Jeera Pulao is an Indian rice pilaf seasoned with cumin seeds and other spices. Cashews and chopped vegetables are also common additions. It is a great accompaniment for North Indian curries/dishes with thick sauces.
After frying the spices, I cooked the rice in the rice cooker. This made it easy to prepare while I was cooking the rest of our dinner. If you don’t have a rice cooker, you can make it in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan with a lid. After frying the spices and tossing the rice to thoroughly coat, add 4 cups of water. Once the water begins to boil, decrease to a simmer, cover, and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 18 minutes. I like to use a clear lid when cooking rice on the stove so I can keep an eye on it. Do not lift the lid until after 15 minutes. Check the rice for tenderness and place lid back on if it needs a couple more minutes. Once cooked, remove lid and remove from heat. Fluff with a fork and remix spices (remove bay leaf, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon) before serving.
Jeera Pulao (Indian Cumin Rice)
Adapted from Divya’s Culinary Journey
2 cups uncooked Basmati rice
1 tablespoons ghee
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
1 inch cinnamon stick
salt to taste
Place the rice in a fine mesh sieve and rinse. Transfer to a bowl and fill with cool water. Let sit for 15 minutes. Drain.
In a large pan, melt ghee with oil over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, add cumin seeds, bay leaf, star anise, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Cook until just fragrant. Add rice and stir to coat.
Transfer to rice cooker and add required amount of water for 2 cups and of basmati rice. Add a pinch of salt and cook according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Once done cooking, fluff, remove large spices (bay leaf, star anise, cloves, cinnamon), and serve immediately.