Learn how to cook basmati rice perfectly every single time! With this post you will be able to cook basmati rice that is fluffy, flavorful long and each separate.
In this post I am sharing ways to cook basmati rice on stove top, pressure cooker or instant pot and also tips for brown basmati rice!
Rice is our staple food and I have been cooking rice at least once everyday since a decade. Basmati rice is our first choice to have with rajma, spinach chickpea curry, chole or dal fry paired with aloo gobi or gobi matar.
I also use cooked basmati rice for making quick pilaf, masala rice, jeera rice and many more recipes. I usually cook basmati rice either in pressure cooker or in a pot.
Rice cooked in pressure cooker is bit more sticky and less fragrant but gets done very quickly. Rice cooked in pan or pot is less sticky, more fragrant and very suitable for pilaf and variety rice recipes.
Before getting into detailed methods, let us learn a bit more about basmati rice, its varieties and uses.
What Is Basmati Rice?
Basmati rice is a variety of aromatic slender and long grain rice. It is predominantly grown and used in Indian subcontinent. North Indian & Pakistani cuisine uses this rice very widely. The word Basmati origins from Hindi, meaning fragrant, which roots back to Sanskrit word vasmati.
This rice has a wonderful nutty aroma similar to pandan leaves making it best suited for biryani, pilaf & other variety rice recipes. It is my most favorite fluffiest rice that I keep reaching for again and again. It is the perfect rice to soak up rich curries too.
This rice comes in various grades and aged basmati rice is much preferred and best for using in recipes. It is better to make sure your rice at least aged for an year. 3 years aged rice is the best and obviously most expensive.
Basmati rice is very delicate and requires special care while cooking. If you cook it like how do with other short grain rice varieties, there are more chances of you ending up sticky rice or gummy rice with broken grains or even worse, mushy paste that you cannot use to make pulao or fried rice.
Making basmati rice is different and it needs some prep work . In this post I have shared all the tips, tricks and some tried and tested methods which will help you make perfect basmati rice- fluffy, full long grains, non sticky with wonderful aroma.
Two Techniques To Cook Basmati Rice
There are two ways to cook any rice generally. You either add raw rice grains to plenty of water, let it cook and drain off excess water in the colander or add precise amount of water to rice and let the rice grains absorb water.
- Absorption method– You use precise amount of water for measured rice and all the water is absorbed by the rice as it gets cooked. This is the same as pressure cooker expect it takes a bit more time using a pot or pan. I am sharing this method here for making basnati rice.
- Boiling in excess water– this is the age old method of cooking rice. Here you add rice to ample amount of boiling water and let it cook. The extra water and starch is drained once the rice is cooked. it is believed to be healthiest way of cooking rice use by our grand moms.
If you are beginner or not, do let basmati rice intimidate you 🙂 Try out this method and you will love how easy it is to cook perfect basmati rice at home.
How To Cook Basmati Rice Recipe
Open Pot Method
Measure 1 cup raw basmati rice, add it to a large bowl and rinse just once in cold water to remove excess starch.
Soak in plenty of water for 30 minutes. Drain and spread on a plate for 5 minutes.
Add 2 cups water and few drops of oil in a heavy medium saucepan pan or pot.
Bring the water to a rolling boil keeping the pan open. Add salt to taste.
Add the drained rinsed rice and mix just once.
Cover the pan and cook in medium heat. Cook for 8-12 minutes.
Remove from flame once all the water is absorbed.
Let the cooked rice sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Before serving using a rice paddle or wooden spatula, fluff the rice gently.
Serve cooked basmati rice with preferred curry.
Instant Pot Or Pressure Cooker Method
Cooking perfect Instant pot basmati rice is a breeze and takes no expertise at all. Unlike open pot method, cooking in pressure cooker and instant pot needs much less water. For a very aged rice I add 1.25 cups water for 1 cup rice and if the rice is nit very aged you can use 1 cup water for 1 cup rice.
If you are beginner using instant pot or pressure cooker is your best bet as you have everything fixed like time, water ratio and pressure release.
Pick and rinse your rice grains well. Soak in plenty of water for 20 minutes. Drain rinse until the water runs clear of starch.
Add rice to the steel insert of the instant pot and add 1 or 1.25 cups water. Also add 1/2 teaspoon oil or butter. Close the instant pot, press pressure cook or manual mode and set timer to 4 minutes. Place pressure valve in seal position. Once the IP beeps, let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes & let the rice rest. After 5 minutes release remaining pressure gently.
