Jeera Rice recipe (2 ways) | Restaurant style jeera rice recipe
Last Updated on May 3, 2023 by Santosh Allada
Jeera rice recipe, replicate exact restaurant style at home. A popular Indian rice dish flavored with jeera.
Today I’m sharing 2 methods to make jeera flavored Indian rice dish. You can follow anyone depending upon the time at hand. and pair with its soulmate,
With step-by-step instructions, even a novice or bachelor can make jeera flavored rice with ease.
What is Jeera Rice?
Jeera is the Hindi word for cumin seeds (in English). As jeera is the main ingredient to make this rice dish, it is called Jeera Rice. In the Hindi language, this dish is also called Jeera Chawal.
Cumin is one of the most used spices in Indian cuisine. It is available in 2 varieties:
1. Plain/White Jeera, the Indian name for Cumin seeds: These are lighter in color and less curved compared to other varieties.
In Indian cooking, jeera is used in 2 forms, whole and powdered. The whole jeera is mainly used while tempering (tadka). While the jeera powder/ground cumin form is used in making veg or non-veg curries, dry or gravy and added later in the cooking process.
2. Shahi Jeera, the Indian name for Caraway seeds: Shahi jeera is shorter, thinner, and darker in color as compared to normal jeera. This variety of jeera is mainly used in biryanis, pulao, tandoori dishes (dry rub), and flavoring bread, biscuits, cakes, and cheese.
Originally a North Indian specialty, especially from Punjabi cuisine zeera rice has gained immense popularity and is now ubiquitous around the globe.
The aroma and earthy flavor of the cumin seeds mixed in basmati rice make it the most ordered rice dish in restaurants and dhabas.
Unlike pulao or biryani, zeera rice does not have any vegetables and does not take long to prepare.
Jeera rice is not only delectable, but is also very nutritious and healthy. Some of the benefits of the tiny seeds are;
Aids in digestion.
Helps in getting rid of stomach pain, bloating, and acidity.
Rich in iron, zinc, copper, potassium and many other nutrients .
About these Jeera Rice recipes
In this post, I’m sharing the jeera rice recipe in 2 methods. Both the recipes are super simple and guarantee perfectly cooked, fluffy, non-sticky, and fragrant zeera rice every time.
1. Restaurant-style Jeera rice
With this recipe, replicate restaurant-style jeera rice with each rice grain separate.
The restaurant-style Jeera rice recipe is straightforward. To justify the name, it’s rice and the only spice is whole cumin seeds. I do not prefer any other whole spices as they dominate the delicate flavor of cumin seeds.
The crackling crispiness of cumin seeds makes jeera rice one of the favorite rice dishes in Indian restaurants.
Usually, in restaurants and dhabas, cooked long-grain rice is tempered with jeera in oil and garnished with coriander leaves. This process is quick, as soon as cumin seeds crackle cooked rice is added and tossed well.
For an authentic look, use good-quality basmati rice. Another important point is to cook rice perfectly.
I have already published how to make perfect Plain Basmati rice with tips and tricks for non-sticky and long-grained fluffy rice.
The cumin rice is mild in taste. If you are a spice lover, you can add chopped or slit green chilies as per taste.
1. Cook the rice a day before and referigerate or a few hours before.
2. Do not use hot rice. It will have moisture and the dish will turn mushy.
3. Add cumin seeds when the oil is hot, but not very hot/smoky. If very hot, the cumin will burn.
If oil is not hot, jeera will not crackle and release its flavor. Also, it will taste raw in the dish.
4. Use a non-stick pan/skillet. It will prevent the rice from sticking to the pan.
5. Do not stir the rice vigorously, the delicate long grains will break.
In Hyderabad, I’ve had different variations in restaurants and dhabas;
Very simple/Basic- just rice and crackling cumin seeds
Elaborate variations– tempering has cashews, onions, curry leaves, slit green chilies, or garnished with fried onions.
2. One-pot Jeera rice or Homestyle Jeera pulao
This jeera rice recipe is how to make it in a pan over the stovetop. Compared to the above most basic version, homestyle has a few more additions of whole spices to make jeera rice even more special.
In this method, whole spices along with cumin seeds are tempered in ghee and oil, soaked basmati rice is then cooked in spices flavored water.
As the method is similar to making pulao, jeera rice can also be called jeera pulao.
What makes jeera pulao special? The distinct flavor and aroma of different whole spices permeate the long grain rice. Jeera pulao is lightly spiced with whole garam masala and green chilies and has the earthy flavor of cumin seeds.
For this jeera rice recipe, you do not need any elaborate ingredients or fancy cooking equipment, or a rice cooker.
Minimal ingredients and a cooking pan or skillet, perfect zeera rice will be ready in 30 minutes from scratch.
The homestyle jeera rice recipe does not need cooked basmati rice.
This recipe is a savior when in a hurry to make a lunch box. It is the best choice for parties, get-togethers, or expecting some guests on short notice.
