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Jeera Rice | Indian Cumin Rice (3 ways)

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Jeera Rice is one of the most famous dishes from India. It is like a staple dish that is generally cooked almost daily. It goes well with simple everyday dal or more commonly paired with Dal Tadka.

Jeera Rice is one of the most famous and staple dish from India, that is generally cooked daily and goes well with dal, curries or as a side.
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Jeera means cumin, and I am sharing today a very easy method of making Jeera rice. I make two of these Jeera rice in two ways or rather three ways (If I count the rice cooker method too.) Depending on how I am serving it. 

Jeera Rice in Pressure Cooker

Generally for day to day or everyday cooking and when I am in a hurry, I make it in a pressure cooker or the pulav method. In a pressure cooker, I add in the ghee, jeera, rice, water and salt. Take 1-2 whistles and I am done. This is a very quick and easy method and the rice literally gets cooked in max of 10 minutes. Of course, the pressure cooker has to cool down a bit before you can dig it.

Open Pan method – Jeera Rice

The next method is the open pan method. One of our favourites. In this method the rice comes out very fluffy and each grain is separate. In a pressure cooker too we can achieve the same, but we need to be careful of the timing when we open the pressure cooker. This method requires the rice to be precooked in an open pot. Drain and then the tadka with the required spices is made. This method is also good to use your left over rice, that is Jeera rice with cooked rice.

Close up look of Jeera Rice

Jeera Rice in Rice Cooker

Another method is when I sometimes use my Rice cooker. This is something put and forget type. In this, I add the rice, water and salt to the rice cooker. Then do a tadka separately and add it to the cooker. Then put the rice cooker in cooking mode and let the rice cooker do the magic. This is good, when you need to make it ahead of time, do not want to babysit, and also want to serve hot rice to your guest. I keep everything ready in the rice cooker. Just 30 mins before serving dinner or lunch I switch on the rice cooker. So you have hot steaming rice ready.

Spices used

I keep my Jeera rice very simple. I just used Ghee (Clarified Butter) and Jeera as the seasoning. As generally, I serve Jeera rice with either good gravy-like mix veg. As I want the flavour of my curry or dal to dominate. However, one can add Bay Leaves, cinnamon and cardamom if required. At times even saffron is added to give a nice beautiful colour and fragrance to the rice. 

Dishes with Jeera Rice

This side dish Kongu Thakkali Kuzhambu goes well with Jeera rice. The classic pair of Jeera Rice Dal Makhani is another or simple dal with Jeera rice. I love to make this chaar dal(Mixed Dal) with it.

Jeera Rice is one of the most famous and staple dish from India, that is generally cooked daily and goes well with dal, curries or as a side.

Tips on making the perfect fluffy Jeera Rice

Quality of Rice

It is advisable to use the best long grain Basmati rice to get the perfectly cooked fluffy texture and non-sticky rice. Good quality rice will expand and fluff up better. Said that you can even get the same using short grain rice but the best results are with Basmati Rice. 

Rinsing Rice

The rice needs to be cleaned and thoroughly rinsed before using it. Use your hands to clean the rinse and gently or lightly rub the grains in your hand while you are rinsing the rice. This helps in removing the extra starch and the rice is less starchy. 

Soaking Rice

It is always best to soak the rice at least for 30 minutes when making Jeera rice or rice for Biryani or even day to day rice. Soaking rice helps it to swell up and after it is cooked it comes out nice and fluffy. Remember once the rice is soaked, do not scrub it with your hands. The grains after being swelled up are delicate and will break the rice.

Rice to water ratio

This depends on the quality of rice used and also if you are soaking the rice or not. If the rice is soaked and using the pressure cooker method, it is generally 1:1.5 rice to water ratio. If it is not soaked it is 1:2. For the Rice cooker, I always use a 1:2 ratio. When I am using the open pan method I do not follow any specific measurements, as I drain the rice in a colander. So in general I take around 3-4 times of water. 

The above ratios are a rough guide. Some rice takes more water and some less. You will understand once you start cooking it or after 1-2 attempts. 

Cooking Rice

When making rice using an open pan method it is best to cook the rice like 90-95 per cent and for Biryani around 80 per cent. This will help the rice to be firm and get the restaurant style perfect Jeera rice. The remaining cooking will be done during the tadka or while the biryani is cooking.  

Handling Rice once cooked

Once the rice is cooked always be gentle. When using a spoon, be as light as possible. If you apply pressure to remove it the rice will break it. General advice is to use a fork. However for me to handle rice with a spoon is more easy :D.

