Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Jeera (Cumin) Rice

-Submitted by Dahlia on 21st Jan 2008

(Jeera Pilaf, Jeera Pulao, Cumin Rice, Zeera Pulao, Jeeraga Sadam)

Jeera Pilaf

Jeera Rice (also known as Zeera Rice or Jeera Pulao) is one of the easiest of all variety rice dishes. It is nothing but, boiled rice flavored with cumin seeds. It is popular all over North India especially in the Punjabi cuisine. In Pakistan it is known as Zeera Rice. 

Jeera Pulao goes along with any kind of side dish. So jeera rice is the best choice for parties or any kind of get together. I always make jeera rice for parties along with 2-3 gravies and side dishes. Kids and adults enjoy it equally. Bachelors can also make this and enjoy with some simple dal. It tastes awesome.

The ingredients used for making jeera rice are very basic. We need good quality basmati rice, cumin seeds and some ghee. All other ingredients are optional. My kids love jeera rice as it has very mild flavor which pleases their taste buds. Their favorite combination is jeera rice with any mild creamy gravies like butter chicken, malai kofta or paneer butter masala.

You can make this dish in a heavy bottomed pot, pressure cooker or in an electric rice cooker. I have given instructions for all types of preparations in the appropriate places in the recipe below. Make it in any way you are comfortable with and enjoy.

Video Instructions For Cooking Jeera Rice

Recipe For Making Jeera Rice

Preparation time: 30 minutes (including soaking time)
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves : 3-4


  • Basmati rice - 1.5 cups
  • Ghee/ Butter/ Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1 tbsp
  • Whole garam masala - (1 bay leaf, 3 cloves, 1" cinnamon stick, 1 star anise, 2 green cardamom, 1 black cardamom)
  • Cilantro - 1 tbsp (finely chopped for garnish)
  • Green Chili - 1 (optional)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Water - 2.5 cups


  1. Wash and soak the rice for at least half an hour. Drain the water and keep it aside.

    Jeera Pilaf Steps

  2. Heat the ghee in a pan or pressure cooker. Add the whole garam masala and fry for few seconds.

    Jeera Pilaf Steps

  3. Add the cumin seeds and crackle it.

    Jeera Pilaf Steps

  4. Add the drained rice, stir-fry for couple of minutes till the ghee coats the rice and it looks glossy. (Note: If you plan to cook in an electric rice cooker, transfer the contents to the rice cooker at this stage. You can just add water and switch it on.)

    Jeera Pilaf Steps Jeera Pilaf Steps

  5. Measure exact amount of hot water and add to the rice. Adding hot water gives the best results. Also, add required salt.

    Jeera Pilaf Steps Jeera Pilaf Steps

  6. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. If you are using a pressure cooker, close the cooker and bring to a boil. 

    Jeera Pilaf Steps

  7. Once it boils, reduce the flame to low, cover with a tight lid and cook for about 15 minutes till all the moisture is absorbed by the rice. The rice will be cooked soft and small holes appear on top. If using a pressure cooker, put the whistle and cook for 10 minutes on low flame.

    Jeera Pilaf Steps

  8. Fluff it up with a fork to keep the rice grains separate. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro or fried onions or toasted cashews.

Serving Suggestion

Jeera Rice With Curd Chicken

Jeera Pilaf

Jeera Rice With Pepper Chicken

Jeera Pilaf

More Rice Recipes

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See more...

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Comments (8)

Person   ()
Hi! Can you please explain what do you mean by "Measure exact amount of hot water"? Is it the water we have used for soaking the rice or a new one? Is it 2,5 cups as you said at the beginning?
Person   ()
HI Ines, You have to soak the rice with water enough to submerge the rice. Later you drain it. 2.5 cups of water is used for cooking it.
Person   ()
I am getting good result, Really super
Person   ()
Thats nice to hear...
Person   ()
dis is for how man servings
Person   ()
This will easily serve 4-5 adults.
Person   ()
for jeeragasaadam use only geeragam or cumin seeds roasted in ghee dont use onion garnish with roasted bits of cashewnuts
Person   ()
I make that version too.

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 Published by on 2012-Mar-06 and last updated on 2016-May-16.