Jeera rice is a cumin-flavoured aromatic rice dish made with whole cumin seeds, fragrant spices and basmati rice. This flavoured Indian rice, also called zeera rice or cumin rice, goes well with most side dishes and curries. It makes a fabulous weeknight meal or a great addition to the party menu.
This instant pot jeera rice recipe is an easy and one-pot dish that takes almost the same time as cooking plain rice. When flavorful jeera rice is so easy to prepare with a handful simple ingredients, why go for plain basmati rice? Cook this flagrant rice instead of plain and serve it with family favorite curries to make weeknight dinner extra special.
This Indian cumin rice is a very popular rice dish in Indian restaurants. Jeera rice and paneer butter masala, jeera rice and dal tadka are the most loved classic combinations in Indian cuisine.
In restaurants, precooked white rice tossed with fried spices and cumin seeds and finished with fresh coriander leaves. This method is brilliant in repurposing leftover white rice. Check out the restaurant style jeera rice recipe on the blog.
This fluffy cumin rice is also one of the most preferred rice dishes to have on special occasions, gatherings and parties as it pairs so well with most Indian curries. It is also one of the easy recipes to make without much effort and time.
Want something delicious yet easy to make flavoured rice to pair with spicy curries such as vegetable Chettinad or kadai paneer? Looking for mildly flavoured enticing rice dishes for kids? Need a tasty and easy rice recipe to go with regular vegetable curries such as chana saag, capsicum masala or baby corn masala? The one dish that fulfills all these requirements is jeera rice!
- Rice: Basmati rice has been used in this instant pot jeera rice recipe. Both normal basmati or extra long grain rice works.
- Whole Spices: Cumin, cassia, cloves and bay leaf.
- Herbs, vegetables and condiments: Fresh coriander leaves, green chillies and butter to fry spices.
- Liquid: Water to cook rice. Traditionally, water is used to cook this Indian cumin rice. However, feel free to swap it with vegetable stock for extra flavour.
Find the quantities and a short video in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Step-by-step instructions (Instant pot)
Wash rice 3-4 times in a colander under cold tap water until the water runs clear.
Soak it in sufficient water for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, plugin Instant pot.
Press the saute button.
Melt butter in the inner pot of the instant pot.
Once the butter melts, add the aromatic spices - bay leaf, cassia, cloves and fry for a few seconds until aromatic.
Now fry cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a minute or until it releases a pleasant aroma.
Now add green chillies and cook for a couple of minutes.
Press the cancel button to turn the saute mode off.
Drain the water from the rice and add it to the pot.
Add coriander, water and gently stir.
Close the pot with lid of the instant pot, move the pressure valve to the SEALING position.
Press PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL button, set the timer at 6 minutes at high pressure.
Once the timer goes off and the IP beeps, let it naturally release pressure for 10 minutes (NPR - Natural Pressure Release).
After 10 minutes, move the pressure valve to the VENT position to release the pressure manually.
Once the pressure is completely released, the knob next to the pressure valve drops.
Now open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
Perfect jeera rice is ready to enjoy.
How to cook jeera rice on stovetop?
In a pot on stovetop
Wash the rice with cold water to remove the excess starch and soak for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the pot on the stovetop, pour oil and heat it over medium heat.
Follow the same procedure as the instant pot method until frying the spices and green chillies.
Add water, salt and bring to a rolling boil.
While water is just about to come to a rolling boil, drain the water from the soaked rice.
Add the rice gently, put the coriander to the pot with boiling water.
Stir and simmer for 7-10 minutes or until almost all the moisture gets absorbed.
Close the pot with a lid, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for another 5 minutes or until rice absorbs all the moisture and turns fluffy.
Switch the heat off and leave it for 10 minutes before you fluff the rice.
Stovetop pressure cooker
Instead of a pot, you can follow the instant pot recipe to cook jeera rice in a stovetop pressure cooker. Fry the spices, green chillies, stir in soaked rice, water, coriander and salt.
Close the pressure cooker with a lid and cook for 2 whistles on medium heat. Reduce the heat and cook until you get 1 whistle. Wait until all the pressure is released before you open the lid.
Variations and Substitutions
Vegan: Substitute the butter with any cooking oil such as olive oil, vegetable or sunflower oil or vegan butter for vegan jeera rice.
You could skip the whole spices and use just cumin seeds to make a simple version of jeera rice.
Ghee (clarified butter) could be used instead of butter.
Whole spices: I have used basic Indian spices that are available in most local supermarkets, use other whole spices such as star anise, black stone flower, black cardamom, and green cardamom. Alternatively, you can use a pinch of garam masala for extra flavour instead of spices.
Spicy: Add black peppercorn for an extra spicy kick. Fry them along with other whole spices.
Feel free to use a true cinnamon stick instead of cassia, also called Chinese cinnamon or cinnamon bark.
Rice: Usually, basmati rice is a good choice to make jeera rice due to its lovely aroma. However, you could use parboiled rice, brown rice, easy cook rice or long-grain rice if you have them on hand, instead of making a trip just to buy the basmati rice.
