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Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is a staple in our home; the fragrance, texture, and length keep you wanting more. Prepare our basmati rice recipe on the stove-top as we do with only four ingredients for a side you’ll want to pair with everything. 

We serve ours with aloo keema and baked tandoori chicken.

A bowl of basmati rice with a bay leaf for garnish.

WHAT IS BASMATI RICE?

Basmati rice is long-grained rice most commonly associated with Indian, Persian, and Middle Eastern cuisine. I didn’t grow up eating rice, so it was a pleasant surprise for this Utah gal! Unlike other varieties, basmati expands twice its size during the cooking process for long and elegant grains, making it perfect for saffron rice, pulao, or biryani.

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Basmati Rice: The key to making good rice begins with soaking it in water beforehand; the longer, the better! Soaking results in the long basmati you’ve come to expect. 
  • Salt: Use salt to perfectly season the rice.
  • Bay Leaves: Subtly flavor the rice with bay leaves.
  • Green Cardamom: Not meant to be eaten, green cardamom pods add necessary aromatics.

HOW TO MAKE BASMATI RICE

Wash your basmati rice until it runs clear.

WASH – Wash the rice until the water runs clear.

Soak your rice in water and the longer, the better.

SOAK – Add the rice to a bowl and cover it with water to soak for at least 30 minutes.

Add water, rice, cardamom pods, and salt to a sauce pan and bring it to a boil..

BOIL – Drain the soaking water and add rice to a sauce pan with one cup of water. Season with salt and add bay leaves and green cardamom pods. Bring the pan to a boil over medium heat.

Once the pot reaches boiling, turn off the heat. Cover the pan with a lid, and allow the rice to steam for 15 minutes.

STEAM – Reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender for about 10-15 minutes.

I like to place a cloth around the lid to contain the steam even more.

WRAP – I like to wrap the lid with a towel to create even more of a seal.

Once the rise has steamed properly it should be standing up straight, but tender.

REST – Remove the rice from heat and fluff it with a fork. Cover with the lid and set it aside to steam for 10 minutes before serving.

A bowl of basmati rice with a bay leaf for garnish.

SERVE – Serve the rice as is or top it with butter, and enjoy!

HOW TO COOK BASMATI RICE IN A RICE COOKER

All rice cookers are different so follow the instructions for your rice cooker accordingly. Otherwise, perfectly cooked basmati rice in the rice cooker comes down to ratio. Add equal parts water and rice, then season with salt, a bay leaf, green cardamom pods, and enjoy!

COOKING TIPS

  • Increase the water ratio by two tablespoons if you’re making rice at high elevation.

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A bowl of basmati rice with a bay leaf for garnish.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS 

  • FRIDGE – Store the leftovers in an air-tight container; cooked rice will keep for 5-7 days.
  • FREEZE – Allow the dish to cool completely, and add it to a freezer-safe bag or container. Basmati rice will freeze for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to eat it, defrost it in the fridge.
  • REHEAT – Warm rice in the microwave or stove-top.
  • REPURPOSE –  Make kheer or vegetable fried rice with the leftovers.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How should I prepare basmati rice?

1. Wash – Wash the rice until the water runs clear to remove excess starch and impurities. This will also prevent the rice from clumping as it cooks.

2. Soak – This step is critical! For long, luxurious rice, soak the grains for at least 30 minutes. This allows the rice to absorb moisture before it cooks resulting in long, separate grains.

Which basmati rice is best?

Best Deal and Best Overall: Royal Chef’s Secret
Best Length: Daawat Extra Long Grain

What is the correct basmati rice to water ratio?

Answers vary depending on who you ask, but as long as you have prepared your rice beforehand by soaking them thoroughly, you will need a 1:1 ratio of water and rice.

Is basmati rice the same as white rice?

Basmati is a variety of white rice, but differs from ordinary white rice or jasmine. What sets basmati apart is its ability to expand and double in size as it cooks.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY: 

A bowl of basmati rice with a bay leaf for garnish.

Basmati Rice

Tressa Jamil
Make elegant basmati rice every single time using our simple, and easy to make recipe; pair the side with daal, curry, kabobs, and grilled meat.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Soaking Time: 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani, Persian
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 95 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon green cardamom

Instructions
 

  • Wash the rice until the water runs clear.
  • Add the rice to a bowl and cover it with water to soak for at least 30 minutes.
  • Drain the soaking water and add the rice to a medium sauce pan with one cup of water. Season with salt and add bay leaves and green cardamom pods. Bring the pan to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender for about 10-15 minutes. I wrap the lid with a towel to create even more of a seal.
  • Remove the rice from heat and fluff it with a fork. Cover with the lid and set it aside to steam for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve the rice as is or top it with butter, and enjoy!

Notes

  • High Elevation Cooking: Increase the water ratio by two tablespoons if you’re making rice at high elevation.
 
  • Nutrition Disclosure: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
 
  • Web Story: Check out our web story for stove-top basmati rice! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5 CupCalories: 95kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 2gSodium: 390mg
Keyword basmati rice
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