Jeera rice

Jeera rice (cumin rice) is very famous and popular rice cooked in every home in north India and also can be found in every Indian restaurant. Jeera rice is the simplest of all flavoured rice and can be prepared easily. I have cooked the jeera rice by absorption method, which is easy and simple. Jeera rice is Punjabi rice and is served with any dal. Punjabi food is one of my favourite food among other regions.

I have prepared a vegetarian Punjabi thali for my family. Thali means a meal consisting of a variety of dishes in small portions accompanied with bread and rice, sometimes with starter and sweet. I have prepared Naan (bread), jeera rice (cumin rice), palak paneer (spinach with cottage cheese), tadka dal , chatpata chana (hot and sour chick pea), boondi raita (fried chick pea flour fritters) and pickle. In jeera rice you can add whole spice like green cardamom, cloves and cinnamon stick. Jeera rice can be cooked in olive oil, ghee (clarified butter), butter or any oil (sun flower oil/vegetable oil). It tastes a little different in each restaurant lightly but not much different. Some even add kesar for colour.

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

Cuisine: North Indian

Serves: 3 to 4

Spiciness: Very mild


  1. Oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Butter – 2 tbsp
  3. Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  4. Bay leaves (big) – 2 to 3
  5. Onion (medium) – 1
  6. Basmati Rice – 2 cups
  7. Boiled Water – 3 1/2 to 4 cups (as per requirement)
  8. Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  9. Salt - as per taste


  1. Wash rice in water and soak for 15 to 30 mins, strain and keep it aside.
  2. Preheat the vessel with oil and butter, when hot add cumin seeds and bay leaves, saute for 10 secs.
  3. Add sliced onions and cook until it is golden brown.
  4. Add rice, sauté for 4 to 5 mins on a medium flame and in between simmer the flame. Keep stirring without breaking the rice. Do not allow the rice to burn from beneath.
  5. Cook until the rice is light golden colour or brown colour. You can view in the picture.
  6. Add salt and freshly ground pepper powder, mix well.
  7. Add hot water into the rice and boil. Cook until the rice absorbs the water.
  8. When little water is left and you can see holes from the rice with bubbles, it is the sign to simmer the flame. Close the lid and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and only moisture is left.
  9. Simmer for 10 to 12 mins until all the moisture is absorbed and the rice is cooked well and fluffy.
  10. Serve with any curry you like and with raitha (onion and cucumber curd mixture).


  1. You can press the rice grain between your thumb and index finger, while simmering the flame. You will know how much more time it will take and whether water is more or less or sufficient for the rice.
  2. You can cook the rice with olive oil, vegetable or sunflower oil or ghee (clarified butter).
  3. Roast the rice until its colour changes. If a little water is still there, saute well and then add hot water.
  4. If any left over rice is there in the fridge, heat oil or ghee season with cumin seeds and whole spice, pour on the rice, mix. Quick lunch is ready.