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Instant Pot Basmati Rice

Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf | Palak Rice | Spanakorizo

This flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Aromatic basmati rice cooked with buttery soft spinach in homemade ghee, that’s what makes this Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf so flavorful and hearty!  Spinach Rice, or Palak (spinach) Pulav (rice pilaf), is a popular Indian vegetarian side, where long-grain Basmati rice is cooked with fresh spinach, and seasoned with cumin seeds, garam masala (Indian spice blend) and ground coriander.  If you switch the spices to a mediterranean blend, you have a delicious bowl of Spanakorizo!  

I finish the Instant Pot Spinach Rice with a light squeeze of lime and it tastes divine. I like to add a few cashews or slivered almonds to spinach rice, as they add a nice texture and contrast to the creamy spinach and the soft fluffy rice.

Following this quick and easy recipe for Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf, you can elevate your everyday rice into an elegant and delicious side dish!

Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Flavor Variation: Spanakorizo

A very popular variation of this recipe is the Greek-style spinach rice, called Spanakorizo. That’s pronounced as span-a-ko-reezo. Now, try saying that 10 times fast 🙂 It is extremely easy to make Spanakorizo by switching a couple of ingredients in this recipe. Typically flavored with fresh dill, lemon zest and juice, this flavor-packed dish goes really well with a mediterranean themed menu. I pair it with these Lamb Chops, or my Mediterranean Chicken and everyone loves it in my home. I have listed the recipe for Spanakorizo in the ingredients list below.

Serving suggestion for Indian Spiced Spinach Rice

Butter Paneer with this flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

 

This Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf has a nice fluffy and creamy texture and taste, due to which it seems like the perfect pairing with most Indian curries. My personal favorite pairings with Spinach rice are with Butter ChickenChicken Tikka MasalaPaneer Tikka Masala and Paneer Butter Masala (Paneer Makhani). My local Trader Joe’s carries both these combinations in their frozen entrée section as well :-). There’s something about these combinations that makes them go so well together; the buttery spinach compliments the rich curry in all these dishes.

Serving Suggestion for Spanakorizo:

 

Key to ‘Fluffy’ Instant Pot Rice

After opening the lid, gently fluff up the rice with a fork.  Lift the rice, not stir.  Remove the Instant Pot insert from the base unit.  Then, let it rest UNCOVERED for 5-10 minutes.  This allows any excess moisture to evaporate.  The result is fluffy and separated kernels of rice.

This flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodieStove-top Recipe for Spinach Rice Pilaf:

In this recipe, I’ve made the Spinach pilaf in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this recipe can very easily be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how:

  1. Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium-high heat. Follow the instructions to saute everything, add rice, seasonings, water. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Open lid, gently fluff rice with a fork, add lime juice and mix. Let it sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes before serving.   As a result of this resting period, any excess moisture evaporates, therefore, resulting in soft and fluffy rice.

Instant Pot Spinach Rice: Watch Video Recipe

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This flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf | Palak Rice | Pulao
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Aromatic basmati rice cooked with buttery soft spinach in homemade ghee, that's what makes this Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf so flavorful and hearty!

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Mediterranean
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 163 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basmati rice : rinsed 2-3 times, soaked for 20 mins if possible
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or butter
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic, crushed or grated (1/2 inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 6 oz baby spinach (1 bag) chopped fine
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons cashews or blanched slivered almonds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala homemade or store-bought
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 lime juiced : about 1 teaspoon. Add after cooking
Make it Greek style : Spanakorizo
  • 1 cup basmati rice : rinsed 2-3 times, soaked for 20 mins if possible
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots thinly sliced or chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic fine chopped or grated
  • 6 oz baby spinach chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped dill
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds : optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt : adjust to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small lemon juiced : about 2 teaspoons, to be added after cooking
Instructions
  1. Rinse rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain before using.
  2. Heat ghee in instant pot on SAUTE mode.  Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle, about 15-20 seconds.  Add chopped onions and cashews and saute for 30 seconds.  If you're adding curry leaves and green chilies, you can add them with the onions.  Add crushed or grated, ginger & garlic, and saute another 30 seconds.

