On The Table

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Quick Cumin Basmati Rice Recipe

Jeera rice is a popular Indian side dish featuring basmati rice. Our 4-ingredient recipe cooks in a quick 30 minutes and pairs perfectly with other Indian dishes built on flavor!

Quick Cumin Basmati Rice Recipe

Oil, cumin, rice, and boiling water.

All you need to make our jeera rice cooked to perfection just like this brown rice recipe! That means light, fluffy, and hard-to-beat rice every single time.

What exactly is jeera rice, though?

Jeera rice is a popular Indian rice dish prepared with fragrant spices. Basmati rice is often used, which is long, slender rice offering a distinctively spicy fragrance and flavor.

Find out how to quickly prepare this basmati rice recipe, along with prep and serving suggestions.

(Hint: The rice pairs with our other favorite Indian dishes you do not want to miss out on!)

Cumin Basmati Rice Recipe

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition per serving: 120 calories, 2 g fat, 2 g protein, 24 g total carb, 1 g fiber

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes


• 1 Tbsp avocado oil
• 1 tsp cumin seeds
• 1 cup white basmati rice, dry
• 2 cups water


1. Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they start spluttering, being careful to not burn or over-brown the seeds. Add the rice and toast in the oil for about 1 minute, or until rice starts to turn opaque.

2. Add the water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan. Cook rice for about 15 minutes, or until the water has evaporated.

3. Keeping the lid on, remove from heat and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before removing the lid. Fluff cooked basmati rice gently with a fork.

Prep Tips & Serving Suggestions

While not necessary steps, there are prep tips to make softer, individual rice grains.

White or brown basmati rice can also be used, and each pair great with other favorite Indian dishes and various spices!

Wash and Soak Rice Before Boiling

Washing the rice before boiling helps remove the starch, which offers its characteristic individual grains.

The rice does not require a thorough rinse until the water runs clear, but rather a quick wash in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water.

After rinsing the rice, you can soak the rice after rinsing for a softer product. Add rice to a large bowl with enough water so that the grains are submerged. Soak for at least 30 minutes, drain, and set aside for use.

Use White or Brown Basmati Rice

Like plain brown and white rice, basmati can be found in both brown and white varieties. Brown basmati rice offers a nuttier flavor and chewier texture compared to white.

While white basmati rice is used for this recipe, brown basmati rice can also be used. However, add a touch more water when cooking brown basmati rice and cook for about 1 hour. To expedite the process, cook in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot.

Layer with Chana Masala and Chicken Tikka Masala

Chana and chicken tikka masalas are also favored amongst Indian cuisine.

Chana masala is a chickpea-based dish flavored with tomato puree, turmeric, ginger, and other rich spices and herbs.

Chicken tikka masala is a creamy, warm, and vibrant dish packed with flavor and protein.

Truly, each layers perfectly atop the jeera rice!

Play with Flavors

The simplicity of this cumin basmati rice may be hard to beat. However, those grains are highly versatile and can harness the flavors of so many rich flavors.

That being said, feel free to play around with flavors of the rice dish. Delicious flavors to consider adding include:

• Bay leaf
• Cinnamon
• Coriander
• Ghee
• Green chilies
• Olive oil

You can truly make this dish your own, offering extra chilies for heat or cinnamon for an added layer of warmth.