Jeera rice, also known as cumin rice, is a fragrant Indian recipe that's perfect for all your favourite curries. Ready in just 20 minutes, this Jeera rice recipe only requires very little hands-on time, so you can easily make it while prepping a delicious homemade curry.
Jeera rice is one of the easiest Indian side dishes you can make at home to accompany all your favourite curries.
It's just the perfect rice to try if you're bored of old boil-in-the-bag basmati or brown rice as a side to Indian curries.
Jeera rice is a simple yet very flavourful recipe that feels like something you'd have in an Indian restaurant. The cumin, cardamom and cinnamon mix makes for a very aromatic side dish that pairs perfectly with spic curries.
Why you'll love this Jeera rice recipe
- It's very easy to make. All you need is basmati rice, some spices and a pan with a tight-fitting lid. The rice is ready in 20 minutes from start to finish.
- It's packed with flavour. The cumin adds an earthy, nutty flavour to this rice and pairs great with the other spices to create a very aromatic rice dish.
- It's naturally vegan. You don't have to substitute any ingredients for plant-based ones — Jeera rice is naturally vegan.
Ingredients and substitutions
Vegetable oil — Sunflower oil is great for jeera rice, but you can also use any other type of neutral oil, like canola or avocado oil.
Cumin seeds — Don't skip the toasting step for the cumin seeds because you'll be missing out on some amazing flavours.
Cloves — A couple of whole cloves will infuse the rice with a sweet and spicy flavour.
Cardamom pods — You can split one or all the cardamom pods to release the seeds for extra flavour.
Cinnamon stick — Just like in the case of cardamom pods, you can split the cinnamon stick for even more flavour.
Basmati rice — You can use any long-grain rice for this cumin rice recipe, but quality basmati rice is the best choice. Rinse the rice until the water is clean, and don't forget to toast the rice in the pan before adding water to prevent the grains from sticking.
How to make jeera rice
Heat the oil in a large saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid and add the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick.
Fry the spices for 1-2 minutes over medium heat until fragrant.
Meanwhile, rinse the basmati rice well in a colander under cold running water until the water is perfectly clear.
Add the rice to the pan and toast it for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cover the rice with water, add the salt and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with the lid, turn down the heat to low and cook without stirring for 10 minutes or until the water has been absorbed completely.
Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit for a couple of minutes, with the lid on. Remove the cloves, cardamom pods and cinnamon stick, then fluff the grains with a fork.
What to serve with Jeera rice?
Jeera rice is the perfect accompaniment to any Indian curry. Since it's so easy to make, you can easily prepare it while you're making your favourite curry.
I like to serve it with this Vegan Madras Curry with Crispy Tofu, with plant-based Tofu Tikka Masala or with my favourite Vegan Butter Chicken.
You can find more ideas that go great with cumin rice on my vegan curries page.
Leftovers and storage
- Jeera rice will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days in an airtight container. Reheat it in the microwave until piping hot.
- You can also freeze Jeera rice for up to 1 month. It's best to spread the rice on a baking sheet to cool completely and then place it into freezer-safe bags. Make sure you label the bags with the date.
- Frozen rice can be thawed in the fridge before reheating, but it's best to reheat in the microwave straight from frozen to avoid a gummy texture.
Recipe notes and tips
- Make sure you keep an eye out on the cumin seeds as you're frying them as they burn very quickly.
- To get perfectly fluffy rice, don't open the lid during cooking.
- Optional ingredients include freshly ground black pepper, bay leaves and lemon zest.
If you liked this jeera rice recipe, you might also like some of my other easy vegan rice recipes:
- Spanakorizo (Greek Spinach and Rice)
- Easy Vegan Mexican Rice
- Vegan Spanish Chickpeas and Rice
- Easy Vegan Biryani
- Vegan Wild Rice Soup (Instant Pot)
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