  3. Add chopped spinach and cilantro and saute for about a minute, till the spinach wilts.  See video for clarity.  Add rinsed and drained rice and saute another minute.  Add spices and water, stir well.  Close lid.  Cancel SAUTE. Set pressure valve to 'Sealing' position.  Cook on Manual or Pressure Cook for 6 minutes.

  4. Wait 5 minutes before manually releasing the pressure, by turning the valve to venting position (NPR 5).  Open the lid after the pin drops.  Fluff rice with a fork. Let it sit uncovered for 5 minutes.  Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and mix it gently.

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Spinach Rice Pilaf | Palak Rice | Pulao
Amount Per Serving
Calories 163 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 320mg 13%
Potassium 248mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 29g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 53.8%
Vitamin C 12.2%
Calcium 4.4%
Iron 8.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Saffron Rice Pilaf (Pulao)

Saffron Rice Pilaf or pulao by Spice Cravings. Aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth. This easy and popular side compliments so many dishes from around the world. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Saffron Rice Pilaf (Pulao)!  Aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth.  You can pair this easy and popular side with so many dishes across different cuisines.

Saffron is a spice that is derived from the core of a flower called, saffron crocus.  Each strand of saffron is carefully extracted by hand, which makes it the world’s most expensive spice (by weight).  That being said, most recipes call for a pinch or two of saffron, so if you invest in a small box, it’ll last a long time.
Saffron Rice Pilaf or pulao by Spice Cravings. Aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth. This easy and popular side compliments so many dishes from around the world. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Saffron adds a deep floral fragrance along with a golden-yellow to a light-crimson color to dishes, depending on the quantity used.  You can bring out the best flavor of saffron, by soaking it in a warm liquid, like water or milk.

In Indian cuisine, Saffron is used in many rice preparations, both sweet and savory.  One of my favorite dishes, and, an extremely popular savory meat & rice pilaf, which uses saffron, is Biryani.

Instant pot Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani: Another rice dish made with saffron

In India, people also add saffron to many desserts, like Rava Kesari (Semolina Pudding) and Kheer (Rice Pudding).

Sooji Sheera, rava kesari

Rava Kesari: Indian dessert made with saffron

Pairing Suggestions with Saffron Rice Pilaf:

I find Saffron Rice Pilaf to be a pretty versatile side.  You can enjoy it with many Indian curries, like Butter Chicken, Lamb Korma, Paneer Tikka Masala, etc.  My family like to pair it with mediterranean spiced proteins like Chicken Shawarma, or Falafel.   I’ve made this recipe with Basmati rice, as well as Jasmine rice, and it works great with both.

Saffron Rice Pilaf or pulao by Spice Cravings. Aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth. This easy and popular side compliments so many dishes from around the world. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

In this recipe, I have cooked saffron rice in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but it can be prepared in any pressure cooker, a rice cooker, microwave, or even on the stove-top.   To learn more about the instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories blog.

Here is how to make it on the stove top or the microwave as well.

Stove-top Recipe:

Rinse 1 cup of rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear.  If you have the time, soak it for 15 minutes, that results in fluffy rice.  For one cup of rice, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.  Add rinsed and drained rice, salt, ghee or oil, slivered almonds (optional), and saffron, that has been soaking in warm water (see how-to instructions in recipe card).  Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, till you reach your desired texture.

Make it in the Microwave:

Rinse 1 cup of rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear.  If you have the time, soak it for 15 minutes, that results in fluffy rice.  In a microwave safe bowl, add drained rice, 2 cups of water (for 1 cup rice), and all other ingredients, and cook it at “rice” mode.

Saffron Rice Pilaf goes well with:

Paneer Tikka masala- Instant pot- Garammasalakitchen.com
Paneer Tikka Masala

lamb korma curry instant pot pressure cooker
Lamb Korma Curry

Instant Pot Easy Butter-Chicken-Garam Masala Kitchen
Easy, Quick Butter Chicken

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Saffron Rice Pilaf or pulao by Spice Cravings. Aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth. This easy and popular side compliments so many dishes from around the world. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

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5 from 1 vote
Saffron Rice Pilaf or pulao by Spice Cravings. Aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth. This easy and popular side compliments so many dishes from around the world. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Saffron Rice | Saffron Rice Pilaf
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Total Time
21 mins
 
