Indian Jeera Rice
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As you might have figured out by now, I love Indian food (but then again, I love all kinds of food). Sometimes I’m just tired of using that same boring basmati rice over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, regular rice is nice too. But jeera rice… that’s awesome.
So, I was making tikka masala and you know tikka masala, a ton of steps and ingredients. Not the best combination when trying out a new recipe for the first time. The jeera rice, I mean. I wanted the rice to be finished just when the tikka masala was finished, and the naan were finished and the raita was finished. Yeah, that didn’t go so well.
I burned my spices.
Okay, but it smelled so good I had to try again. And bless me for that! YUM. Everyone can’t know what all those strange things in Indian is, and if you did like me, wonder what jeera was, I can tell you that it’s just cumin. So jeera rice is basically a cumin rice, but it has a lot of other rich Indian flavors such as cinnamon and cloves.
It’s hard to go back to regular rice with my Indian food now. But I need to, so that I can really appreciate the jeera rice when it’s on the table. You just can’t eat your favorite food everyday (apart from chocolate of course).
Indian Jeera Rice
When you don’t have a million things going through your head, jeera rice is pretty simple to put together too. This recipe is adapted from Whisk Affair.
Basmati rice always needs to be rinsed well before cooking. You want to rinse the rice so many times so that the water that comes out of it is clear. Sometimes I’m amazed how many times I have to rinse it. You can soak it for 30 minutes-2 hours too. But I find it necessary to rinse a lot before anyway.
Heat neutral oil or clarified butter in a pot or a saucepan. You can also use ghee for this, but I didn’t want to buy 2 liters of ghee for this one purpose. I used about 2 tbsp canola oil. When the oil is medium-high heat, add the cumin seeds, and when they start to crackle, add green chilis and fry for a few seconds. You want the heat high enough for it to crackle, but still avoid burning the spices.
Now it’s time to add in the rinsed and soaked rice, 5 dl of new water, salt and the bay leaf. Have it up to a boil and then simmer, covered, until all the water is absorbed (varies from rice to rice, check the packaging). Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes, still covered. Fluff the rice with a fork, garnish with cilantro and it’s ready to serve!
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