Jeera or Cumin Seed Rice

This is one of the most simple ways to serve rice, which is seasoned with cumin seeds, peppercorns and nutmeg. Bright green pearls as I like to call it or green peas adorn this dish. It is simple no doubt, but the seasoning ingredients and some butter or ghee makes the dish delectable. It is a plain canvas but is a”must-have” item on all menus and when combined with some curries this dish is definitely drool-worthy. 

Cooking rice and making sure each grain is separate is also an art. Of course when I started cooking I had problems making this dish, sometimes the rice would turn mushy and sometimes undercooked.  Also make sure to use basmati rice when you make this as the grains are long and look pretty too. Not sure of the basmati rice we get in grocery stores whether they are really basmati. I’m saying this because there is no fragrance that is associated with it anymore, except for a few of them. I’ve tried almost all brands available in Indian grocery stores over the years. 

 I remember when I was little every Sunday my amma cooked a special Sunday lunch for us. Ghee rice as it is called in Karnataka was one such delicacy. She had special fragrant basmati rice, nuts and dry fruits toasted in ghee. Every time she made it the fragrance of basmati wafted in the air. What a treat we had! 

 Jeera rice is complementary to almost all North Indian dishes such as matar paneer, chole, dal makhni, malai kofta or even plain dal.



Prep Time

20 Minutes

Cook Time

10-12 minutes

Total Time

30 minutes


  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 ¼-½ cups water
  • Salt to taste, optional
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • ⅛ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 2-3 tbsp butter or ghee


Step 1
Rinse the rice and soak for 20 minutes. 

Step 2
Heat butter or ghee in a pan, add cumin, star anise and peppercorn. After a minute add water. Cover and let it come to a boil.

Step 3
Drain water from the rice and add to the boiling water. Reduce flame to low -medium. Add salt if using, cover again for 2 minutes.

Step 4
Now add peas and nutmeg powder, stir lightly making sure the rice grains don’t break.

Step 5
Cover and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Check the doneness by pressing a grain between two fingers, it shouldn’t be fully cooked.

Step 6
At this point turn off the flame and partially cover the lid and leave for 5-8 minutes.

Step 7
Fluff with fork and serve with curry of choice.

I have mentioned salt is optional as you can skip it while making because whatever curry you serve it with contains salt.


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The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.

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