Jeera Rice
Jeera Rice
5 from 10 votes
Dive into the fragrant world of Indian cuisine with my fool proof jeera rice recipe. A culinary delight hailing from North India, it will transform your mealtime into an aromatic fiesta with humble ingredients and easy steps.
Jeera Rice

Jeera rice, a fragrant and flavorful dish, is a staple in Indian cuisine that perfectly complements a wide array of dishes, from spicy curries to creamy lentils.

Originating from the northern regions of India, this dish derives its name from the Hindi word “jeera,” which translates to “cumin seeds” in English. These tiny seeds are the star ingredient of this dish, infusing the rice with their distinct earthy and nutty flavor.

Despite its rich history, jeera rice is surprisingly easy to prepare, making it an ideal choice for both beginner and seasoned cooks alike.

The recipe calls for simple ingredients that you can easily find in your pantry, such as fragrant basmati rice, aromatic whole spices like bay leaf, black cardamom, and cinnamon stick, and of course, cumin seeds.

Expert Tip: When sautéing the whole spices in oil, make sure not to burn them. Keep the heat on medium-low and stir continuously until they become fragrant to release their flavors without scorching.


Rice Basmati: Basmati rice is the perfect choice for jeera rice due to its long grains and delicate flavor. When cooked, basmati rice becomes fluffy and aromatic, adding a light and fragrant base to the dish.

Bay Leaf: Bay leaves impart a subtle, earthy flavor to the rice, enhancing its overall aroma and taste. They are commonly used in Indian cooking to add depth to savory dishes.

Black Cardamom: Black cardamom pods have a smoky and slightly mentholated flavor that adds complexity to the jeera rice. These pods are larger and darker than green cardamom and provide a unique and bold taste.

Cinnamon Stick: Cinnamon adds a warm and sweet aroma to the rice, balancing the earthiness of the cumin seeds and the smokiness of the black cardamom. It lends a hint of sweetness without overpowering the dish.

Oil: Oil is used for sautéing the whole spices and rice, ensuring that they are evenly coated and toasted. Any neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil, works well in this recipe.

Salt: Salt enhances the flavors of the dish and helps to season the rice as it cooks. Adjust the amount of salt according to your taste preferences.

Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds are the star ingredient of jeera rice, infusing the dish with their distinct nutty and earthy flavor. They are toasted in oil to release their aroma and impart their delicious taste to the rice.

Coriander: Fresh coriander leaves are added at the end of cooking to provide a burst of freshness and color to the dish. They complement the warm spices and add a vibrant touch to the finished jeera rice.

Expert Tip: Soaking the rice for at least 30 minutes before cooking helps to ensure even cooking and results in fluffy grains.

Serving Suggestions

  • Curries: Jeera rice pairs beautifully with a wide range of Indian curries, such as butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, paneer butter masala, or dal makhani. The fluffy texture and fragrant aroma of the rice complement the rich and flavorful gravies of these dishes, creating a harmonious balance of flavors.
  • Vegetarian Dishes: For a vegetarian meal, serve jeera rice alongside dishes like palak paneer (spinach and cottage cheese curry), chana masala (spicy chickpea curry), or aloo gobi (potato and cauliflower curry). The light and fluffy rice act as a perfect canvas to soak up the delicious sauces and spices of these vegetarian delights.
  • Tandoori Specialties: Jeera rice makes an excellent accompaniment to tandoori specialties such as tandoori chicken, tandoori fish, or tandoori vegetables. The nutty flavor of the rice balances the smoky and spicy notes of the grilled tandoori dishes, creating a delightful contrast of textures and flavors.
  • Biryani: Transform your jeera rice into a flavorful biryani by layering it with cooked vegetables, meat, or paneer, along with aromatic spices and herbs. Cover the biryani with a tight lid and cook on low heat until the rice is fully cooked and infused with the flavors of the ingredients. Serve hot with raita (yogurt sauce) or salad for a satisfying meal.
  • Kebabs and Grilled Meats: Serve jeera rice alongside grilled meats or kebabs for a simple yet delicious meal. The subtle flavors of the rice complement the smoky and savory taste of grilled meats, creating a satisfying and well-balanced dish.

Expert Tip: Rinse the basmati rice thoroughly until the water runs clear to remove excess starch, which helps prevent the rice from becoming sticky when cooked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use any type of rice for jeera rice?

Yes, you can use other types of rice if you don’t have basmati available. However, basmati rice is preferred for its long grains and fragrant aroma, which enhances the overall flavor of jeera rice.

Can I skip soaking the rice before cooking?

Soaking the rice helps to ensure even cooking and fluffier texture. It also reduces the cooking time. If you’re short on time, you can skip soaking, but the texture of the rice may not be as optimal.

What if I don’t have some of the whole spices listed?

If you don’t have all the whole spices listed, you can still make jeera rice with just cumin seeds. However, using a combination of spices adds depth of flavor to the dish. Feel free to adjust the spices according to your preference.

How do I prevent the rice from sticking to the pan while cooking?

Make sure to use a non-stick pan or a well-seasoned cast iron skillet to prevent the rice from sticking. You can also add a bit more oil or ghee to the pan if needed.

Can I make jeera rice in advance?

Yes, you can make jeera rice in advance and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water to refresh the texture before serving.

Check Out These Other Recipes

Here are some more recipes for you to enjoy! If you my recipes don’t forget to rate and leave a comment.

If you have any recipe suggestions, please do not hesitate to ask me. A great way to stay in contact with me is through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Don’t forget to tag me @CookwithNabeela in your recipe photos!

Jeera Rice

Jeera Rice

by Nabeela Kauser
Dive into the fragrant world of Indian cuisine with my foolproof jeera rice recipe. A culinary delight hailing from North India, it will transform your mealtime into an aromatic fiesta with humble ingredients and easy steps.
5 from 10 votes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Soaking Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 221 kcal


  • 200 g Rice Basmati
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • handful Coriander
  • 400 ml Water


  • Wash the rice until the starch clears and then soak for at least 30 minutes
  • Heat up the oil in a deep pan
  • Add the bay leaf, black cardamom, cinnamon stick and the cumin seeds and sauté for 1-2 minutes {See note 1)
  • Add the drained basmati rice and sauté for about 1 minute alongside the whole spices
  • Add the water and salt. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes until the water is almost evaporated
  • Once the water is almost evaporated add the coriander and mix together.
  • Cover the rice with a tight lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 6-8 minutes. (See note 2)
  • Serve alongside your favourite Indian curry!



Note 1 – Make sure to keep an eye on the cumin seeds while sautéing it, the seeds tend to burn quickly.
Note 2 – You can add lemon juice when you add the water, this will help the rice not stick together
Note 3 – If you don’t have a tight-fitting lid, then you can add a tea towel under the lid. This will trap the steam inside.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 221kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.4gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 300mgPotassium: 87mgFibre: 1gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 78IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 35mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cumin, Food, Indian, Jeera, Recipe, Rice, Sides
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



Subscribe now to receive my latest recipes directly in your inbox. Stay up-to-date and never miss out!

Add your first comment to this post

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

More Recipes

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

Chicken Yakhni Pulao

Chicken Yakhni Pulao

Keema Rice

Keema Rice

Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Chicken Fried Rice

Chicken Fried Rice

Jeweled Rice

Jeweled Rice