Jeera Rice is basically rice flavored with cumin and lightly spiced with whole garam masala. Goes very well with some north indian curries & dals like punjabi dum aloo, methi mushroom, mah ki dal, punjabi kadhi pakora, panchmel dal and gujarati kadhi.
FOR COOKING THE RICE:
- 1.5 cup basmati rice
- 5 cups water
- 1 indian bay leaf/tej patta
- 2 green cardamom//hari elaichi/choti elaichi
- 1 black cardamom/badi elaichi
- ½ inch cinnamon/dalchini
- 2 cloves/lavang
- 1 to 2 strands of mace/javitri
- 1 tsp salt or as required
TEMPERING THE RICE:
- 2 tbsp oil or 1.5 tbsp ghee
- 2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 green chilli/hari mirch, chopped, optional
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta
HERBS AND SPICES FOR THE ASSEMBLING:
- ½ cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves/dhania patta
- ½ cup mint leaves/pudina patta
- 100 gms whisked yogurt/curd/dahi
- Few saffron/kesar, strands
- 1 tbsp milk
- Rinse basmati rice till the water runs clear of starch. soak the rice for 30 mins and then drain them. keep aside.
- Heat 5 cups water. add all the whole spices. add rice and salt. simmer the rice on a low flame uncovered.
- The rice grains should be cooked till tender and yet separate. drain the water and keep the cooked rice aside.
- If you want you can rinse also the rice with water at room temperature. this stops the cooking of the rice and keeps the grains separate.
- Heat oil in a small pan. add cumin/jeera.
- Let them crackle. they have to be fried well otherwise you will taste uncooked cumin in the rice.
- Add the green chilies. stir for a few seconds. no need to brown the chilies.
- Add the tempering to the hot or warm rice.
- With a fork, gently mix the tempering with the rice grains. even if some rice grains break, its alright. do gently taking care so as not to break the rice grains.
- Add coriander and gently mix or garnish jeera rice with coriander at the time of serving.
- Serve jeera rice hot or warm with a dal or vegetable/paneer curry of your choice.