Subscribe to get a free eCookbook with my top 10 recipes + new weekly recipes!

Perfect Basmati Rice

4.5 stars based on 2 votes

basmati rice

Basmati is a fragrant, nutty-tasting long grain rice grown in the Himalayas and Pakistan. “Bas” in Hindi language means “aroma” and “mati” means “full of,” hence the word Basmati — or “full of aroma.” The key to making basmati rice that is light, tender and fluffy is to rinse it first, otherwise the grains will be gummy and stick together. It only takes a minute or two. Simply place the rice in a bowl with water, and then swish it around to release any excess starch. The water will be cloudy at first but after several rinses it will be clear.

Perfect Basmati Rice

Servings: 4
Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 1 cup Indian basmati rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Place the rice in medium bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Using your hands, gently swish the grains to release any excess starch. Carefully pour off the water, leaving the rice in the bowl. Repeat four times, or until the water runs almost clear. Using a fine mesh strainer, drain the rice.
  2. In a medium pot, bring the water, butter, salt, and rice to a boil. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. If the rice is still too firm, add a few more tablespoons of water and continue cooking for a few minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to sit covered for 5 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

Reviews & Comments

  • The amount of water to use is missing from the ingredient list. I know it varies between 1 1/4-2 cups, depending on how firm or soft you would like it.

    - Heidi on June 8, 2017 Reply
    • Fixed! Thank you :)

      - Jenn on June 8, 2017 Reply
  • I would like to know how much water and rice I use to make 8 cups of rice?

    - Joanne Keaney on April 14, 2017 Reply
    • Hi Joanne, I’d suggest 3 – 3 1/2 cups of uncooked rice and between 4 1/2 – 5 1/4 cups of water. Consult the back of your package as brands vary a bit.

      - Jenn on April 15, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Burnt and destroyed all basmati before this (;

    - April on January 30, 2017 Reply
  • Hi Jenn, very nice and simple instructions, you can also try adding few drops of lemon juice. Adding lemon juice helps rice to keep separated from each other. Also, cooked rice stays white after it is cooked and cooled.

    - Deepa Suresh on June 18, 2016 Reply
  • Dear Jenn,

    What is the water ration to 1 cup of basmati? Is not specify in the recipe. The reason to ask is because on the back of the bag it says 4 cups of water for 1 cup of rice, is this too much water?

    Thank you

    - Sara MacMillan on March 3, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Sara, The recipe does specify (at the beginning of the 2nd paragraph) that you should use 2 cups of water. 4 cups of water does sound like an awful lot for 1 cup of rice.

      - Jenn on March 4, 2016 Reply
  • 4 stars

    If you soak the rice for half an hour before rinsing it will be spectacular.

    - Pat on August 7, 2014 Reply
  • How would you use a rice cooker for perfect basmati rice?

    - Mendy on February 6, 2014 Reply
  • 1st Mrs. Jenn let me say that you must be a mind reader because two weeks ago I made basmati rice and it was in a word terrible. My question is can you make basmati rice in a rice steamer or is this type of rice better to make on the stove? Thanks in advance for you help :)

    - Stefan on February 6, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Stefan, You can make it on the stovetop or in a rice cooker — it doesn’t make much difference. However, the cooking instructions would be different…for this recipe, go with the stovetop :)

      - Jenn on February 6, 2014 Reply
      • Thanks Mrs.Jenn for replying so quickly , I’ll try making the basmati rice again. I’m sure my wife and daughter will want to thank you as well because the last time it was like eating small grains of rocks. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes that you post, I’m a much better cook because of you !!!

        - Stefan on February 6, 2014 Reply

Add a Review or Question

Hungry for More?

Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter — where I share new recipes and seasonal menus for every occasion.

Your email address will never be used for any other purpose.
Curious? See a sample newsletter.