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 233 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup basmati rice or Jasmine Rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron : soaked in 1 tablespoon hot water (I microwave saffron and water for 20-30 seconds)
  • 2 tablespoon slivered almonds : optional
Other optional ingredients
Instructions
  1. Prep: Rinse 1 cup of rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 15 minutes, that results in fluffy rice. Take 1/2 teaspoon of saffron in a microwave safe bowl, Using a teaspoon, break down the stems into smaller pieces. Add 1 tablespoon hot water to it, or, add cold water and microwave it for 20-30 seconds. Saffron rice can be prepared two ways in the Instant Pot: Direct pot, or Pot-in-Pot. Here are both ways:

  2. Main Pot: Add rinsed and drained rice and all other ingredients in the inner pot of the instant pot. Close lid. Set valve to sealing position. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 6 minutes, OR, Rice mode, which defaults to 12 minutes.

  3. Pot-in-Pot: Add all ingredients in any oven safe container. Add 1 cup water, or the recommended quantity, to your inner pot. Place trivet and place the rice bowl on top of that. Close lid. Set valve to sealing position. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook for 6 minutes, OR, Rice mode, which defaults to 12 minutes.

  4. Serve: Wait 10 minutes before manually releasing the pressure (NPR 10). Open lid after pin drops. Using a fork, carefully fluff the rice. Serve with your favorite entree!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Saffron Rice | Saffron Rice Pilaf
Amount Per Serving
Calories 233 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 297mg 12%
Potassium 135mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 4g 8%
Calcium 2.6%
Iron 4.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Instant Pot Lemon Rice

Indian flavored Instant Pot lemon rice

Lemon Rice is an extremely popular side from southern India.  In this simple preparation, long grain rice are infused with fresh curry leaves, mustard seeds and spicy ginger.  I stir in freshly squeezed lemon juice after cooking and that brings this whole dish to life.  Using this recipe for Instant Pot Lemon Rice, you can make this fresh and flavorful side, in under 30 minutes!

Instant Pot Lemon rice served in a black stone pot

Customize Your Lemon Rice

I like to make this dish with long grain Basmati Rice, but it works just as well with Jasmine Rice.  This recipe is traditionally made with split black gram lentils (urad), but sometimes,  I add other lentils for variety.  I enjoy the sweet & nutty flavor of cashews in this recipe, but you can make it nut-free by skipping them altogether.  You can also substitute cashews with any other nut of your choice, like peanuts, almonds etc.

Ingredient List for Instant Pot Lemon Rice

Substitute for Curry Leaves

Curry leaves add a great floral aroma and taste to Instant Pot Lemon Rice.  But, depending on where you live, curry leaves can be tricky to find.   It took me years to find a close-enough taste match for curry leaves.

I found a few, so feel free to substitute based on what’s most convenient for you.  A 4-5 inch piece of lemongrass stalk, when sautéed, gives a very similar aroma and taste as curry leaves.  You can remove it before serving.  If you cannot find curry leaves or lemongrass stalk, then add 3-4 lime skin peels to the pot.  Make sure that you only get the skin, not the white part.

Instant Pot Lemon Rice recipe by Spice Cravings

Using Instant Pot for Lemon Rice

I must tell you guys something – I’ve never owned a rice cooker in my life!  Yup! I’ve always made rice on the stove or in my stove-top pressure cooker, using my mom’s recipe.  But when I bought my first Instant Pot, I experimented with cook-times and water-rice ratios, and finally found my perfect match!  Rice comes out so pillowy soft and fluffy.  I love how each kernel of rice is cooked perfectly and stays separated.  So, slowly, I have been adapting all my rice recipes to the Instant Pot.

If you’d like to learn more about the Instant pot, check out my Instant Pot FAQ and Accessories post.

Fluffy rice, straight from the Instant Pot

Stove-Top Recipe for Lemon Rice

Rinse rice 2-3 times till the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside. Do the same with split lentils. Heat a sauce pot on medium-high heat. Wait till it’s hot, and add ghee/butter or oil. Add mustard seeds and split black gram lentils (urad).