Tips and Tricks
Fry: The key step is to fry the cumin well until it crackles and releases an enticing aroma and flavours. This ensures the cumin flavor dissipates well and makes rice more flavourful.
Deglaze: Make sure to deglaze the pot before setting the timer to prevent the BURN message.
Cook time: Cooking time might vary depending on the hardness of the water and the type of rice you use. Higher the hardness of the water, the longer the cooking time.
Rice to water ratio: The basmati rice I use requires 1.5 cups of water for one cup of rice. However, the ratio varies depending on the type and the quality of rice you use.
Fridge: Leftover jeera rice keeps good for 3 days in the fridge if stored properly in an airtight container.
Freezer: Leftover rice could be stored in portions in the freezer for up to three months.
Reheat: Put rice in the microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle a little water over the rice and heat it in the microwave until piping hot. Stir the rice couple of times in between to ensure uniform heating.
Jeera rice and dal fry or dal palak is a classic combination and easy to make for midweek dinner.
This fragrant jeera rice pairs absolutely well with simple vegetable curries such as butternut squash chickpea curry or green peas curry.
Great to serve guests on special occasions. It pairs well with any spice level paneer curry such as methi malai paneer, malai matar paneer, paneer jalfrezi or paneer korma.
It’s an ideal option to pack in a lunch box along with a simple side dish such as Bombay aloo or aloo gobi and cucumber raita.
More instant pot rice recipes
Instant pot potatoes and carrots
The rice-to-water ratio is a key factor in achieving fluffy rice with separate rice grains. While the excess water results in mushy rice, with insufficient water, you will end up with undercooked rice. Water to rice ratio not only varies depending on rice varieties but also on the quality of the rice. Generally, aged basmati rice requires more water than newly harvested rice grains.
I wouldn’t suggest substituting jeera (cumin seeds) with shahi jeera (caraway seeds) as they are both distinct spices with different flavour profiles despite their similar appearance. Cumin seeds are a quintessential spice and are widely used in Indian cooking from spice blends to curries, condiments and flavoured rice dishes. Shahi jeera has a strong flavour and is used in biryani and tandoori dishes.
Yes, you can easily freeze cooked rice. In fact, it is a great way if you have too much leftover rice or cooked a big batch to meal prep.
Ensure rice is cooled completely before freezing. Spread cooked rice on a shallow pan or a plate to speed up the cooling process.
Once the rice is cool to the touch, divide them into desired portions in labeled freezer-friendly containers or ziplock bags.
Try to squeeze out as much air as possible before locking the zip lock bags, and then stack them in the freezer.
Thaw it overnight in the fridge and reheat it in the microwave until piping hot before serving. If the rice seems dry, sprinkle a splash of water and reheat. Ensure to finish it off the same day.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Do let me know if you make this fragrant instant pot jeera rice recipe. If you like this recipe kindly consider rating it using stars in the comment section or on the recipe card to help more people find this recipe online. You can stay up to date by following me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or subscribing to my Youtube channel. Or why not subscribe to my blog and get simple recipes straight to your inbox?
📖 Recipe Card
Instant Pot Jeera Rice Recipe (Indian Cumin Rice)
1 Cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
- 360 gms (or) 1 ½ cups Basmati Rice
- 20 gms (or) 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1 Bay Leaf
- ½ inch Cassia
- 3 Cloves
- 8 gms (or) 1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
- 2 Green Chillies each slit into two lengthwise
- handful Fresh Coriander Leaves chopped
- 2 ¼ cups (or) 312 ml Water
- Salt as required
- Wash rice 3-4 times in a colander under cold tap water until the water runs clear.360 gms (or) 1 ½ cups Basmati Rice
- Soak it in sufficient water for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, plugin Instant pot.
- Press the saute button.
- Melt butter in the inner pot of instant pot.20 gms (or) 2 Tablespoons Butter
- Once butter melts, add the aromatic spices - bay leaf, cassia, cloves and fry for a few seconds until aromatic.1 Bay Leaf, ½ inch Cassia, 3 Cloves
- Now fry cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a minute or until it releases a pleasant aroma.8 gms (or) 1 Tablespoon Cumin Seeds
- Now add green chillies and cook for a couple of minutes.2 Green Chillies
- Press the cancel button to turn the saute mode off.
- Drain the water from the rice and add it to the pot.360 gms (or) 1 ½ cups Basmati Rice
- Add coriander, salt, water and gently stir.handful Fresh Coriander Leaves, 2 ¼ cups (or) 312 ml Water, Salt
- Close the pot with lid of the instant pot move the pressure valve to the SEALING position.
- Press PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL button, set the timer at 6 minutes at high pressure.
- Once the timer goes off and the IP beeps, let it naturally release pressure for 10 minutes (NPR - Natural Pressure Release).
- After 10 minutes, move the pressure valve to the VENT position to release the pressure manually.
- Once the pressure is completely released, the knob next to the pressure valve drops.
- Now open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
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