Jeera rice is a classic one-pot rice dish that is flavored with cumin seeds and aromatic spices. It is a simple yet flavorful recipe that is perfect as a side dish or base for your favorite Indian curries. This recipe is easy to prepare, with minimal prep time and the use of an Instant Pot pressure cooker that ensures perfectly cooked, fluffy rice every time. The only essential spice needed for this dish is cumin seeds. It is naturally gluten-free, vegan, and customizable to suit your taste preferences. Enjoy the fragrant aroma and delicious taste of this traditional dish with this easy jeera rice recipe.
Jeera rice is a popular and easy-to-make one-pot rice dish that features fragrant Basmati rice flavored with cumin seeds. This gluten-free and vegan recipe pairs well with dal or any curry, making it a versatile option for any meal. When cooked in an Instant Pot pressure cooker, this dish can be ready in just 10 minutes with less than a minute of hands-on time and no prep work required. With simple ingredients, the only essential spice used in this recipe is whole cumin seeds, making it an uncomplicated yet delicious addition to your meal.
It is a popular side dish in Indian restaurants, often served alongside curries like butter chicken or paneer butter masala. While there are many ways to prepare this dish, the no-fuss Instant Pot recipe provided here will ensure perfectly cooked, fluffy rice every time.
Plain rice is a staple in Indian cooking, and this fragrant jeera rice offers a delicious twist on traditional plain basmati rice. For the ingredients, a step-by-step video tutorial, and serving suggestions, keep reading below. This healthy and tasty jeera rice recipe is sure to become a household favorite.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Perfectly Fluffy: The Instant Pot method ensures that the rice cooks evenly and becomes perfectly fluffy, without any clumping or sticking. This results in deliciously light and fluffy rice.
- Easy to Make: This recipe is incredibly easy to make and hassle-free. With just a few minutes of prep time and no need for constant monitoring, you can have perfectly cooked jeera rice in no time.
- Fragrant and Aromatic: The cumin seeds used in this recipe impart a delightful fragrance and aroma to the rice, making it a flavorful and aromatic dish that is sure to please your taste buds.
- Easy to Customize: This recipe is easy to customize to suit your tastes. You can adjust the amount of cumin seeds or other spices according to your preference, or even add in other ingredients like vegetables or nuts to make the dish even more nutritious and wholesome.
- Versatile: This dish pairs well with dal or any curry of your choice, making it a versatile addition to your meal.
Cumin seeds are dried seeds of the herb Cuminum cyminum, which belongs to the parsley family. Cumin seeds are rich in antioxidants and help lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol. It is also useful in improving digestive health and reducing fungal infections. Cumin water is also popularly used for weight management. This dish is an easy and delicious way of incorporating this healthy spice into your diet.
Rice: Basmati or any variety of long rice grains should be used. Other rice varieties like red rice or brown rice can also be used to make this Indian cumin rice, however, you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Cumin seeds: This is the main and only essential spice in this dish needed to add the cumin flavor.
Whole spice: Whole spices enhance the flavor of the dish. I have used bay leaf, whole black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves (see tips section below).
Cilantro (coriander leaves): Cilantro adds a freshness to the finished dish. However, this is an optional garnish and can be skipped.
Step 1: Set the Instant Pot in saute mode (normal) and add olive oil to the inner pot. Add whole cumin seeds and aromatic spices (bay leaf, black pepper, star anise, cinnamon stick, green cardamom, and cloves). Saute for 1 minute (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Drain the water from the soaked rice and add the drained rice to the pot along with salt and 2½ cups of water (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Close the lid and put the Instant Pot on pressure cook mode (high pressure) for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure and open the lid (images 5 and 6).
Step 4: Gently fluff up the rice using a fork. Add fresh cilantro and mix the fluffy cumin rice gently (images 7 and 8). Perfect jeera rice made in Instant Pot is ready to be served.
Use good quality aged Basmati rice or any variety of long-grain rice to make this dish.
To remove excess starch from the rice, wash the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Soak the washed rice for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. This will help remove any extra starch from it, making it non-sticky and non-lumpy.
Saute the cumin seeds until they turn slightly dark so that maximum flavors are released. However, take care not to burn them as they tend to burn quickly after this stage.
The whole spices are optional and can be skipped. Alternatively, you can replace them with ½ teaspoon of garam masala.
I have used 1¼ cup of water for every cup of rice. This rice-to-water ratio gives me perfectly cooked and separated rice. I have used an 8-quart Instant Pot.
This Instant Pot method is the best way to make restaurant style jeera rice. However, you can make this dish in a stovetop pressure cooker. Follow this recipe with a 1:1½ rice: water ratio and cook for two whistles in the cooker.
Add 1-2 green chilies along with the whole spices to make it spicy. Some versions call for adding green peas, however, it is optional. You can also drizzle some lemon juice on it just before serving.
Do a quick pressure release and then use a fork to fluff up the rice after opening the lid of the Instant Pot. If you do a natural pressure release, it will overcook the rice and the final dish will have mushy rice.
This dish pairs well with most curries and dal. Chicken curry, dal tadka, spinach dal, chana masala, etc. tastes so good when served with this cumin-flavored aromatic rice rather than plain white rice.
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You can freeze jeera rice for up to one month. However, the rice will get dry after freezing so sprinkle a small amount of water before reheating. To reheat, sprinkle a few drops of water on the rice and reheat it in a steamer or on low heat keeping it covered.
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Instant Pot Jeera Rice
- Wash the Basmati rice thoroughly until the water runs clear. Soak the rinsed rice for 20-30 minutes.
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode (normal) and add oil.
- Once it heats, add cumin seeds and whole spices (bay leaf, black pepper, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves). Saute for 1 minute.
- Drain the water from the soaked rice and add it to the pot.
- Add 2½ cups of water and salt. Mix well.
- Close the lid and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Open the lid and gently fluff up the rice using a fork. Add cilantro and mix gently
- Serve with dal or curry of choice.