Jeera Rice is a delicious aromatic side dish that goes perfectly with many Indian and Pakistani recipes. My recipe only requires 3 ingredients and is super quick and easy to make.
I’ve been sharing a lot of Indian and Pakistani main dishes in the past few weeks, so I decided that it’s time to introduce you to a delicious easy side dish - Jeera Rice. It goes so well with Daal, Indian Chicken Korma, Chicken Karahi and Panjabi Kadhi Pakora and many more desi recipes.
While it is a seemingly easy dish, it does involve some technique for making sure that the rice is cooked perfectly. Perfectly cooked rice is not mushy or soft; instead each rice grain should be separate and not broken.
Don’t worry though, if you follow my tips for perfectly cooked Jeera Rice, you’ll be able to make it without a hitch.
What You Need
While most recipes call for some sabat garam masala (whole spices) such as bay leaf and cloves, I make Jeera Rice just like mom makes it. It’s simple, fast and easy, and of course delicious! And anyone can make it, because it only requires basic pantry ingredients.
Btw in our home we call jeera rice, tarkay walay chawal or zeera rice. It's interesting how the same recipe is known with several different names!
And of course, you’ll need a little bit of oil, water and salt too.
Rice to Water Ratio
The trick to cooking perfect rice lies in the rice to water ratio which is 1:2. So if you’re making 1 cup rice, you’ll need 2 cups of water to cook it.
Also, I like to soak my rice for 15 minutes before cooking it, but in times where I’m rushed for time I’ve also cooked rice without soaking it.
Which Type of Rice Is Best?
I’ve always used and seen other people make Jeera Rice with basmati rice, because of its good quality long rice grains. But if you don’t have any basmati rice, you can even use jasmine rice.
How to Make It
Note for full ingredient list and instructions scroll down to the recipe card.
Start by soaking the basmati rice in water for 15 minutes or so.
Heat oil in a pot, and saute the chopped onion till its golden brown. Add a splash of water and immediately cover the pot with a lid. The reason I do this is because the sudden splash of water causes the chopped onion to release its flavour and color. The beautiful nutty colour you see in the pictures is because of this step.
After a minute or so, remove the lid and add the cumin (jeera) and cook for 30 seconds or so. Note: Jeera burns really quickly, so about 30 seconds is enough.
Add the rice (after draining the water it’s been soaked in) and cook for about 1-2 minutes while constantly stirring.
Now add the water and salt. Cook uncovered until most of the water has evaporated. Lower the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid for about 5 minutes.
The rice will cook in the remaining steam.
After about 5 minutes remove the lid, and fluff the rice up with a fork.
Top with chopped coriander and serve with your favourite chutney and Indian curry.
Serve it With:
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon jeera cumin
- 2 cups water plus extra water for soaking the rice
- Salt to taste
- Chopped coriander for garnish optional
- Place rice in a bowl and cover it with water until it is completely submerged in water. Let the rice soak for 15-20 minutes.
- While the rice soaks, heat oil to medium high in a pot.
- Add the chopped onion and fry it until its golden brown.
- Once the onion is golden brown, add a splash of water (about 1-2 tablespoons of water) and immediately cover the pot with its lid. This helps to achieve the beautiful golden colour of rice that you see in the pictures.
- After the rice has been soaked, drain the water completely.
- Remove the lid after about a minute or so, and add the jeera (cumin) and saute for 30 seconds or so. Note: jeera or cumin burns very fast so 20-30 seconds is more than enough. As soon as the jeera releases its aroma, no need to saute it anymore.
- Now add the rice (after the water has been drained completely) and saute it for a minute or so.
- Now add 2 cups of water, season with salt and bring to a boil.
- Once most of the water has evaporated, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pot with a lid.
- Let the rice cook completely in its steam for about 5 minutes and then remove from heat.
- After 10 minutes remove the lid, and fluff the rice with a fork.
- Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with raita!