Jeera Rice is a very popular North Indian dish that is made with white long grain Basmati rice and cumin seeds- cumin is called jeera in Hindi. Brown Jeera Rice is just a slight variation that’s healthier.
Jeera rice goes very well with any dal, saag or curry. When you sit down at a restuarant to order a North Indian meal, you will end up ordering an assortment of entrées and breads, and almost invariably end up ordering some Jeera Rice.
Brown Jeera Rice
My version replaces white basmati rice with brown rice. In terms of texture and fragrance, brown rice is really no match for basmati rice, but there are ways and means of getting around it. Firstly, it is important soak brown rice for at least 5 hours. This is a natural way to make it soft and fluffy and get a texture that is close to cooking white rice, without losing the nutritional value of brown rice. Soaking breaks down some of the hard-to-digest proteins, making assimilation much easier, and neutralizes phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that prevents absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper.
The second big advantage is that it helps cook the rice much faster- in fact it cuts down cooking time in half. This requires just a little bit of planning- all you need to do is plan your meals and if you know you have any brown rice recipes coming up, all you need to do is soak the grains ahead. You might want to soak enough grains if you have a few brown rice meals planned for the week, and refrigerate the soaked grains- that way you don’t have to worry about soaking them for each meal. In fact you can set yourself this reminder for any grain you plan to cook for the week, not just brown rice.
Once you have the soaked grains ready, the actual cooking process is fairly simple, as you can see from the instrictions below.