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How to Cook The Perfect White Basmati Rice

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Long grain Indian basmati rice is a little different from the typical white rice. It is long and thin and, if cooked properly, can be light and fluffy and delicious. Quite often, it can be overcooked and turn out sticky and mushy. Follow these directions for the best white Indian basmati rice.

How To Cook The Perfect White Basmati Rice

Stove top directions for white basmati rice

1. Measure rice and add to a bowl or mesh strainer. Rinse with cold water 3 times moving the grains around with your hands.
2. Add rice to a bowl and soak with 1-½ times as much cold water for firm rice and double the water for softer rice. Add ½ tsp. of salt for every cup of rice. (This is optional, it helps the grains stay firmer and not stick together.) Let the rice sit for 30 minutes to 2 hours. This helps stop the grains from breaking and sticking together.
3. Transfer rice and water to a heavy bottomed pot and cover with a fitted lid. If it has a steam vent cover it with a small cloth.
4. Turn to high heat and bring to a boil.
5. When it’s at a rolling boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 12-14 minutes. DO NOT PEEK OR OPEN THE LID.
6. Turn off the heat and let the rice steam for 5-10 minutes.
7. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Rice cooker directions for white basmati rice

1. Measure rice and add to a bowl or mesh strainer. Rinse with cold water 3 times moving the grains around with your hands.
2. Add rice to a bowl and soak with double the cold water as rice. Add ½ tsp. of salt for every cup of rice. (This is optional, it helps the grains stay firmer and not stick together.) Let the rice sit for 30 minutes.
3. Transfer rice and soaking water to rice cooker pan and set the white rice/regular cook setting.
4. Allow rice to steam for 5-10 minutes when cooking cycle is complete.
5. Fluff with a fork and serve.
For firmer more al dente rice, at the beginning, just rinse in cold water and skip the soaking time. Combine water and rice in a rice cooker and cook on the white rice/regular cook setting.

Notes:

For cooking brown basmati rice over the stove, use 2 cups of water for every cup of rice. Bring to a boil and cook it covered over a simmer for 35-40 minutes. Let it stand 10-20 minutes after done cooking to finish steaming.

For brown basmati rice in the rice cooker, set it to the brown rice setting.

Tip: You can also add any additional Indian spices such as cumin seeds, cardamom pods, mustard seeds, whole cloves, cinnamon sticks, turmeric etc. to the soaking water to flavor your rice.

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13 comments on “How to Cook The Perfect White Basmati Rice”

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Sue Woods
3 Years Ago

I like it much better than regular white rice!


Reply
Joe Tieri
3 Years Ago

Man that's to much piss farting around


Reply
Lauren Atchison
3 Years Ago

Vivian T Fox, do you cover it?


Reply
Spot Shanker
3 Years Ago

While we're talking about the correct way to cook Basmati rice, let's also address correct pronunciation. It should be "BAAS-muhtee" with the emphasis on the first syllable. "Bahs-MAH-tee" is incorrect.


Reply
Potato Strong
3 Years Ago

I just did this, rinsing it twice. Came out incredible! I like rice to be separated, not all sticky.


Reply
Vivian T Fox
3 Years Ago

I rinse well, use equal portions of water and rice. Add black peppercorns, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and cloves. Bake in oven at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove peppercorns, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon before serving.


Reply
Mickey Shanahan
3 Years Ago

Hmmm. I've been told that the proper way to cook basmati rice is similarly to pasta with more water than the rice can absorb, and then draining it. I agree with the soaking part of this recipe (if you have time since it actually increases the nutritional value I understand), but for fluffy-not-sticky rice, more water works great.


Reply
Holly Sheríf
3 Years Ago

Ooooohhhhh thank you!!!


Reply
Georgiane Garcia
3 Years Ago

Barbara A Duncan


Reply
Holly Sheríf
3 Years Ago

I want to know how to make that tumeric basmati rice. They just don't add tumeric! I've tried also adding cuminum but I know I'm missing a bunch of other spices!!


Reply
Anand Rathi
23 Dec 2013

try saffaron , but its expensive

Anand Rathi
23 Dec 2013

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Saffron-Basmati-Pilaf-_Kesar-Bhat_-458773?columns=5&position=10%2F54

Anand Rathi
23 Dec 2013

http://www.yummly.com/recipes/saffron-rice-vegetarian



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