Jeera Rice ( Cumin flavoured rice)
Jeera rice recipe, How to make Jeera rice, tips to cook rice, one pot meals, Indian rice preparations.
Holi calls for celebration, but for me with much needed mid week break, it was some time for spring cleaning. Not much of a colour-playing person , I would rather happily sit back and watch kids enjoy while silently deciding the menu for lunch. At times when I have the whole of kitchen to myself and whole of the holiday to play around, I plan on some restaurant style north Indian dishes. Jeera rice is one such delicacy.
Cooking North Indian food is definitely not my forte, something which I would love to work upon if given a chance,of course only after acquiring some finesse in caking and baking! But you have to cook some rice and roti too for everyday eating , isn’t it?
Jeera rice can be simply cooked by tempering rice with jeera (cumin seeds) without adding any vegetables. But I prefer it the veggie-way, firstly because it adds a good texture, crunch and flavour. Secondly, I love chopping vegetables, to the exact size I want, as finely as I can. It gives me a sense of achievement to gather evenly cut fine pieces, at the end of the process. I enjoy the whole process from washing vegetables to seeing them shine through the dish. Once when I was teaching my elder son to cut cucumber for salad, he complained how I made him wash and re-wash his hands and vegetables repeatedly, he complained ‘amma makes me wash the cucumber pieces even after chopping! Won’t the vitamins in it go away too!’ (out of concern that he might have missed washing it thoroughly earlier). And I was like, what is Mr.Smarty pants doing in my kitchen !😠😠
Here’s a quick recipe for jeera rice with some tips for cooking rice :
- Ghee/ Refined oil- 5 to 6 tablespoons ( or you can use half-half)
- Cumin seeds- 2 tablespoon
- Bay leaf – 2 big
- Ginger (finely chopped) – 1 tablespoon
- Garlic (finely chopped)- 1 tablespoon
- Green chillies (finely chopped)- 1 tablespoon (according to taste)
- Onion( finely chopped)- 1 cup ( around two medium sized )
- Carrots( finely chopped) – ½ cup
- French beans (finely chopped*)- ½ cup
- Salt- 2 teaspoons (according to taste)
- Rice ( basmati or any long grained/ medium grained rice will do)- 2 cups
- Water- 2 ½ to 3 cups ( quantity will vary if using rice cooker)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Finely chopped coriander- for garnishing
( *for chopping beans, cut each bean longitudinally into half, and then chop to get them real fine )
- Wash and soak rice in adequate water.
- In a non stick medium sized pan ( don’t take a small one, as we need to fry the rice too before cooking) or in a cooker, add oil/ghee and once it is hot add cumin seeds, bay leaves. After the seeds splutter, add finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies.
- Sauté for few minutes till the garlic turns light brown, add finely chopped onions. Fry till they turn translucent.
- Now add finely chopped carrots and french beans. You can also add green peas at this stage.
- Sauté till the vegetables slightly change their colour, add some salt and keep turning and mixing. Do not add water, the vegetables will turn mushy, we need to keep the crunch intact in them.
- Now drain the soaked rice completely of water, add it to the vegetables, fry for few minutes till all the water dries up.
- Now, If you are using pressure cooker, add 3 cups of water, squeeze in a juice of lemon, give a nice stir.
- Pressure cook for one whistle, simmer for five minutes and switch off the flame.
- If using Rice cooker, add additional cup of water, around 4 to 4 ½ cups for two cups rice.
- Garnish with chopped coriander, Serve rice with some restaurant style dal and gravy for a great holiday lunch! Here I have served Jeera rice with Panchemal dal and Paneer burji.
To get non sticky , seperately cooked grains, follow these few points:
- Soaking the rice at least for 30 minutes is important.
- Too less a oil, will not coat the rice granules well with the flavour of the vegetables and spices, so when cooking fried rice of any type, do not excessively reduce oil in proportion to the rice content. You can mix two different oils, or use ghee.
- Fry the rice well before adding water. Do it on medium flame, as high flame dries out the granules soon resulting in their breakage.
- Adding a dash of lemon juice will help in keeping the granules seperate.