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How to Make Perfect Basmati Rice

Updated on April 15, 2013
Learn the recipe to cook basmati rice perfectly!
Learn the recipe to cook basmati rice perfectly! | Source
5 stars from 2 ratings of Perfect Basmati Rice

Buying basmati rice in bulk can be much more cost-effective!

About Basmati Rice

Basmati is a type of long grain rice that originates in South Asia. It is commonly used in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking. Basmati is popular for its taste and fragrance, and has a unique appearance. The grains of basmati rice are longer than other types of long grain rice, and they lengthen even more, rather than plumping, when they cook.

It is available in white or brown variations, though white is most commonly used. The recipe below utilizes white basmati rice. You should be able to find basmati rice in most well-stocked grocery stores, either in the rice section, or in the International or Gourmet sections. In these types of stores you will generally buy a tiny little bag for a fairly high price. If you find that you like basmati enough to use it regularly, I suggest you go to a store that specializes in Middle Eastern or International foods and buy it in bulk.

Perfect Basmati Rice

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 30 min
Yields: Serves 4-6


  • 1 cup white basmati rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  1. First, rinse your rice in cold, running water, until the water runs clear. This will remove any dust from the rice and make it more fragrant as it cooks.
  2. Place the rice into a medium sized pan with a heavy bottom. Add the salt and the water.
  3. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Once the water has reached a boil, cover with a tightly fitting lid and turn the heat all the way down to low.
  5. Cook covered at low heat for 20 minutes.
  6. After 20 minutes has elapsed, turn off the heat, but let the rice sit with the lid on for at least 10 minutes, or until you have finished cooking the rest of your meal.
  7. Before serving, use a fork to fluff the rice.
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear.
Rinse the rice until the water runs clear. | Source
Place in a medium-sized pan.
Place in a medium-sized pan. | Source
Add the salt.
Add the salt. | Source
Add the water.
Add the water. | Source
Bring to a boil.
Bring to a boil. | Source
Cover and reduce heat to low; cook for 20 minutes.  After time is up, turn off heat, but leave the lid on and do not disturb the pan for at least another 10 minutes.
Cover and reduce heat to low; cook for 20 minutes. After time is up, turn off heat, but leave the lid on and do not disturb the pan for at least another 10 minutes. | Source
Fluff with a fork before serving!
Fluff with a fork before serving! | Source

Notes on Preparation

Cooking rice is an art form. All types of rice may be cooked in basically the same way, but with slight differences in amount of water used and cook time. Once you have mastered cooking one type of rice, you are well on your way to being able to cook any type. There are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Never add rice to boiling water. Place the rice and water into the pan together and bring to a boil.
  • After the water comes to a boil, you must turn the stove to Low. This means the lowest heat setting, not the Warm setting, if your stove has this feature. If you have a gas stove, this step can be a little bit tricky. Sometimes the flame of a gas stove goes too low to properly cook your rice, and you will need to set the flame to a notch above low. With gas stoves, experimentation is sometimes necessary!
  • Troubleshooting for cooking with gas:
    • If you are cooking with gas and find, at the end of the cook time, your rice is still watery, simply put the lid back on and continue to cook until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked all the way through. You will likely need to increase the flame by one notch.
    • If you are cooking with gas and find, at the end of the cook time, your rice is burnt or stuck to the bottom, you should turn the flame down lower next time you cook rice.
    • Finally, after your rice is done cooking DON’T PEAK! Leave the lid on for at least 10 minutes, or until the rest of the food you are cooking is done. Consider this time a continuation of your cook time, as the rice is continuing to steam. It also keeps the rice warm until you are ready for it.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 cup (3/4 cup prepared)
Calories 160
Calories from Fat0
% Daily Value *
Fat 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 35 g12%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 4 g8%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 295 mg12%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.


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    • mkjohnston81 profile imageAUTHOR

      M.K. Bodo 

      5 years ago from Virginia

      Thanks! I agree, it is a very flavorful rice.

    • LongTimeMother profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      Basmati rice is my absolute favourite. I much prefer the texture and taste of basmati to any other. Great hub. Voted up+.


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