Useful Tips

Zira rice (rice with cumin)


Jira Rice (Rice with Indian Caraway Seeds)

Rice cooked with cumin (Indian cumin) is one of the simplest and most popular Indian dishes. This dish is very good in itself, and at the same time it can serve as a kind of basis to which can be added countless Indian sauces, dishes and snacks. |||||

High quality rice - basmati - which is commonly used in this dish, has a wonderful aroma, so you should not put too much cumin or other spices so as not to interrupt it. Sometimes Indian cumin is simply called zira (its smaller variety) or referred to different types of cumin, we recommend using cumin - this spice has long and bright grains!

So you will need:

a few tablespoons of vegetable oil (preferably without a bright smell, such as olive) or butter, or ghee (refined ghee)

1 cup basmati rice

1.5 cups of water (for Basmati the proportion is just that)

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste).

First rinse the rice and let the water drain. Heat the oil at the bottom of the pan in which the rice will be cooked, and throw cumin seeds in it. Fry them for a while, until they smell strongly and turn darker. In Indian cuisine, most spices are fried before cooking or stewing, and for this reason they give off all their rich aroma. Pour rice into a pan and lightly fry it, mixing with butter and fried cumin. After that add water and salt, bring to a boil. After boiling, cook over low heat for 15 minutes - for long-grain basmati this is quite enough, the grains will not boil and stick together, and at the same time will be soft. Please do not stir the rice during cooking, this can be done with a fork at the end of cooking, when it has already been removed from the heat.

Here, in fact, the beautiful jira rice is ready! However, this is not all: besides cumin, you can add to this dish if you wish:

bay leaf (1 leaf),

a small stick of cinnamon

cloves (1-3 inflorescences),

anise (1 asterisk).

If you decide on this more complex bouquet, do not forget that all these spices should also be fried with a cumin before cooking rice.

Some of the cooks believe that this dish will acquire a special piquancy if you add thinly and long-cut strips of onion to it (in India it is usually red varieties). If the hot Indian sun is at hand, you can simply dry the chopped stripes on it, and then mix with cooked rice. But, remembering that there are no hopeless situations, you can lightly fry the onions in a simple frying pan.

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • Ghee - 2 tbsp. spoons
  • Zira (cumin) - 1/2 tsp.
  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Water - 2 cups

Ayurveda identifies the following healing properties of cumin:

  • Reduces minor inflammation and pain.
  • Enhances appetite and promotes the absorption of food.
  • Reduces pain caused by indigestion, cramping, flatulence and heaviness in the stomach.
  • It cleanses the blood.
  • Affects the female reproductive system, reducing uterine inflammation.
  • Excellent lactogon effect (enhances milk production).
  • Useful for the skin, reduces skin itching.

Cooking method

We put 1 tablespoon of ghee in a pan with a thick bottom, wait until the oil becomes liquid, add half a teaspoon of cumin and stir until the seeds are dark brown.

Next, add washed basmati rice (half a glass of rice for 2 servings of rice). We stir the rice for a couple of minutes, then add a glass of boiling water, cover with a lid and cook until all the water has evaporated.

Basmati rice with zira: composition, calories and nutritional value per 100 g

Basmati Rice
480 g

Wash the rice and soak for 1 hour to be crumbly.

Sunflower oil
2 tbsp. l
Dried bay leaf
1 g
1 PC.
2 pcs.
Black pepper peas
2 pcs.

Heat the oil in a deep pan with a thick bottom (with lid). Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and pepper.

Add zira seeds.

When the seeds begin to crack add soaked rice and fry for 5 minutes.

720 ml

Add water and season with salt. Add fire. Stir as little as possible so as not to mash the rice.

When the water begins to evaporate, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes until the rice is ready.

Garnish with chopped mint and coriander leaves.