How to Easily Cook Basmati Rice on a Stove Top or in a Rice Cooker

Updated on January 9, 2020
MM Del Rosario profile image

I enjoy sharing how to prepare some of my favorite dishes with others.

Sun Rice Basmati Indian Aromatic Rice
Sun Rice Basmati Indian Aromatic Rice | Source

Basmati means "the fragrant one" in Hindi. Basmati rice is mostly cultivated in the Indian subcontinent at the Himalayan foothills. India and Pakistan are the largest cultivators and exporters of this grain.

Basmati is a variety of long grain rice, famous for its subtle aroma and delicious taste. The grains are much longer than others. They are wide and grow even longer as they cook. They stay firm and separate, not sticky, after cooking.

When cooked, this rice puffs up length-wise and becomes very fluffy, which is fantastic for mingling with spicy foods and sauces.

Perfect for Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Meals. Ideal for all your favourite rice dishes.
Perfect for Indian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Meals. Ideal for all your favourite rice dishes. | Source

Due to the high amount of starch clinging to the rice grains, many cooks wash this rice before cooking it. Soaking it for half an hour to two hours before cooking makes the grains less likely to break during cooking.

Basmati rice has a Medium Glycemic Index (GI) of between 56 and 69, as compared to certain other grains and products made from white flour.

Stove-Top Method

  1. Put the rice into a medium saucepan. Rinse it with cold water thoroughly before cooking, because there is so much starch clinging to its grains. Wash 2 to 3 times with your hands.
  2. Drain the water again and then fill with fresh water. The quantity should be 1 cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups water to boil if you want firm rice.
  3. Add the correct amount of water and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil.
  4. Make sure you cook it in a heavy pot and do not disturb the rice or take a peek while its in the middle of cooking.
  5. When it boils, lower the heat, simmer for 12-14 minutes before turning off the heat.
  6. Remove from heat and stand covered, for another 5-10 minutes. until you're ready to serve. The rice should have absorbed all the water and will just need fluffing up with a spoon.

Cooking Basmati Rice Using the Rice Cooker

If you are not comfortable using the stove-top method, you can always use the rice cooker as an alternative. Using a rice cooker to cook this grain is simple and and convenient.

  1. Put the desired amount of rice you need in the bowl of the cooker.
  2. Wash the rice, and adjust the quantity of water.
  • Example: If you use 2 cups of basmati, the water level in the cooker should be 2 1/2 level, if you like your grains more tender.
  • Or if you used 2 cups of rice, the water should be in 2 levels of the rice cooker if you want firm rice.

When the rice is cooked, the rice cooker will automatically turn down the heat, so there is not problem of burning the rice.

Some More Tips in Cooking Basmati Rice

In some cookbooks it is recommended that, to make sure you get lovely and fluffy rice, wash it in several changes of cold water, then leave to soak for about 30 minutes in fresh cold water.

It is also recommended to experiment, using the different brand of basmati rice to find the proportions which work best for you.


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    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      8 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      thank you I love rice and different ways to make it and different kinds of rice.

      I am posting ti on Facebook so I can find it easy


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      If you use too much water, your rice will be mushy because it breaks down the rice into starch. 1.5c water to 1c. of rice is perfect unless you're making brown or sticky sweet rice. follow the directions on the bag of rice. Read carefully because sometimes the directions are a little different for rice cookers.

      Basmati rice is a medium glycemic index rice and is very nutritious. If you're dieting, Basmati rice is your friend. It's also perfect for making rice pudding.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      how can i stop my rice becoming 2 soft and mushy plc help?? what im i doing wrong

    • profile image

      Lou Corbitt 

      8 years ago

      Basmati rice is the only white rice that I as a diabetic enjoy,try this for real enjoyment.Once the rice is cooked add mushrooms fried in garlic butter as well as an onion cooked in butter then add some cooked peas and add some cheese aromat.Its delicious.Dont overcook the Basmati

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i tried, lets see how it taste :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Rice is so easy to cook. This will work for any kind of rice except brown rice which needs to be cooked longer. But any white or basmati or jasmine short grain, long grain etc. will work. You need a medium-sized saucepan with a lid (mine is about 5 liters). A cup or mug or whatever to measure. Whatever amount of rice you put in the pot, just put double that amount of water. For instance if you use 1-1/2 mugs of rice, just put in 3 mugs of water. You can rinse the rice beforehand if you want but I never do. Bring the water and rice to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down to the lowest and cover with the lid and let the rice steam for 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it sit until the rest of your meal is ready to eat. You cannot burn or overcook the rice this way. TIP: do not peek as you will let all the steam out.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice tips, the rice came out wonderfully.. Would love to knw what other way to serve the rice

    • JasonPLittleton profile image


      8 years ago

      Great information. I want to buy and try that rice.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      We use a rice cooker, which we can never seem to work out the correct ratios of rice to water. Still interesting information on here...

