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Indian Rice with Cumin and Spices (Jeera Rice)

Indian Rice with Cumin is just an easy way of adding a lot of flavor to your rice. It’s filled with warm, aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cloves and of course cumin. There really isn’t much more to it other than cooking whole spices in a pan before adding rice and water. This Indian rice is always a winner at our Indian or even Middle Eastern dinner nights.

 

Bird's eye view of a metal pan with Indian rice with cilantro, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Rusty background and nude colored cloth.
 

Sometimes I’m just tired of using that same boring basmati rice over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, regular rice is nice too. But jeera rice… that’s awesome. And easy too, so not many excuses not to make it.

 

What I usually serve with this Indian rice is raita, homemade garlic cilantro naan, and Indian style kebabs with a tomato salad. It’s also perfect with tikka masala, curries and vindaloos. This reminded me that I want to create something curry-like Indian dish to put up here. If you have any ideas or wishes – I’m all ears.

 

Bird's eye view of a metal pan with Indian rice with cinnamon stick and spices. Rusty background and nude colored cloth.

 

What Is Jeera Rice?

 

I’m usually blank when I see all the Indian names for dishes. Like aloo, paneer, vindaloo, rogan josh, daal. There’s just so many names and some of the things also look really similar, so it can make anyone’s head spin.

 

And then there’s jeera too. Jeera means cumin, so jeera rice is basically a cumin rice, but it has a lot of other rich Indian flavors such as cinnamon and cloves. So to make things simple, I’m just calling this dish an Indian Rice with Cumin and Spices, which is exactly what it is!

 

Straight angle of a copper pan with Indian rice with cilantro, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Hand holding the pan's handle. Rusty background and nude colored cloth.

 

What About Leftover Indian Rice – Can You Freeze It?

 

Yes, you can freeze cooked rice. But it’s best to freeze it when it’s freshly cooked and just cooled down. Uncooked rice contain a spore forming bacteria. The bacteria will be killed once cooked, but the spores are still there. So when the rice sits for too long it will start to grow again, so it is best to freeze it.

 

Place it in a microwave safe bowl and seal with a lid. It keeps in the freezer for about one month. Re-heat it either in the microwave, or on the stove. You can let it defrost in the fridge before cooking it, but it’s not necessary.

 

Straight view of a copper pan with Indian rice with cilantro, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Rusty background and nude colored cloth.

 

Indian Rice with Cumin and Spices

 

Jeera rice is pretty simple to put together too, so just get cooking. This recipe is adapted from Whisk Affair.

 

Basmati rice always needs to be rinsed well before cooking. This way you remove much of the starches from the rice, making it less sticky! You want to rinse the rice so many times so that the water that comes out of it is clear. Sometimes I’m amazed how many times I have to rinse it. You can soak it for 30 minutes-2 hours too. But I find it necessary to rinse a lot before anyway.

 

Bird's eye view of a metal pan with Indian rice with cilantro, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Rusty background and nude colored cloth.

 

Heat neutral oil or clarified butter in a pot or a saucepan. You can also use ghee for this, but I didn’t want to buy 2 liters of ghee for this one purpose. I used about 1 tbsp canola oil. When the oil is medium-high heat, add the cumin seeds, and when they start to crackle, add green chilis and fry for a few seconds. You want the heat high enough for it to crackle, but still avoid burning the spices.

 

Add the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cardamom pods and cloves and fry for another 20 seconds.

 

Now it’s time to add in the rinsed and soaked rice, 2 cups of new water, salt and the bay leaf. Have it up to a boil and then simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed (varies from rice to rice, check the packaging).

 

Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes, still covered. Once done, try to remove as much of the whole spices as possible, as eating a whole spice can be very overpowering. Fluff the rice with a fork, garnish with cilantro and it’s ready to serve!

 

Straight view of a copper pan with Indian rice with cilantro, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Hand holding the pan's handle. Rusty background and nude colored cloth.

 

Rice and Grains

 

 

Please tell me what you thought of this recipe, either in the comment section below or tag me @theginerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!

 

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Bird's eye view of a metal pan with Indian rice with cilantro, cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Rusty background and nude colored cloth.

Indian Jeera Rice

Yield: 4 people
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A spiced Indian cumin rice that's perfect for any Indian dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup long grained basmati rice, Uncooked. 200g
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil, clarified butter or ghee, I used canola oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chili, finely chopped
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2 cups water, + more for rinsing and soaking. 500ml.
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • handful chopped cilantro, optional

Instructions

  1. Begin with rinsing the basmati rice. You want to rinse the rice so many times so that the water that comes out of it is clear. You can also soak the rice for 30 minutes after this.
  2. Heat ghee, neutral oil or clarified butter in a pot or a saucepan.
  3. When the oil is medium-high heat, add the cumin seeds, and when they start to crackle, add green chilis and fry for a few seconds. You want the heat high enough for it to crackle, but still avoid burning the spices. 
  4. Add the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cardamom and cloves and fry for another 20 seconds. 
  5. Now it's time to add in the rinsed and soaked rice, 2 cups of new water, salt and the bay leaf. Have it up to a boil and then down to a simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed (varies from rice to rice, check the packaging). Around 15-20 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes, still covered. Remove cinnamon stick, bay leaf and cloves. Take out peppercorns if you find them, but if not that is also ok. Fluff the rice with a fork, garnish with cilantro and it's ready to serve! 

Notes

Adapted from: Whisk Affair

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1/4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 4.3gSaturated Fat: 0.6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 585mgCarbohydrates: 41.4gFiber: 1.3gSugar: 0.6gProtein: 4.7g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

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