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Recipe for :

Jeera Chawal - Rice with Cumin Seeds

This recipe is published with the permission of Manju Malhi from her book 'India with Passion'.

Renowned for her simple, homely approach to Indian cooking, Manju has quickly become one of our favourite home cooks since the publication of her first book, 'Brit Spice', in 2002. Manju beat hundreds of contestants to secure a guest cookery slot on BBC2's Food and Drink, and has since presented her own televison show for Taste called Simply Indian. Manju developed her passion for Indain cooking from watching her parents cook as a child, and refined her skills while studying in Bombay for four years.

If you would like to know more about the latest book, 'India with Passion', <click here>

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The Punjabis in northern India are predominantly a wheat-eating people, but they cook "seasoned" rice on special occasions. Plain or steamed rice is only eaten when someone is feeling under the weather. Cumin is the second most popular spice in the world after black pepper, and it's also one of the main ingredients in various spice mixtures. The fresh, nutty aroma is unmistakable.


300g (10 1/2 oz) white basmati rice
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp salt
15g (1/2 oz) butter or ghee


  • Wash the rice thoroughly under cold running water.
  • Heat the oil in a heavybased pan. Add the cumin seeds and stir for a few seconds, allowing them to sizzle but not burn.
  • Add the rice and salt. Stir so the oil coats all the rice and it looks glossy.
  • Pour in 600 ml (21 f1 oz) boiling water and add the butter or ghee.
  • Cover and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the grains are tender (all the water should have gone). Serve hot.

Serves 6

Manju Malhi
Recipe from India with Passion

©Manju Malhi 2004