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Jeera Rice – Authentic Cumin Rice

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Cumin rice

Jeera rice – nutty and delicious!

I would like to show you a way to really spice up your Indian food without making it ‘hot’ spicy. The first time I made jeera rice I was surprised at how much flavour a little cumin adds. It’s simple and really worth a try.

It is important to roast and grind your cumin seeds. Jeera means ‘cumin’ just in case you did know.

Those little jars of stale cumin you find in the supermarket just won’t do here. Roasting the cumin seeds over medium heat until fragrant really brings out their flavour.

I have also tried this recipe with a combination of roasted and ground cumin and coriander seeds which was equally as good.

Cumin is the second most used spice in the world. It’s second only to black pepper and for good reason… it tastes great. Enjoy this simple jeera recipe recipe.

Making cumin rice

Roasting the cumin

Making cumin rice

Allow the cumin to cool and then grind but not to a powder.

Making cumin rice

I highly recommend getting a good spice grinder and spice dabba.

Cumin rice

All done!

Jeera rice is so good with many different curries. Try it with one or more of these.

Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Korma
Chicken Madras
Chicken Dhansak
Lamb Rogan Josh
Lamb Vindaloo
Chicken Chilli Garlic
Chicken Patia
Lamb Bhuna

Yield: 3 -4

Easy Indian Food - How To Make Cumin Rice

Easy Indian Food - How To Make Cumin Rice


  • 1 cup (250ml) good quality Basmati rice
  • 1 1/2 cups (400ml) water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons white cumin seeds


  1. Place the rice in a sauce pan that has a tight fitting lid. Cover with cold water and let it soak for about 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, swirl the water around with your hand. This will release a lot of starch from the rice and the water will turn a milky white colour.
  3. Drain and repeat until the water runs clear. It will take at least six changes of water.
  4. When you are ready to cook, place the drained rice back in the sauce pan and cover with 1 1/2 cups cold water, the butter and salt.
  5. Cover with the lid and place over high heat to bring the water to a boil.
  6. When the water comes to a rapid boil, turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 minutes. Do not be tempted to lift the lid!
  7. While the rice is steaming in the covered pan, roast your cumin.
  8. Add the cumin seeds to a dry frying pan and place over medium heat. Move the seeds around in the pan so that they roast evenly and don't burn.
  9. When the seeds begin to smoke lightly, removed the from the heat. The aroma in the room will be amazing.
  10. Place the seeds in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. By this I don’t mean a fine powder. It’s nice to leave some of the seeks as they are as pictured.
  11. When the rice is ready, pour the cumin into the rice and fluff it up using a fork.

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I hope you enjoy this jeera rice recipe. If you do try it, don’t be a stranger. Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Kevin | keviniscooking

Friday 13th of March 2015

I love the simplicity in this and agree, cumin is amazing and this one would have been perfect the other night. Will Pin it to make soon. Have a great weekend Dan.

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Friday 13th of March 2015

This is a very different version of 'jeera' rice that we normally cook, and it has me totally intrigued. I am going to try this. Thanks Dan :)

Marnely Rodriguez

Wednesday 8th of February 2012

I love cumin and rice, so this together is perfect!

Dan Toombs

Thursday 9th of February 2012

Thank you Marnely

I love your blog by the way. I just subscribed and look forward to reading all your recipes.



Saturday 3rd of December 2011

Hi Dan When does one add the ground cumin? During the cooking process/immediately after cooking/after the rice is cooled. Grateful for a clarification. Thanks Neville

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