How to cook basmati rice so it’s light and fluffy – no need to rinse the rice or drain giant pots of boiling water. Just use a rice to water ratio of 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water and a simple method called the absorption method. Perfect every time!
See separate directions for brown basmati rice – How to cook Brown Rice.
How to cook Basmati Rice
The biggest mistake most people make which results in gluey rice is using the wrong rice to water ratio.
The correct rice to water ratio is 1 : 1.5 (1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water).
Most people use 1 3/4 cups of water or even 2 cups of water, AND they rinse the rice which makes it waterlogged and makes the mushy rice problem even worse.
This method I’m sharing today is simple, fuss free and yields fluffy basmati rice every time. NO RINSING RICE. No fussing with draining rice from giant pots of boiling water.
How to make Basmati Rice
Place water and rice in saucepan;
Bring to simmer on medium high without the lid;
When entire surface is bubbly and foamy, place lid on, turn down to medium low and cook 12 minutes;
Remove from stove and rest 10 minutes;
How to cook Basmati Rice – TIPS
Heavy / tight fitting lid – loose or lightweight lid results in loss of water when it overflows, as well as steam;
Right pot size – use a medium saucepan (as pictured in video) for up to 2 cups of rice. For 3 cups or more, use a pot. Reason: if you try to cook too much rice in a small saucepan, the rice cooks unevenly and rice at the bottom tends to be stickier;
Bring to boil without lid on – this helps with even cooking by bringing the water up to the correct temperature before placing the lid on to steam;
DO NOT PEEK while it’s on the stove – causes steam to escape which results in uneven cooking;
10 minute rest is essential – Rice fresh off the stove is wet, sticky and hasn’t finished cooking. The grains absorb the liquid while it’s resting; and
DO NOT fluff with fork – it will break the long grains. Use a rubber paddle (pictured above and in video) or rice paddle.
How to cook Basmati Rice – TROUBLESHOOTING
Overflow during cooking (when you get starchy water running down the side of the pot) – either lid is not heavy/tight fitting enough, heat is too strong, or saucepan is too small (ie water level too high = overflow)
Burnt base – heat too high (see video for proof of clean pot base!). All stoves differ in strength. Standard stove – use medium high. Strong stoves – use low.
Rice not cooked evenly – heat was not high enough OR you didn’t bring it to the boil before putting lid on. Rice will have taken longer than 12 minutes. You end up with undercooked insides, or overcooked outside with just cooked inside.
Gummy rice – are you sure you measured the water and rice properly? OR did you rinse the rice but forget to reduce the water? (See Note 1) OR did you try to make a vast amount of rice in a tiny saucepan?
Do you have to rinse the rice to make it fluffy?
NO. With the correct rice to water ratio (1 cup rice to 1.5 cups water) and the cooking method set out in the recipe below, the rice will be fluffy without rinsing the rice.
If you bought rice at markets from a sack, rinse for hygiene purposes and also can be excessively starchy. Reduce water by 2 tablespoons, otherwise it will be gummy;
Biryani – because of the manner in which this dish is cooked.
Is basmati rice the same as white rice?
Basmati rice is a type of white rice. It is more aromatic than plain white rice (such as rice used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine), with a slight nutty perfume. The grains are also longer than ordinary white rice.
Is basmati rice healthier than white rice?
No. They have virtually the same amount of calories. And they are both carbs!
Can you freeze basmati rice?
Absolutely. Freeze in portion sizes in airtight containers. For 1 cup of frozen rice, reheat in the microwave (loosely covered) on high for 2 minutes – it will become steamy and fresh, just like it was just cooked! If the rice is a bit dry (possibly because container was no fully airtight), sprinkle with water then microwave loosely covered again – this will make the rice moist.
What is basmati rice used for?
Basmati rice is a type of rice that is from the Indian sub-continent, and also common across the Middle East. It is traditionally served with Indian food – ideal for dousing with rich, spice infused curries! Basmati rice is also used for cooking dishes, such as Biryani which is the famous rice dish from the Indian sub-continent.
Here are some popular curries that are traditionally served with basmati rice.
Curries to serve with basmati rice
And now, go forth and enjoy your new fluffy Basmati rice life! 🙌 – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Basmati Rice (simple method, fluffy rice!)
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice (Note 1)
- 1 1/2 cups water (just cold tap water)
- Place rice and water in a medium size saucepan over medium high heat, no lid.
- Bring to a simmer - the edges should be bubbling, the middle should be rippling, the surface will be foaming.
- Place a tight fitting lid on, then turn heat down to medium low (low for strong stoves).
- Cook for 12 minutes - DO NOT LIFT LID.
- Tilt saucepan, then take a QUICK peek to ensure all water is absorbed - be super quick, then clamp lid back on.
- Remove from heat, leave for 5 to 10 minutes with lid on, then fluff with fork and marvel at fluffy rice!
- Note - Large batches will take slightly longer - about 13 minutes for 2 cups, about 15 minutes for 4 cups (use a pot).
1 cup = 12 minutes
2 cups = 13 minutes
4 cups = 14 minutes 3. TROUBLESHOOTING:
- Overflow during cooking - either lid is not heavy/tight fitting enough, heat is too strong, or saucepan is too small (ie water level too high = overflow)
- Burnt base - heat too high (see video for proof of clean pot base!). All stoves differ in strength. Standard stove - use medium high. Strong stoves - use low.
- Rice not cooked evenly - heat was not high enough OR you didn't bring it to the boil before putting lid on. Rice will have taken longer than 12 minutes. You end up with undercooked insides, or overcooked outside with just cooked inside.
- Gummy rice - are you sure you measured the water and rice properly? OR did you rinse the rice but forget to reduce the water? (See Note 1) OR did you try to make a vast amount of rice in a tiny saucepan?
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