    • crystolite profile image


      9 years ago from Houston TX

      Great cooking tips which is well shared.

    • profile image

      teresa hobrey 

      9 years ago

      i boil it then put boiling water over it through a siv then leave it till i want to use it i put it in the microwave lovely

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      With the 1cup rice/1cup water method, when do u add the salt? I always mess my rice! So disappointing!

    • Box-Monkey profile image


      9 years ago from Waterloo, Ontario

      Found this through Google and laughed that it lead right back to where I just was.

      Good post, I found it quite useful!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Ari...A little experimentation tonight shows that 1 & 3/4 cup of water could be the perfect amount. 1 & 1/2 cups seems just a little too firm.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Ari......TOO MUCH WATER !!! 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups of water does it nice and firm.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      This is the first time i got the ice just perfect. And cooked in on stove top no rice cooker. thanks!!

    • profile image

      Linda De Rooster 

      9 years ago

      Often the result is too mushy and sticky, am I using too much water? 1 cup basmati, 3 cups water?

    • Springboard profile image


      9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Always wondered what the difference was with Basmati rice. So, learned something here. Never have used it before, so it may be something worth my while to try.

    • MM Del Rosario profile imageAUTHOR

      MM Del Rosario 

      9 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi Adeline, you can try reducing the water that you have put....

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I love basmati rice but can't seem to make it without it sticking together.The one i buy from a chinese reatuarant does not stick.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      if u want a whit rice, basmati is the best if your worried about gaining weight, white rice is not faterning, in fact nothing is, only surplus calories make u gain weight, basmati rice has a lower gi and will not spike insulin as much as regular white rice

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 

      10 years ago from Michigan

      I am searching for a rice that is at least white in color, but less fattening. I don't know if Basmati is the right choice, not even sure of its flavor. Thanks for the info, all helps. I know many people like the aroma of Jasmine rice, but I do not. I actually feel sick on the stomach from the aroma. I like wild rice too. Just searching for a less fattening white one, because I love rice. I'm not crazy about the flavor of brown rice either, wish I knew a way to make it taste really good, but I do eat it anyway occasionally as it is good for you. So, just stopping by to see what I can find out. Thanks!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Reply to Juls:

      Another way how not to get the rice mushy is also to stop the cooking process just before the rice is done, take it off the stove, keep the lid on, cover the pan with a towel and let it sit for half an hour or so. The moisture will get accepted by the rice grains and under the lid and towel stays hot, ready to eat. The old fashion way is sticking it under the duvet in your bed :-)

    • profile image

      j. Gibson 

      10 years ago

      cooking rice is easy, no rice maker necessary.

      Boil the water required for the rice you're using, add a drop or ten of oil, dash of salt, add rice, return to boil, cover and remove from heat, give it at least 30 minutes to absorb all the water. Rice can't burn if it's not on the stove. Perfect rice every time.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      you can buy pure basmati rice from parramatta. australian owned and supply 100% pure basmati rice.

    • Betsy Baywatch profile image

      Betsy Baywatch 

      11 years ago

      Thanks for the tip!great hub! Thanks for sharing. I always end up cooking rice too soft...I prefer it grainy...can't wait to try a this new option.

    • marisuewrites profile image


      11 years ago from USA

      great info - I love rice, but often over-cook it!

    • profile image

      Errol P. Hanson 

      11 years ago

      You can cook Basmati Rice in a Microwave Oven.

      It takes about 20 Minutes on auto cook rice.

      Excellent every time !!!!!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      12 years ago from New Zealand

      I miss my rice cooker - back in storage in NZ - I am currently using the boil in the bag stuff because I am nervous of the stove top method - perhaps I should try again!

    • Evelyn Lim profile image

      Evelyn Lim 

      12 years ago from Singapore

      I was not used to the taste but have since grown to enjoy it! Great hub!

    • MM Del Rosario profile imageAUTHOR

      MM Del Rosario 

      12 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi G Ma

      I have never try rice pancakes, thanks for the recipe, it will try it, i also add brown rice with basmati rice but my daughter doesn't like it because she said she doesn't want to eat two colored rice....

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      12 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I always use my rice cooker and totally love Basmati rice..I also mix it with organic wild rice  and have you ever made rice pancakes.  Take a couple of spoonfuls of the  left over cooked rice...beat an egg and mix the 2 together...I add salt  and some times cinnamon..Place mixture in a hot pan with oil or butter and cook on both sides....Add butter on top when serving...If desired and of course Maple syrup (Pure)  G-Ma :O) Hugs 

    • profile image

      Small Business 

      12 years ago

      Thanks for the recipe. I always used two cups of water to 1 cup of rice. I'll try it your way. I think the rice will be much firmer


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