How to Cook Basmati Rice

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The biggest mistake most people make which results in gluey rice is using the wrong rice to water ratio. How to cook basmati rice.

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.

Here’s how.

HOW TO MAKE BASMATI RICE

  1. Place water and rice in a saucepan;
  2. Bring to simmer on medium-high without the lid;
  3. When the entire surface is bubbly and foamy, place the lid on, turn down to medium-low and cook 12 minutes;
  4. Remove from stove and rest 10 minutes;
  5. Fluff; then
  6. Serve!

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. 

Bring to boil without the 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 a fork – it will break the long grains. Use a rubber paddle (pictured above and in the 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 – the heat was not high enough OR you didn’t bring it to the boil before putting a 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?

Common questions

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.

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 the are both carbs!

CAN YOU FREEZE

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

Watch How To Make It

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Basmati Rice (simple method, fluffy rice!)

Recipe video above. The most common mistake people make when cooking rice is using too much water which makes rice gummy and gluey, especially if you also rinse the rice and make it waterlogged. Using rice to water ratio of 1 to 1.5, you will be able to make perfectly fluffy basmati rice without fussing with rinsing or draining giant pots of boiling water. Simple, and highly effective! {Scale recipe – click on servings and slide, but read Note 2}

  1. Place rice and water in a medium-size saucepan over medium-high heat, no lid.
  2. Bring to a simmer – the edges should be bubbling, the middle should be rippling, the surface will be foaming.
  3. Place a tight-fitting lid on, then turn heat down to medium-low (low for strong stoves).
  4. Cook for 12 minutes – DO NOT LIFT LID.
  5. Tilt saucepan, then take a QUICK to peek to ensure all water is absorbed – be super quick, then clamp lid back on.
  6. Remove from heat, leave for 5 to 10 minutes with the lid on, then fluff with a fork, and marvel at fluffy rice!
  7. Note – Large batches will take slightly longer – about 13 minutes for 2 cups, about 15 minutes for 4 cups (use a pot).

1. Rice – this method is for store-bought basmati rice, purchased in packets at everyday grocery stores. This rice is already clean.

If you purchase the rice at markets out of sacks, I recommend rinsing first. Place in a large bowl, fill with water and swish with your hand for 10 seconds. Drain water, repeat 3 times until the water is clearer (it will never be 100% clear). Drain well in colander. When cooking rice, REDUCE WATER by 2 tablespoons (because rinsed rice is soaked with water) otherwise your rice will end up gummy.

2. Scaling up – use a larger pot for larger quantities of rice. Do not use a tiny saucepan for a large quantity of rice – this will make the rice at the bottom gummy.

Cook time per cup of rice (from when the lid is placed on):
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 – the heat was not high enough OR you didn’t bring it to the boil before putting a 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?

4. Nutrition per serving. 1 cup rice makes 2 3/4 cups cooked rice (once fluffed). 1 serving = just under 1 cup per person.

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