When the mustard seeds splutter and lentils look light-golden, add green chilies, curry leaves, cashews, ginger, salt, spices, and saute for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes.

Turn off the heat, open lid, fluff up the rice with a fork. Add fresh lemon juice and mix well. That’s it!

Lemon rice flavored with mustard seeds and curry leaves, cooked in Instant Pot

Dishes that Pair Well with Lemon Rice

Lemon rice pairs very well with Indian, middle-eastern or Greek entrees.  For a simple and clean meal, serve it with a side of Raita and Green Beans & Carrots, and enjoy a delicious Indian vegetarian meal.

I also like to serve it with chicken and vegetables skewersLamb Chops,  Salmon Tikki,  Chicken Kebab etc. Pair it with a side of grilled or oven-roasted vegetables and you have a perfectly balanced meal in under 30 minutes.

Vegetarian Pairings

Kadai Paneer

Soft and creamy paneer sauted with onions, peppers and chilies, this is the recipe for Kadai paneer

Paneer Makhani

Instant pot paneer butter masala or paneer makhani is vegetarian variation of Butter Chicken. Start with paneer, Indian cottage cheese, and simmer it in tomato puree, season with toasted and ground garam masala and finished with a touch of heavy cream #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Green Beans & Carrot

Green Beans and Carrot instant pot or stir fry by Spice Cravings. Crisp green beans and carrots sautéed with mustard seeds and coconut flakes, and seasoned with salt, coriander and cayenne. This super simple and amazingly easy vegetable side-dish is a great accompaniment to many entrée. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

Chicken, Meat & Fish Pairings

Chicken & Veggie Skewers

Chicken Skewers and Vegetables on Lemon Rice made in instant pot by Spice Cravings. Chicken and Vegetable skewers are a good combo of protein and vegetables. Chicken is cooked in an instant pot & served with a side of saffron rice. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

Seekh Kebab

Chicken Seekh Kebab by Spice Cravings. Chicken Seekh Kebab is must have appetizer with Indian meals.  These kebabs are skewered minced chicken seasoned with warm spices, grilled to perfection. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Salmon Tikki

Salmon Tikki, Salmon cakes- Pan grilled by Spice Cravings. I flavor the salmon in this healthy salmon cake recipe with warm Indian spices, lime, & combine with carrots, corn & spinach, to add a hint of sweetness. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian

Fish Coconut Curry

Fish Coconut Curry by Spice Cravings is a light fish prepared in a coconut milk broth with aromatics and tons of curry leaves, served over a mountain of steamed white rice. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #curry #indian 

Instant Pot Lemon Rice: Recipe VIDEO

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Indian flavored Instant Pot lemon rice
Instant Pot Lemon Rice
Prep Time
6 mins
Cook Time
16 mins
Resting
5 mins
Total Time
22 mins
 

Instant Pot Lemon Rice, fluffy grains of aromatic Basmati rice, flavored with mustard seeds and fresh lemon juice. This satisfying side pairs well with Indian, middle-eastern or Greek entrees. 

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: instant pot, Lemon Rice
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 239 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon ghee or butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoon Urad dal split split black gram lentils, rinsed and dried
  • 3 whole green chillies tops off (this way they release aroma, not spice)
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons cashews (optional)
  • 1 tsp grated ginger (about 1/2 inch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup Basmati rice Soaked 20 mins, rinsed 2-3 times
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoon water : this ratio works better for me than 1:1
  • 1 lemon juiced, to add after cooking
Instructions
  1. Soak basmati rice 20 minutes for best results.  Rinse 2-3 times till the water runs clear.  Drain and keep aside. Do the same with split lentils. 
  2. Turn Instant Pot on SAUTE mode (high). Wait till it reads "hot", and add ghee, mustard seeds and split black gram lentils.

  3. When the mustard seeds splutter and lentils look light-golden, add green chilies, curry leaves, cashews, ginger, salt, spices, and saute for 30 seconds. 

  4. Add drained rice and water, stir and close the lid. Set Manual/Pressure cook for 6 minutes. Vent at Sealing position (DUO). If using ULTRA model, press START

  5. Manually release pressure after 5 minutes (NPR 5). Open lid after pin has dropped and pot is completely depressurized.  Add lemon juice and fluff the rice with a fork, mixing in the lemon juice gently. 

