera Rice recipe is the quintessential restaurant style Indian side dish. Fragrant basmati rice is scented with cumin seeds, cardamom and green chilli for lovely, long grains that pair beautifully with just about any of your favorite mains.

jeera rice, cumin rice, how to make jeera rice, jeera rice recipe

What is Jeera Rice

What you may know as cumin seeds are also known as jeera in Hindi. That’s how this famous rice dish gets its name! Whether you call it jeera rice or cumin rice, this is an aromatic rice dish which is lightly spiced with fragrant spices and has the earthy flavors of cumin.

Jeera rice is also one of the most popular Indian restaurant dishes; many people prefer to have jeera rice instead of plain basmati to go along with dals or curry dishes. The tempering of cumin and fragrant whole spices takes the simple rice dish to a whole new level.

Making jeera rice is easy! It tastes special enough for treasured guests, but is easy enough for weeknight cooking. Learn how to make this traditional Indian side dish immediately – your everyday meals will thank you!

About Cumin Rice Recipe

This jeera rice recipe tastes like it came from your favorite restaurant; it is mildly spiced, fragrant and tastes too good with the earthy flavor of cumin and warming whole spices.

In this method, the rice grains are cooked first with whole spices. Then a tadka of tempered cumin and green chillies is added to the cooked rice and mixed. This method of making jeera rice is used in most restaurants. 

Optionally, the rice can be cooked with some saffron strands to add some color and warming flavor.

This method is also useful if you have some leftover cooked rice that you want to dress up. If using leftover cooked rice, simply scale the ingredients accordingly depending upon the quantity of rice.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Jeera Rice

Cook Rice

1. Rinse 1 cup basmati rice under cool water till the water runs clear of starch. Then soak the rice for 20 to 30 minutes in enough water to cover the grains.

Drain all the water and keep the soaked rice aside.

rinsed and soaked basmati rice for jeera rice recipe

2. Heat 4 cups water and bring it to a boil. Add all the whole spices listed below:

  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • ½ inch cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 to 2 single strands of mace
whole spices in water for making jeera rice recipe

3. Add the soaked rice and 1 teaspoon salt, or add salt according to your taste. Simmer the rice, uncovered, on a low heat.

Also, check the taste of the water; it should taste a bit salty.

rice added to scented water

4. The rice grains should be cooked till tender and yet separate.

simmering rice for cumin rice recipe

5. The texture of the cooked rice grains is shown in the below picture. I usually cook rice grains a bit more softer than what is served in restaurants.

The reason being that if the rice grains have even some bite to them, then they cause indigestion problems.

rice for jeera rice recipe

6. Using a colander or strainer, drain the water and keep the cooked rice aside until it becomes warm or cools completely.

If you want, you can rinse also the rice with water at room temperature. This stops the further cooking of the rice and keeps the grains separate.

Rinsing with water brings down the hot temperature of the rice and the rice cools faster. Before we add the tempering mixture to the rice, the rice has to be at room temperature.

making jeera rice recipe

Temper Jeera Rice

7. When the rice grains are warm or cooled completely, we can start with the tempering.

Note that mixing the tempering mixture in hot rice may break the soft, tender grains while stirring.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil or 1.5 tablespoons ghee in a small pan on a medium-low or medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons cumin seeds (jeera).

making jeera rice recipe

8. Let them crackle. They have to be fried well otherwise you will taste uncooked cumin in the rice.

cumin for jeera rice recipe

9. Add ½ teaspoon chopped green chilli. Stir for a few seconds. No need to brown the chillies.

You can omit adding the green chillies if you prefer.

making jeera rice recipe

10. Add the tempering to the rice.

making jeera rice recipe

11. With a fork, gently mix the tempering with the rice grains. Even if a few rice grains break, it is alright. Do gently taking care so as not to break the rice grains.

making jeera rice recipe

12. Add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves and gently mix or garnish with coriander at the time of serving.

jeera rice recipe, cumin rice recipe

Serve Jeera Rice with gravy dishes like paneer butter masala, kadai mushroom or even any dal like chana dal or dal palak.