Rice to Water ratio for jeera pulao
For non-sticky grains, it’s important to use the correct rice to water ratio. The perfect texture of cooked rice depends on the rice quality, age and the method (drain, absorption, or pressure cooker) you use.
I have tried different brands of basmati rice and noticed that the rice to water ratio varies. You can see the same in different recipes on the blogs too. After few experiments, I started to follow a standard rice to water ratio for most of the brands.
In a pan or pot- I follow 1:2, rice to water ratio. For 1 cup or rice add 2 cups of water. You may wonder, the rice will over cook and turn mushy. Follow the instructions and you will stick to this ratio too.
To make non-sticky and fluffy jeera pulao, you have to follow the tips;
1. Select aged basmati rice.
2. Rinse the rice a few hands gently with your hands till the water runs clear. It removes the extra starch from the outer layer of rice grains. This process prevents rice grains from clumping to each other. So, do not skip this process.
3. Soak the rice for at least 30 minutes. There are 2 benefits of soaking the rice.
- It kick starts the absorption process, which reduces the cooking time.
- This step makes a big difference in the length of cooked rice. Soaked rice grains elongates more in size compared to non-soaked.
If you skip the soaking process basmati rice will take 15-20 minutes to cook.
4. Do not stir the rice vigorously while cooking. Delicate rice grains will break. We want the long rice grains to retain their shape.
Use soaked water for cooking the rice: Do not discard the flavorful water. Soak the rice in ample water and use the same liquid. Follow the rice to water ratio listed in the recipe below.
Do not open the lid while simmering.
Rest the rice for at least 10 minutes after turning off the flame.
Ingredients to make Jeera rice
1. Restaurant or dhaba style
Rice: Recommed to use Basmati or long grain rice. Look for words like basmati, extra long, or premium on the pack, and aged for a year or two. My recommendations for a few brands are:
Daawat Biryani Basmati Rice.
Kohinoor Extra Long Grain Basmati Rice.
Aeroplane La Taste Long Grain Basmati Rice.
India Gate Basmati Rice.
Lal Qilla Traditional Basmati Rice.
Tilda Pure Basmati Rice (Outside India).
Oil: Any neutral flavor oil.
Whole Jeera: The star ingredient in the dish. In restaurants or dhabas, the dish has good amount of jeera. You can adjust as per your preference.
Coriander leaves: Adds freshness and Indian dish is incomplete without coriander leaves garnishing. Also, a pop of green in the rice is visually appealing.
Secret Ingredient: Apart from whole jeera, I also add roasted/bhuna jeera powder. It adds extra flavor.
Dry roast the jeera on low flame until the color of seeds change to dark brown. Turn off the flame and let it cool. Ground in a motar and pestle or grind in a blender jar to fine powder.
2. For Homestyle jeera pulao
Rice: For best result, use good quality long grain basmati rice. I have used Daawat Biryani basmati rice. The signature of this rice is the length, aroma and its perfectly aged. You can use any other rice brand.
Whole spices: cumin seeds, green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaves.
Green chilies: According to your taste.
Vinegar or lemon juice: A secret ingredient used by professionals. Helps in whiter rice color.
Leaves: Mint and Coriander leaves.
Secret Ingredient: A spice I never skip while making pulao is Mace (javitri). It has a strong flavor, so used in less quantity.
How to make Jeera rice
Recipe 1 – Restaurant style Jeera Rice
1. Keep the pre-cooked rice ready.
2. Heat a wide pan. When the oil is hot, turn the flame to medium and add cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
3. Immediately add the cooked rice.
4. Give a good mix.
5 & 6. Add salt to taste and roasted cumin powder.
7. Mix well.
8. Add coriander leaves and give a final mix.
Restaurant style Jeera rice is ready. Serve hot with any rich gravies or dal varieties.
Recipe 2 – Homestyle one-pot Jeera pulao
Rinse basmati rice 2-3 times, or until the water runs clear.
Soak rice in ample water for at least 30 minutes. I soak in 3 cups of water.
1. Heat oil and ghee in a heavy bottom pan or skillet. When hot, turn the flame to medium and add the whole spices.
2. Saute for a few seconds till aromatic.
3. Add green chilies (slit or chopped) and saute for 5 seconds. Turn the flame to high and add 2 cups rice soaked water.
4. Add mint and coriander leaves.
5. Let the water come to a roaring boil.
6 & 7. Add rice and give a gentle mix.
8. Add salt to taste.
9. Squeeze lemon juice and gently mix.
10. Continue to cook on high flame till water quantity reduces and is just to the level of the rice.
11. Turn the flame to low, cover the pan and cook for 12 minutes. Turn off the flame and rest for at least 10 minutes.
12. Open the lid and fluff the rice using a spatula.
Homestyle one-pot Jeera rice is ready. Serve hot with any curry or dal.
What to serve Jeera rice with?
The earthy, aromatic, and jeera flavored rice is a meal in itself.