Stove-top recipe
  1. Rinse rice 2-3 times till the water runs clear. Drain and keep aside. Do the same with split lentils. Heat a sauce pot on medium-high heat. Wait till it’s hot, and add ghee/butter or oil. Add mustard seeds and split black gram lentils (urad). 

  2. When the mustard seeds splutter and lentils look light-golden, add green chilies, curry leaves, cashews, ginger, salt, spices, and saute for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium, cover the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes. 

  3. Turn off the heat, open lid, fluff up the rice with a fork. Add fresh lemon juice and mix well. That’s it!

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Lemon Rice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 3mg 1%
Sodium 411mg 17%
Potassium 123mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 45g 15%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 2g
Protein 5g 10%
Vitamin A 1.9%
Vitamin C 82.9%
Calcium 3%
Iron 7.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jeera Rice | Cumin Basmati Rice Pilaf in Pressure Cooker

Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where delicious and aromatic basmati rice is cooked with the nutty and earthy cumin seeds. It is one of the most popular accompaniment with Indian curries. Quick and easy recipe by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #basmati #rice

Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where rice is cooked with aromatic cumin seeds. It is traditionally cooked with long grain Basmati Rice, which is a long grained rice known for it’s sweet aroma and a slight nutty flavor. It is the perfect accompaniment to most Indian lentils and curries. This simple yet versatile rice dish is the base of many great dishes like Jeera Pulao (Cumin Pilaf with sautéed onions) and Vegetable Pulao (Rice Pilaf with chopped vegetables).

Varieties of Basmati Rice

Basmati Rice comes in many varieties. I like using Tilda Basmati Rice, or, Kohinoor Basmati Rice XL. Both have extra long rice kernels, which I love! Cooking times of Basmati rice and water-to-rice ratio can differ depending on:

  1. It’s age
  2. How long the grain is
  3. How you like your rice- el dente (like in Biryani), or soft & fluffy
  4. Lastly, how well you drained it after rinsing it (yup- that’s a factor too).

Jeera Rice/Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where delicious and aromatic basmati rice is cooked with the nutty and earthy cumin seeds. It is one of the most popular accompaniment with Indian curries. Quick and easy recipe by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #basmati #rice

Stove-Top Recipe for Jeera Rice/Cumin Rice

When I make Jeera rice/Cumin rice on the stove-top, I follow this simple recipe.

  1. I start by rinsing the rice 2-3 times, or until water runs clear, Then, I soak it for 15 – 30 minutes before cooking. Soaking the rice causes the rice kernels to become soft and fluffy at the end of the cooking process.
  2. Now, heat a heavy bottom saucepan on medium-high heat, add Ghee or butter to it, add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle. Now I strain the rice using a fine mesh strainer, add it to the pot, and sauté for 30 seconds. I Add salt, water and let is come to a boil. Then, I turn the heat down to medium and set a timer for 10 minutes.
  3. When the timer is done, I turn off the heat and let the rice rest for 5-10 minutes. After that, I open the lid and gently fluff with a fork.

Instant Pot Recipe for Jeera Rice / Cumin Rice

It took me a few tries in the Instant Pot pressure cooker to get it ‘just right’ for my family (see my instant pot FAQ to learn more).   The magic number for me is 6 minutes for Basmati Rice. I cooked a few batches with a 1:1 ratio of rice to water, but the rice had a bit of a bite to them.  I found that adding an extra two tablespoons of water plus one teaspoon butter, ghee or oil, made them more soft and fluffy, which was perfect for us.

Customize Your Rice

If you like your Basmati rice with a little bite, follow the 1:1 ratio, which means, for every cup of rice, you add a cup of water. If you like them softer, add 1 1/4 cup water for 1 cup of rice. In most customizations, the time remains the same as 6 minutes at high pressure.

Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where delicious and aromatic basmati rice is cooked with the nutty and earthy cumin seeds. It is one of the most popular accompaniment with Indian curries. Quick and easy recipe by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #basmati #rice

Using the RICE Setting

You can follow this recipe and cook it using the Rice setting too. Add all ingredients to the pot, close the lid, set the vent to sealing position and hit the ‘Rice’ button. That defaults to 12 minutes at low pressure. I have cooked it both ways and have found the result to be the same. So, I love using the ‘Manual/Pressure Cook’ option, since that takes less time.

