Perfect Basmati Rice

Tested & Perfected Recipes

This recipe makes light, tender and fluffy basmati rice every time.

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

This recipe makes light, tender and fluffy basmati rice every time.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 25 Minutes


  • 1 cup Indian basmati rice
  • 1-3/4 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 to 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.
  3. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: This rice can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. (Putting it in a flat layer in sealable plastic bags works well as it will take up less space in the freezer.) No need to thaw before reheating; remove it from the freezer and reheat in the microwave with 1 to 2 Tbsp. of water.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • it was PERFECTLY delicious!

    • — diana on March 2, 2021
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  • This is by far the simplest and best recipe for basmati rice. I didn’t use butter, I added a couple of drops of olive oil instead. I won’t dare tell my Indian family that I used this recipe!! 😀

    • — Ruby on January 30, 2021
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  • Just as the name suggests…turned out perfectly!

    • — Linda on January 28, 2021
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  • I tried this method last night after not trusting the packaging ratios and the rice turned out great. It cooked well and didn’t clump or stick to the bottom of the pot.

    • — Jonathan on January 28, 2021
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  • I’ve tried a few different methods, this one is the best! My rice is perfect and fluffy every time. The one adjustment was to turn the burner to low, rather than medium low. It depends upon your pot probably, mine always require a little lower setting because they hold the heat. Perfect water to rice ratio!!

    • — Suzanne M Antonelli on January 12, 2021
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  • Great recipe ! Thank you

    • — Val on December 20, 2020
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  • Truly perfect! Nice and fluffy, kids couldn’t get enough.

    • — Blayne on November 29, 2020
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  • First time I have ever cooked rice, I followed the instructions to the letter, I must say its the best rice I’ve ever tasted, no hard bits, just so soft and fluffy, thank you xxx

    • — Vanessa on October 17, 2020
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  • Really easy, quick, and turns out really well! I’ve used this recipe many times and comes out the same every time.

    • — CB on September 29, 2020
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  • I’m a good cook but have never been able to consistently make decent rice – until now! Perfect every time!!

    • — Liz Firalio on September 20, 2020
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  • I doubled the recipe and the rice came out perfectly! Thank you!

    • — Lisa on August 24, 2020
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  • I have avoided Basmati rice because the one time I made it, it came out terrible. With that said, I am absolutely thrilled that this recipe turns out perfectly every time I make it!! I follow it exactly as written and have no issues.

    • — Lynn on August 13, 2020
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  • Jennifer – Thanks to your recipe we had the best Basmati rice I ever cooked at home. I was surprised to see salt and butter in the recipe, but it makes the end product so flavoursome! I cooked the rice less long though as the suggested time was only 10-12 min, so I stuck to that.
    Amazing result – I can highly recommend it.

    • — Sandra on July 28, 2020
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  • How to cook brown basmati rice in a rice cooker? What is the proper ratio?

    • — Shahesta on July 9, 2020
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    • Hi Shahesta, I don’t have experience using a rice cooker, but you may find these tips helpful.

      • — Jenn on July 10, 2020
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  • Awesome recipe! I could never make fluffy basmati rice until now. Thank you so much!!!

    • — Maya on June 26, 2020
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  • Rinse the rice & it soak for about 30 mins to get non sticky grains. Also one alternative of making basmati rice is boiling rice with a lot water (approx 3-4 cups of water for 1 cup of rice) until cooked and then draining the extra water. That way you wouldn’t need to measure any ingredients. Also here in India, we don’t usually add salt or butter to plain rice. Some people might add ghee to cooked rice. Hope you try making rice using this method. Do let me know how it turns out.

    • — Saloni on June 17, 2020
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    • Hi Soloni. Prior to cooking, I prepared the rice using your recommendation, and it worked out beautifully. Thanks for the tip.

      • — Maya on June 26, 2020
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    • Gujarati here. My family always added salt and ghee to our rice. Back when we did the stove top method and the current – and vastly superior – rice cooker.

      second the rinse and soak for the rice. Basmati always needed that soak.

      And for the basmati – it’s usually more than salt and ghee. We usually have spices in it. I usually use the standard long grain rice for kichidee. The basmati was always for the meals we wanted special which means biriyani or something like that with a meat associated with it. Or kheer. You can’t make kheer without basmati.

      To anyone who is reading this.. do try and look up how to make kheer. It’s just a rice pudding dessert and it’s delicious. If you’ve ever had ras malai, it’s very very similar to that.

      • — j on November 20, 2020
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  • Best tasting rice I ever cooked. I will always cook my rice this way.

    • — Robert Kilpatrick on June 10, 2020
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  • Thank you, thank you thank you! I have been struggling with making rice and this method worked beautifully! No more gummy rice!

    • — Kathy S on June 9, 2020
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  • Doubled the recipe came out perfectly used olive oil instead of butter. Its a keeper. Thanks.

    • — Susan on June 7, 2020
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  • I doubled the recipe. The rice came out perfect!

    • — Mia on May 19, 2020
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