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Friday, October 15, 2021

Cardamom and Cumin Seed Spiced Rice

Ordinary rice is transformed into extraordinary when cooked with cardamom and topped with aromatic toasted spices that are frequently used in Indian cuisine such cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.

toasted cumin and mustard seeds

This recipe is very easy to make, yet the end result is delicious and very interesting and exotic tasting.

My husband grew up in the Egypt where eating rice was a daily staple. During our many years of marriage here in the US, I find that I make a great deal of rice for him (and now me).

Usd, Rice, Food, China Bowl

Consequently, I'm always on the lookout for ways to add a little variety to our plain brown or white rice. Spices make all the difference.

Cardamom, Spice, Masala, Chai, Spices

Cardamom is a fragrant spice that can be purchased ground or as whole pods. Although a little pricy, the pods will stay fresh longer than ground cardamom and will stay fresh for years. I usually purchase the pods in an Indian or Middle Eastern grocery.  Once you start adding cardamom to basmati rice, you'll want to use it often.

Cumin, White Cumin, Herbs, Ayurveda

The same goes for cumin seed. It can be purchased  ground or as seeds. I buy the seeds because again they will stay fresh longer as opposed to the ground cumin which loses its punch after 3-6 months. * Seeds can be ground at home in a coffee grinder, so once you have the seeds, you can always grind them before using them for the freshest and most intense flavors.

Spices, Spice, Seeds, Close-Up, Scent
The third seed is mustard seed which could be purchased in an Indian grocery but I also get it in the regular supermarket in the spice isle. 

Tip: I often keep spices that I don't use very often in the freezer. They will keep much longer even years.

Did you know that many spices are a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
Although spices are used in small quantities, spices provide lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.  

Once you have these three spices in your panty, you will want to find other recipes too. 

In the past I've made (link) a savory and easy vegan cumin-seed rice, of course I've made vegan mujadara (a traditional Middle Eastern lentil and rice dish), creamy mushroom risotto (contains dairy), chow mein and rice (vegan and oil-free). 

2 cups of basmati rice, washed well 
6 cardamom pods
1 cup of almond milk 
1 and 1/2 cup of water
optional: 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric for yellow color
2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon of mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon of salt.

Place rice, cardamom, almond milk, and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes until rice is soft and fluffy. When done, I like to open the cardamon pods and release the inner black seeds which I like to mix into the rice and discard the outer shell.

Heat a skillet on medium heat (no oil) and dry to dry roast the seeds. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and salt and dry roast shaking the skillet continuously for about 3 minutes. Be careful it can burn quickly. Turn off heat and place in a small bowl. Top rice with seeds when serving. 

The result is an aromatic rice with a mild beautiful taste.

rice with toasted spices



  1. You see, we really don't need fancy stuff to turn plain boring food into aromatic and moreish treats! An excellent recipe, Judee.

  2. What a great way to make rice interesting and tasty!

  3. Appreciate the tip to freeze rarely used spices. I'm all for economy and saving the flavor.

  4. That sounds so good! I like that particular rice!

  5. I've been hearing a lot about cardamom lately. It seems like a great way to make grains sweet and special! Also, the scoop of rice looks positively desserty on the blue gingham tablecloth. :)

  6. This sounds yummy! Rice can get boring when you have it a lot, but this sounds like a great way to change it up.


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