NPR vs. QR for Rice

I get asked this question a lot- do you NPR or QR for rice? As a general rule of thumb, I let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, after which I manually release the remaining pressure (NPR 10). When I cook long grain rice like Basmati or Jasmine, I find, that resting the rice for 10 minutes makes it fluffier and rice kernels maintain their shape.

That being said, there are times, when dinner gets ready in the nick of time, and there is no time to wait for NPR. In which case, I release the pressure manually (QR), and gently fluff the rice with a fork. The texture is a bit more moist than usual, but it still tastes great.

Plain Basmati Rice Recipe

For plain Basmati Rice, follow the recipe and skip the cumin. Simply add all ingredients except cumin in the Instant Pot. Press Manual (high), 6 minutes. Wait 10 minutes before releasing the pressure (NPR 10 minutes).

Jeera Rice / Cumin Rice Pairings

Paneer Tikka masala- Instant pot

Paneer Tikka Masala

Toor Dal Tadka, Split Pigeon pea soup, lentil soup, Instant Pot Soup

Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas)

Chicken Vindaloo Keto in Instant Pot by Spice Cravings

Chicken Vindaloo

Instant Pot Rajma Masala- Red Beans curry

Rajma Masala (Red beans curry)

More Rice Recipes From My Kitchen

Brown Jasmine Rice in Instant Pot

Brown Rice

3-ingredient recipe for creamy and delicious Instant Pot coconut rice. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #coconut

Coconut Rice

This flavorful and hearty spinach rice, palak pulao or pilaf is made by cooking aromatic basmati rice with buttery soft spinach in ghee in an Instant Pot. by Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Spinach Rice Pilaf

Saffron Rice Pilaf or pulao by Spice Cravings. Aromatic and nutty basmati rice cooked in a Saffron infused broth. This easy and popular side compliments so many dishes from around the world. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Saffron Rice

Instant pot Lemon Rice by Spice Cravings. Lemon Rice, fluffy grains of aromatic Basmati rice, flavored with mustard seeds and fresh lemon juice. This satisfying side pairs well with Indian, middle-eastern or Greek entrees. I like to serve it with grilled chicken and vegetables, or with Lamb Chops or kebabs. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty

Lemon Rice

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Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice, is a popular Indian side dish where delicious and aromatic basmati rice is cooked with the nutty and earthy cumin seeds. It is one of the most popular accompaniment with Indian curries. Quick and easy recipe by Spice Cravings. #food #foodie #foodblogger #delicious #recipe #instantpot #recipes #easyrecipe #cuisine #30minutemeal #instagood #foodphotography #tasty #indian #basmati #rice
Jeera Rice | Cumin Basmati Rice Pilaf in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Jeera Rice or Cumin Rice is a popular Indian side dish where delicious and aromatic basmati rice is cooked with the nutty and earthy cumin seeds. It is one of the most popular accompaniments with Indian curries.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 240 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Basmati rice : rinsed and soaked for 20 minutes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Ghee or butter or oil
  • 1 cup water + 2 tablespoons extra
Instructions
  1. Rinse the basmati rice 2-3 times and soak for 20 minutes. Strain the soaked basmati rice in a sieve to get all the water out. Turn on instant pot on Sauté. Wait 30 seconds and add ghee/butter/oil and cumin seeds.

  2. When the cumin seeds begin to sizzle (a few seconds), add rice and sauté another 30 seconds. Add salt and water and stir. Close the lid. Set the valve to 'sealing'. Press Manual (high) for 6 minutes, NPR for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you could just dump everything in and turn ON the Instant Pot on the same setting. It will have a milder cumin flavor, but will still be present.
  3. Open the lid and gently fluff the rice with a fork. Cumin rice is best served warm with lentils soups, curries or any grilled entrée.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Jeera Rice | Cumin Basmati Rice Pilaf in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
Amount Per Serving
Calories 240 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 4mg 1%
Sodium 395mg 16%
Potassium 70mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 49g 16%
Protein 4g 8%
Calcium 1.7%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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