Open the instant pot and gently fluff the rice gently. Perfect fluffy basmati rice is ready to serve!
You can follow the same water to rice ratio for cooking basmati rice in rice cooker too.
How To Cook Brown Basmati Rice
You have to follow the same method to cook brown rice just like white rice, only soaking time and water ration varies.
I use 2.5 cups water for 1 cup brown rice for stove top method and 2 cups water in instant pot. Cooking time varies too, for instant pot set timer to 7 minutes and 8 minutes natural pressure release.
Expert Tips To Make Best Basmati Rice
Water ratio– Whether you cook rice in pot or pressure cooker, using absorption method it is crucial to use correct quantity of water for measured rice.
Not all basmati rice are same. The amount of water varies according to age of the rice. Aged rice needs more water whereas new rice requires less water. On that note aged rice is less sticky, more fragrant and most sought after. Perfect for biryani, pilaf etc. The price of basmati rice goes up along with its age 🙂
I usually use same brand rice and I use 2 cups water for 1 cup rice. We like cooked soft rice so we use 2 cups water. For al dente rice you will have to use 1.5 cups water.
Rinsing The Rice- Rinsing the basmati rice briefly before cooking helps in removing excess starch thus resulting in non sticky rice. However if you rinse multiple times the characteristic flavor of basmati rice will be lost along with some water soluble nutrients.
So rinse the rice just once to remove excess starch. No need keep rinsing and changing water until it runs clear and all.
Pre-soaking the rice-pre soaking the rice helps in reducing the cooking time. Though I am mentioning it as a step here in this tutorial, if you are pressed for time you can definitely skip soaking the rice.
Use a large pan with tight fitting lid– You will need to use a bog enough pan or pot so that the rice grains to not cling to each other. Also using a big pot reduces water spillage. A tight fitting lid will prevent steam from escaping. If steam escapes it may result in delayed cooking or burnt rice.
Add few drops of oil in cooking water- Adding few drops of water while cooking the rice will help to remove the stickiness in rice. Also adding oi helps in making the rice grains glossy. You can use any oil like canola oil, olive oil or even butter. Add few drops of lemon juice for whiter rice.
Let the cooked rice sit for 10 minutes before serving. Even after you remove from flame, the rice gets cooked from the heat of water. So let the rice sit for at least 5 minutes for fluffy non sticky rice.
What Can I Serve With Basmati Rice?
You can serve fluffy fragrant Indian basmati rice with all rich Indian curries, Thai curries like yellow curry, panang curry, red curry, green curry, dal dishes likes dal fry, moong dal, chana dal, masoor dal goes very well with this plain rice.
You can also use this fluffy rice in some recipes of Chinese and Japanese cuisine instead of jasmine rice.
Storing Raw Rice
You can store raw basmati rice years, if you keep it well covered and store properly. We mostly buy rice in sacks and store for an year.
Always store rice (basmati or any variety) in clean dry airtight container. We have special rice bins made of metal or steel but you can use good food grade plastic containers too.
You can add few dried red chilies or even neem leaves if you have, to prevent insects getting into the bin.
Store the container in a cool dry place. No need to freeze or refrigerate.
Storing Cooked Basmati Rice
Cooked rice can be stored for a day or two in refrigerator. Store in an airtight container and reheat gently before serving.
Recipes Using Basmati Rice
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, soaking for a minimum of 10 minutes to max 30 minutes helps in quick cooking which means full grains, non sticky and non mushy rice!
Aged rice- 1 25: 1 cup rice
Newer rice- 1:1 cup rice
With dals & curries
Add 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, few cloves and 1 black cardamom to the water while cooking rice.
How To Cook Basmati Rice
1 CUP = 250 ml
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- salt to taste
- few drops oil optional
- few drops lemon juice optional
- Measure 1 cup raw basmati rice and rinse just once to remove excess starch.
- Soak in plenty of water for 30 minutes. Drain and spread on a plate for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 cups water and few drops of oil in a heavy pan or pot.
- Bring the water to a rolling boil keeping the pan open. Add salt to taste.
- Add the drained rice and mix just once.
- Keep the flame in medium and cover the pan. Cook for 8-12 minutes.
- Remove from flame once all the water is absorbed.
- Let the cooked rice sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Serve cooked basmati rice with preferred curry
- If you are using organic or very aged rice use 2.5 cups water
- You can double or halve the recipe