Jeera rice can be served with dals (lentils), North Indian curries and gravy dishes. Enjoy!

easy cumin rice in a brown and silver bowl garnished with a sprig of fresh cilantro

Expert Tips

1. Quality of basmati rice – To get perfectly fluffy, non-sticky jeera rice or pulao, you need high quality basmati rice. Each grain should expand and fluff up after cooking and yet remain separate. Aged basmati works very well for this purpose, or opt for parboiled basmati rice (sella basmati chawal) which also gives excellent results.

2. Soaking rice – As a practice, you should soak the rice for a minimum of 20 minutes to a maximum of 30 minutes. Soaking rice ensures that the grains expand and cook evenly. Soaked rice grains require less water on the stovetop, thereby reducing the cooking time as well.

3. Rinsing rice – I recommend you get in the habit of rinsing your rice before cooking. Rinsing removes some starch from the grains, which prevents them from sticking after cooking. Continue to rinse several times, until the water is clear of starch.

4. Rice to water ratio – The rice to water ratio always depends on the quality of rice that is used. Usually, I have found that organic basmati rice requires more water to cook than regular basmati rice. Trust your cooking experience when boiling rice, but the rice to water ratios are roughly:

  • 1:2 for soaked rice to water in a pot on the stovetop.
  • 1:2-2.5 for unsoaked rice to water in a pot on the stovetop.
  • Rice to water ratio in a pressure cooker – 1:1.5 or 1.75

4. Stirring rice – If you need to stir the rice grains while cooking, then be sure to use a fork and not a spoon. A spoon will break more grains than a fork. Also, keep any stirring to a minimum to prevent as much breakage as possible.

5. Frying the jeera (cumin) and spices – The cumin seeds and the whole spices have to crackle and smell aromatic before you proceed further. To get proper browning and crackling, the oil/ghee has to be medium hot when you add the spices.

As soon as you add the spices, they will crackle and release their essential oils. At this point, work quickly to proceed to the next step in the recipe. Also, remember not to burn the spices.

6. My Secret Ingredient – One spice which I never miss adding to my jeera rice is mace (javitri). Mace gives a unique flavor and fragrance, so make sure to add this aromatic spice.

Since mace is quite potent, use sparingly; just one or two strands are enough for one cup of raw rice.


When did jeera rice become popular in Indian cuisine?

References to this cumin rice recipe have been found as early as the Mughal empire in the 14th century. You know jeera rice has to be delicious if it has lasted for 700 years!

Is cumin rice healthy?

While I always suggest you speak to a certified professional about your nutritional needs, the answer in short is: yes! Basmati – that lovely perfumed, long grain rice – is lower on the glycemic index than other types of white rice. Each serving also has approximately 5 grams of protein.

What goes with jeera rice?

This cumin scented rice is a natural pairing for just about any Indian main dish you can think of! It pairs particularly well with dals (lentil based dishes) and curries. Any leftovers would also be excellent for making fried rice!

Few more rice recipes for you !

  • Ghee Rice – an aromatic and delicious rice dish made with ghee and spices from the South Indian cuisine.
  • Nei Choru – aromatic savory rice dish made with rice, ghee, nuts, raisins and spices from the Kerala cuisine.
  • Biryani Rice – a light, aromatic rice dish which is easy to prepare and goes very well with any rich vegetarian curry or dal.
  • Pulao – aromatic and delicious one pot rice preparation of a pilaf made with various mix vegetables.

Please be sure to rate the recipe in the recipe card or leave a comment below if you have made it. For more vegetarian inspirations, Sign Up for my emails or follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

jeera rice recipe

Jeera Rice | Cumin Rice (Restaurant Style)

Give a makeover to the simple steamed rice by adding cumin (jeera) and some fragrant spices. This restaurant style Jeera Rice recipe is mildly spiced, fragrant and tastes too good.
5 from 34 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine North Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 4


For cooking rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • ½ inch cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 to 2 single strands of mace
  • 1 teaspoon salt or as required

For tempering jeera rice

  • 2 tablespoons oil or 1.5 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon green chilli – chopped, optional
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)


Cooking rice

  • Rinse basmati rice till the water runs clear of starch. Soak the rice for 20 to 30 mins and then drain all the water. Keep aside.
  • Heat 4 cups water till it comes to a boil. Add all the whole spices. Add rice and salt. Simmer the rice on a low flame uncovered.
  • The rice grains should be cooked till tender and yet separate. Drain the water and keep the cooked rice aside.
  • If you want you can rinse also the rice with water at room temperature. This stops the cooking of the rice and keeps the grains separate.
    Rinsing with water brings down the hot temperature of the rice and cools the rice grains faster.
  • Ensure that the cooked rice is warm or at room temperature before you move to the next step.
    As mixing the tempering mixture in hot rice will cause the tender rice grains to break.

