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Easy Jeera Rice (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

If (like us) you’re a fan of Indian cuisine and find yourself ordering it regularly, then you’ve probably enjoyed jeera rice: the perfectly spiced rice that sometimes accompanies your curry.

While developing a new recipe (coming soon!), we were craving that fluffy, restaurant-style rice and got to testing! The result is our EASY, inspired version of jeera rice made with just 4 ingredients. Let us show you how it’s done!

Coconut oil, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, salt, water, and white rice

What is Jeera Rice?

Jeera is a Hindi word derived from a Sanskrit word meaning cumin seeds. In its simplest sense, jeera rice (also called Jeera Bhaat) is rice with cumin seeds.

It’s a popular everyday dish in North India and Pakistan, and each recipe is a little different. Rice, cumin seeds, vegetable oil, onions, salt, and cilantro are common ingredients, though some recipes include more spices, use different oils or ghee, or have other modifications.

Our version keeps it about as simple as it gets! If you’re looking for a recipe with more spices, we suggest checking out this beautiful recipe from Swasthi Shreekanth.

How to Make Jeera Rice

The first step is to choose between making your jeera rice on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. The result is the same either way and it takes about the same amount of time (since the Instant Pot requires time to pressurize and release pressure).

Using a wooden spoon to stir whole spices and melted coconut oil in an Instant Pot before adding rice and water

The benefits of using the Instant Pot are it’s hands-off and it stays warm while you’re preparing other dishes. That said, the stovetop method results in a little less work for whoever is on dish duty!

With either method, you’ll begin by toasting cumin seeds (and, optionally, mustard seeds) in your choice of oil. We like coconut oil because it adds richness and a very subtle coconut flavor. Butter or ghee are also tasty options if you’re not vegan/dairy-free.

Sprinkling mustard seeds into a saucepan of melted coconut oil and cumin seeds

Then we add white rice, water, and salt and get it simmering. A simple yet delicious side is minutes away!

Pouring water into a saucepan of rice

We hope you love this jeera rice! It’s:

Fluffy
Subtly spiced
Quick & easy
Versatile
& SO delicious!

It pairs beautifully with curries, palak paneer, chana masala, vindaloo, and other saucy, Indian-inspired recipes.

More Indian-Inspired Sides

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Bowl of fluffy vegan jeera rice made in the Instant Pot

Prep Time 18 minutes

Cook Time 6 minutes

Total Time 24 minutes

Servings 4 (~3/4-cup servings)

Course Side

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indian-Inspired, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (if not vegan, ghee or butter would work)
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup dry white rice (we used basmati)
  • 1 cup water (double amount if using STOVETOP method)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)

INSTANT POT

  • Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot (to the default “Normal” — not high or low) and add the coconut oil. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds (optional) and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Turn off the sauté function by pressing “Cancel.”
  • Add rice, water, and salt and stir to prevent sticking. Seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 4 minutes (it will take about 8 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize before cooking begins).

  • Once the timer goes off, allow to naturally release for at least 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure. Carefully remove lid once steam has fully escaped.

  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more salt to taste. Serve with curries, palak paneer, chana masala, vindaloo, and other Indian-inspired recipes.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little water until warm.

STOVETOP

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds (optional) and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  • Add 1 cup (200 g) rice, 2 cups (480 ml) water, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, lower heat to a simmer and cover. Ensure it’s simmering and not boiling or the rice can cook too quickly.

  • Simmer until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender — about 15-20 minutes.

  • Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, put the lid back on, and let rest for 10 minutes for extra fluffy rice.

  • Taste and adjust as needed, adding more salt to taste. Serve with curries, palak paneer, chana masala, vindaloo, and other Indian-inspired recipes.
  • Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days or the freezer for up to 1 month. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little water until warm.

*This recipe also works with long grain brown rice, but we preferred the flavor and texture of white rice. If using brown rice, increase cook time to 20 minutes for the Instant Pot or 25-30 minutes for the stovetop.
*For a more traditional version of jeera rice with more spices, check out this recipe from Swasthi’s Recipes.
*Total time includes active cook time, release time, and the time it takes for the Instant Pot to heat up (~8 minutes).
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Serving: 1 (three-quarter-cup) serving Calories: 193 Carbohydrates: 36.2 g Protein: 4.1 g Fat: 3.5 g Saturated Fat: 2.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 147 mg Potassium: 6 mg Fiber: 0 g Sugar: 0 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 23 mg Iron: 0.6 mg

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