November 14, 2006

Jeera Rice/Cumin Flavored Rice

Jeera Rice
What do u make when you want an instant pulao or pilaf without the effort? Jeera rice! A weekday or weekend quickie pulao which goes so well with both meat curries and hot spicy curries made with Chole (Chickpeas), Rajma(Kidney beans)or the perennial favorite Ma ki Dal (Black Lentil Curry). My first meal here was jeera rice, rajma, green beans and chicken fry made by my sister in law. Whether it was the gratefulness of reaching home after a million hours on the plane or the familiar aroma of jeera rice, but after that I always look upon jeera rice with fond memories and still think of it as a wonderful combination.

I used to make it with ghee but realised over time that it is the cumin flavor that dominates and it tastes just as great when made with olive oil, so I switched. I add a few pieces of whole pepper which irks some in the family but gets me positive points with my pepper loving better half, so omit it if you don't like peppers exploding in your mouth.

I used the name Kali Jeera rice casually as I have it in my pantry and set off a trail of confusion. The cumin used is still regular whole cumin or jeera seeds. Kali jeera rice is a small grain aromatic rice from the NE India which looks like a smaller version of basmati. I just got tired of the super long basmati and this seemed closer in texture to the Calicut style Ghee(Neichoru) rice which I believe is called the Kaima rice.

It is tiny (almost half the size of basmati)and when boiled as regular rice, is very soft and easy to gobble up. I came across this rice at Subji Mandi recently and just decided to try it out. My imported stock of Kaima rice is over so I am looking for a substitute. The above photo is of jeera rice with basmati though.

You will need:
Basmati or Kali Jeera Rice - 2 cups or 500 gm
Cloves(Karambu) -3
Cumin(Jeera)-2 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf-1
Whole Pepper(optional)- 5-6
Ghee/Olive oil – 2 tbsp
Water- double the quantity of rice.;4 cups.
Salt to taste

1. Clean, wash and drain the rice. Let it soak for about 10 minutes.
2. Heat the ghee/oil in a heavy sauté pan and add the cumin seeds and whole spices.
3. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add the wet rice without water and fry till the rice turns opaque, stirring all the time.
4. Bring water to a boil simultaneously and add it to the rice. Add salt as needed. Let the whole mixture come to a boil .Then cover and lower the heat to a simmer.
5. Cook for about 10 minutes on low heat and check if all the water is absorbed from the surface. When you see no water on the surface and there is still water inside, turn off the heat and keep the pan covered for another 5-10 minutes. The rice will continue cooking and will separate each grain out.
6. Fluff the rice gently and serve with any curry.


Unknown said...

mmm...simple and delicious! I've never heard of kali jeera rice. Where do you get it?

lovely picture!

Anonymous said...

Rice looks great, I made some kala channa the other day, would have been great to try it with this jeera rice.

As per Saffron, whats is kali rice.

Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Hi Shaheen, it looks and sounds wonderful! I've been in the mood for something new and this will be perfect :)

Lakshmi said...

looks nice Shaheen

Rajesh &Shankari said...

Just cooked jeera rice and sat to browse your blog :)

Asha said...

Oooh! I like the mould, mine is little straight edged cup.Looks great.
I do have Kala Jeera, it's thinner and longer than the regular one,isn't it? Never made this rice with Kala Jeera. Got to try.
I am creating a Recipe Index ,still in progress.It's in my profile.Thank you Shaheen.

Anonymous said...

Shaheen, It looks so good MashaAllah! I usually follow the same recipe for jeera rice. But it never looks the same though :) share your trick!
By the way, I saw in your profile that you live in NJ. I live in Edison. Are you in any chance my neighbour? heheh I wud be lucky then. Thanks,Babli

indosungod said...

Shaheen, that is indeed handy recipe to have.

Anonymous said...

Ive never tried jeera rice with kali jeera, is there any major taste difference with em. Beautiful picture Shaheen !

Anonymous said...

Being a big black pepper fan, I think I may try this recipe with whole black peppers, looks great!

Bong Mom said...

the picture looks so delicious...
perfect pic..beautiful

Nabeela said...

the rice looks lovely...perfect for Hyderabadi meat dishes!
(btw, did you notice I linked your cauliflower recipe in my egg curry post?)

Anonymous said...

my jeera rice has only 2 things... jeera and rice. ofcourse salt and oil too.... nvr added other spices to it.
initially when i cam across the recipe, i had my doubts abt the combination. but now its one of my reserve food for 'don't know what to cook ' days. yes as u said goes well with almost everything

PS: y'day A visited ur blog and was highly impressed. the quality of the whole thing really got him. asked me to tell u.

Krithika said...

Just love the combination of Jeera chawal and Rajma. pic looks so good !

Shah cooks said...

saffron,Dilip: kali jeera rice is pretty new to me too. i got it from the Indian store in Edison.

Linda: do try and hope u like it.

Lakshmi.. thanks.

Shankari:Aw! that is called thinking alike.

Asha: Hmm.. kali jeera rice not the cumin.. Saw ur recipe index.. it is coming along well.

Babli, Thanks. I am sure ur tastes the same and the look is just transient.I live in Piscataway, neighbouring town..

Indo: U will like it even with ur kollu rasam.

Priya: Taste difference is very subtle.Lot of people swear by basmati and a lot don't. SO its really upto u. It doesn't make th erice taste extra special, just different as it a smaller grain.

Monisha:Attagirl.. burn ur tongue and remember me.:)

Sandeepa: Thanks a lot for ur sweet note.

Nabee: U are right. it tastes awesome with kashmiri goat curry (with saund) too!!I did see ur link up and left u a note there.

Shah cooks said...

Ki: I add spices sometimes, sometimes i just leave it.Staple here, and for tiffin with any leftover curry.
A is an absolute sweetie. maake sure u make all this and fatten him up.I made ur ulli chicken over on the weekend and it tasted like a cross between ulli theeyal and chicken curry. We all liked it so will make it again soon.

Anonymous said...

It was tasty, i love zeera rice. We actually cook it a bit different way. I tried your's and it was good.