So here goes the recipe of Jeera Rice

Jeera Rice is one of the most famous and staple dish from India, that is generally cooked daily and goes well with dal, curries or as a side.

Jeera Rice | Indian Cumin Rice (3 ways)

Jeera Rice is one of the most famous and a staple dish from India, that is generally cooked daily and goes well with dal, curries or as a side.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: Left over Rice, Rice
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Soaking Time: 30 minutes
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre



  • 1 Cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 tablespoon Clarified Butter (Ghee)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • Lemon juice (optional)
  • Salt to taste


  • Clean and rinse the rice nicely. See instructions above on how to rinse the rice.
  • Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes in normal room temperature water.
  • Once soaked, drain and give a quick rinse. This step is to just remove any dirt. Here we are not rinsing with hands or anything. Just removing and replacing the water.

Open pan method

  • In a wide open pan add 4 cups of water.
  • Cover and let it come to a boil.
  • One can add a few drops of lemon juice. This helps to get perfect white rice.
  • Once the water has come to a boil add the rinsed and drained rice.
  • Let this cook for 5-7 minutes. The rice will cook faster. Keep an eye on it.
  • You will understand when the rice starts floating on the top.
  • If you remove one grain and lightly press it against the spoon or your worktop, it will break.
  • This is a sign when the rice is done.
    Rice getting steamed in a large pot
  • Cook it only 95 percent. That is grain should be a bit firm and not mushy.
  • Drain the rice in a colander.
    Rice removed in a colander
  • Let it rest for 5 minutes so that the excess water is removed and the rice cooled a bit.
    Perfectly cooked Steamed Rice
  • Now in a heavy bottom wok or a kadai add the Clarified Butter ( ghee).
  • Once hot add the cumin seeds.
  • Let cumin seeds crackle.
  • Add rice, salt to taste and gently toss the rice.
  • Be gentle and slow. The rice will mix and coat the tadka all over.
  • Serve it hot with curry or dal of your choice.

Pressure cooker or Pulao method

  • In the pressure cooker wok add the Clarified Butter (ghee).
  • Once hot add the cumin seeds.
  • Let cumin seeds crackle.
  • Add rice, salt to taste.
  • Add 2 cups of water if the rice is not soaked. If soaked add 1.5 cups of water. If not soaked add 2 cups of water.
  • Cover the lid and let this cook for 1-2 whistle max.
  • Switch off and let the pressure settle.
  • After 10 minutes, once the pressure has settled, open the lid and serve.
  • Do not cover the pressure cooker tightly or else the rice might turn mushy later.

Rice cooker method

  • In the rice cooker add rice, 2 cups of water and salt to taste.
  • In a small skillet (I use this cast iron skillet) or a tadka pan add the Clarified Butter (ghee).
  • Once hot add the cumin seeds.
  • Let cumin seeds crackle.
  • Add this to the rice and water mixture in the rice cooker.
  • Switch the mode to cooking and let the rice cook until done or it goes to the warm mode.
  • I prefer to remove the top container of the rice and keep it on a cooling rack.
  • As the heat from the bottom of the rice cooker at times, cooks the bottom layer and sometimes it gets over done.


  • 1 Cup = 240 ml, 1 tbsp = 15 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml
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Jeera Rice is one of the most famous and staple dish from India, that is generally cooked daily and goes well with dal, curries or as a side.

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Recipe Rating


Wednesday 2nd of December 2020

Rice looks perfectly cooked and grains are separate. Very useful and detailed post on cooking jeera rice in different ways. Thanks for the tips of using lemon juice. will try it next time.

Srividhya Gopalakrishnan

Tuesday 20th of October 2020

Very well explained about all the three methods including the water measure. Very useful. Jeera rice pairs well with all the gravies and this is a great post for sure.

Harini Rupanagudi

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Lovely pulao there. Each rice perfectly cooked

Srivalli Jetti

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Very nicely done jeera rice Renu, the rice looks perfect and so inviting! I think Jeera rice will easily be everybody's favorite!


Monday 28th of September 2020

I like the way you have explained e methods to cook rice , well I have done a complete marathon on rice , and the first week had all basic cooking methods . The rice has been cooked perfectly with each grain is separate , looks so flavorful too with those cuminseeds .

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Tuesday 29th of September 2020

Yes I do remember that, I was too in that one. Thank You