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Bowl of jeera rice

Quick Jeera Rice (Cumin Rice)

  • Author: Shruthi
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Jeera rice (i.e. cumin infused basmati rice) is a staple in Indian homes and fluffy, discrete and delicious. No pressure cooker needed!


  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 1/2 tbsp of ghee (or 1 tbsp of avocado oil)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (if you want it more fragrant, you can add more)
  • 1 green chili pepper (Thai green chili preferred, finely chopped - sub with Serrano otherwise)
  • ~2 cups of water (see notes)
  • 1 tsp of salt (note: if your ghee is salted, you can omit this) 
  • 1 tbsp of chopped cilantro


  • First, rinse the basmati rice thoroughly - at least 3x until the rinsed water runs mostly clear
  • Cover the rinsed rice with fresh water and soak for at least 20 mins (and no longer than 30 mins)
  • With five minutes to spare, in a medium pot that can hold the rice, heat ghee or avocado oil
  • On low to medium flame, when the ghee or oil is hot, add cumin seeds and wait for it to sputter (it will start to smell delicious already)
  • Add chopped green chili pepper and stir a couple of times - don't let it brown, 20 seconds is good!
  • Now, drain the rice and add it to the pot - don't stir too much but toast the rice for a minute or two (stirring too much can break the rice, but you don't want it to stick to the bottom)
  • Transfer the toasted rice into another pot or the bowl where you soaked the rice 
  • Add water and salt to a pot (the water will be salty to taste) and bring to a boil 
  • Once the water is boiling (rolling bubbles on top) - cover and cook rice for about 4 to 6 minutes. I suggest checking after 4 minutes. If it looks mostly done, turn off the heat and let it sit uncovered for another minute or two. 
  • The water should have evaporated by now and the rice should be ready - top and mix with chopped cilantro and serve hot!


  • If using an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, add slightly more water (about 1/4 cup). For a pressure cooker, typically one whistle is sufficient. For Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • If Thai green chili peppers are unavailable, the next best option is Serrano peppers
  • If you'd like to make this a one pot rice, then I suggest adding water directly to the pot after toasting rice, but in this case, you want to start the timer right after you add the water. Then, once the water starts boiling, just turn the heat down to medium and let it finish cooking. 
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: jeera rice, cumin rice, zeera rice, indian cumin rice