Jeera Rice Recipe: Indian Cooking for Kids

how to make jeera rice{Today’s guest chef is Armaan!}

Making rice is a pretty good skill to have. If you can make rice, you can whip up a quick and easy dinner, and you’ll have a side dish to go with leftover Indian curries, {which you may or may not have acquired from your mom}. That is why, the next kid-friendly recipe in our recipe series is jeera rice (cumin seed rice). 

Rice is also a good dish to teach your little one’s when they are starting to use the stove. It doesn’t require a lot of babysitting and it is pretty much no-fail. Armaan has been using the stove since he was about 9 to make hot chocolate, but in the last year he’s really gotten comfortable with using it for a full dish (he’ll be a 11 in a few weeks). It’s really up to you to decide when your child is old enough to use the stove, but do stay close!

how to make jeera rice

Jeera Rice Recipe:
This is the portion size we use for our family of 4. It’s a bit larger than the standard 1/4 cup of dry rice per person, but we like rice {and leftovers}!

1 1/2 cups of rice that has been soaked in water for 30 minutes
3 cups of water
2 tbs ghee (or oil if you don’t use ghee)
1 small onion sliced thinly
3 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
salt to taste

Age Range:
Since this dish requires using the stove, use your discretion – based on this article though, I’d say 10+ for this recipe. 

Prep Work:
Soak rice
Thinly slice onion (my kids are not super comfortable with knives, or onions so I do this part. It’s your call on who should do this step!)

jeera rice (3)jeera rice recipe{PS: We only use the camping stove to make it easier to take pics, he usually cooks on a real stove! I just don’t want him to be distracted by the camera and burn himself on the stove}


Heat the ghee in your pan, and add the jeera seeds. Let them crackle and cook for about 1-2 minutes. You don’t want to burn them, but you also don’t want raw cumin flavour in your dish. Keep the heat on medium & keep stirring!

jeera rice recipeOnce the cumin seeds are nicely roasted, add in the thinly sliced onion, and let it caramelize on a low flame for 3-5 minutes. 

jeera rice recipehow to make jeera riceAdd the rice and water to your pot and bring it up to a boil. Also add salt to taste. Once the rice is boiling; put a lid on it, drop the temperature down to medium and let it simmer for 12-14 minutes, or until all the water has dried up.

{Incidentally, rice recipes are also a great time to teach kids a little math, because the water to rice ratio is always 2 to 1.}

When I make rice I pull it off the stove and leave the lid on it for 5 minutes. I think this results in a fluffier rice than if you let the steam out right away. 

jeera rice recipe

When you jeera rice is done, serve it up with some of Z’s cucumber raita, and mom’s masara di dal for the perfect comfort food meal!

Once again, this is a really simple technique that you can teach your kids to give them a base for other dishes. Once you’ve mastered jeera rice you can move on to a vegetable pulao, or biryani. Or, you can even try this coriander rice which is very popular at our place.

Images by: Aziz Dhamani for Pink Chai Living


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