Making jeera rice

  • Heat oil in a small pan. Add cumin/jeera.
  • Let them crackle. They have to be fried well otherwise you will taste uncooked cumin in the rice.
  • Add the green chilies. Stir for a few seconds. No need to brown the chilies.
  • Add the tempering to the hot or warm rice.
  • With a fork, gently mix the tempering with the rice grains. Even if some rice grains break, its alright. Do gently taking care so as not to break the rice grains.
  • Add coriander and gently mix or garnish the rice with coriander at the time of serving.
  • Serve jeera rice hot or warm with a dal or vegetable/paneer curry of your choice.


  • If using leftover rice, then you will need about 3 cups of cooked rice to use the same proportion of ingredients as mentioned in the recipe.
  • Use aged basmati rice for the best results. Even parboiled basmati rice (sella basmati rice) works well. Soak the sella basmati rice for about an hour before you cook. 
  • For a more fragrant jeera rice, temper the cumin and spices in ghee instead of oil. 
  • Instead of coriander leaves (cilantro), garnish cumin rice with mint leaves. 

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Jeera Rice | Cumin Rice (Restaurant Style)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 241 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Sodium 602mg26%
Potassium 91mg3%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 0.1g0%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 24IU0%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.04mg3%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.03mg2%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 0.1mg5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Vitamin E 3mg20%
Vitamin K 1µg1%
Calcium 38mg4%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 4µg1%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 22mg6%
Phosphorus 61mg6%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Jeera Rice recipe from the blog archives first published in July 2014 has been updated and republished on December 2022.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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  1. Thanks to you for your recipes and this website. I never learned to cook but have used your recipes successfully for many dinner parties despite being a rank amateur. Really appreciate your sharing your knowledge and expertise so generously.5 stars

    1. Thanks so much. Very glad to read your comment. Wish you all the best.

    1. yes you can sowmya. then just add 2.5 to 3 cups water for pressure cooking for rice which has been pre soaked for 30 minutes.

      1. Any chance for an instant pot recipe?

        Can more than likely wing it tho, def enough info here. I usually do 6 minutes for the basmati rice I buy in instant pot but a separate recipe would be appreciated if you’ve tried it.

        At any rate thanks!

        1. I have made jeera rice in the instant pot, but not documented it nor taken any photos. I will try to add the instant pot version whenever time permits.

  2. hi, how long should i boil the rice, because every time i do this the rice turns mushy :-(..i long to see my rice grains separate and fluffy. This dish is definitely super yum….5 stars

    1. usually most varieties of 1 cup of basmati rice, takes about 7 to 8 minutes. so 1.5 cups will take about 10 to 11 minutes. when you see that the rice grains have cooked well, then switch off the flame and immediately strain the rice in a colander.

  3. Dassna ji…i am realy very thankful to u…because of ur shared recipes i can able to continue my hobby of cooking. The pictures of step by syep recipes are the most unique thing in ur blog.5 stars

    1. thanks ram ji for your positive feedback. nice to know that recipes are helping you in cooking.

  4. pls let me know whereto get chef venkatesh bhat recipe book. and the cost. there is any option to to delivery by courier.

    i like your presentation and its professional.5 stars

  5. I cook a jeera pulao by this recipe.
    Taste was so better then normal rice.5 stars

  6. Thank u very much it is helpful for girls whi have not good knowledge of cooking ……like me..awesome5 stars

  7. I am having trouble finding black cardamom pods where I live. Is there something I can substitute?

  8. I tried this jeera rice recipe a couple of days back and came out really well. Thanks.5 stars

  9. Nice recipes. I tried a few rice recipes from your blog. My family appreciated me for vaangi baat and masala rice pulav. Thank you.5 stars

  10. you are right and am too cook the rice soft than we eat at restaurants. really this is good for health. a healthy fragrant rice.5 stars