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Perfect Basmati Rice

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This recipe makes tender and fluffy basmati rice every time.

Perfect 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 perfect basmati rice is to start with a high-quality brand of rice, preferably one imported from India or Pakistan. The one I use (Jyoti Basmati Supreme) is labeled “very long grain” and expands significantly in length once cooked. It’s also important to rinse the rice under running water for a minute or two before cooking. This releases excess starch and prevents the grains from sticking together once cooked; basmati rice should be tender and fluffy, and the grains should be separate from one another.

Basmati rice goes well with any number of dishes, such as chicken curry, mulligatawny, butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, and tandoori chicken, to name just a few.

What You’ll Need To Make Basmati Rice
basmati rice ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer. Place under cold running water, swishing the rice with your hand, for 1 to 2 minutes to release excess starch. (Alternatively, place the rice in a 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. Use a fine mesh strainer to drain the rice.)

rinsed basmati rice in strainerIn a medium pot, combine the rice, water, butter, and salt.

rice, water, salt, and butter in bowlBring to a boil.

basmati rice boiling in waterCover the pot with a tight fitting lid and turn the heat down to a simmer.

covered pan on the stove 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.

basmati rice after cookingRemove the pan from the heat and allow it to sit covered for 5 minutes, then fluff the rice with a fork.

fluffing the basmati rice with a fork

How To Freeze Basmati Rice

freezing basmati riceBasmati 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.) It’s not necessary to thaw before reheating; remove it from the freezer and reheat in the microwave with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water.

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Perfect Basmati Rice

This recipe makes tender and fluffy basmati rice every time.

Servings: 4
Total Time: 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice (preferably imported from India or Pakistan)
  • 1¾ cups water
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer. Place under cold running water, swishing the rice with your hand, for 1 to 2 minutes to release excess starch. (Alternatively, place the rice in a 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. Use a fine mesh strainer to drain the rice.)
  2. In a medium pot, bring the rice, water, butter, and salt 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 tablespoons of water.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 207
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 3 g
  • Sodium: 120 mg
  • Cholesterol: 11 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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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Comments

  • Perfection indeed! Thank you!! I was delighted at how fluffy and flavorful the rice was following these instructions. It’s the level of Basmati I’ve always dreamed of making. I paired the rice with Vegetable Vindaloo and dinner could not have been better.

    • — Sydney on December 13, 2023
    • Reply
  • I made this last night. I normally use my instant pot and have that recipe down but I needed this to be stovetop. It was great. I made it with chicken stock because I was putting it into a casserole and added some Italian seasoning and it was fantastic.

    • — Courtney on October 20, 2023
    • Reply
  • This was delicious! 5 stars for sure!

    • — Whitney Metzger on September 25, 2023
    • Reply
  • How much rice?
    How much water?
    How much butter?

    For Christ’s sake.

    • — Florian on September 22, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Florian, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions above. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on September 25, 2023
      • Reply
      • It says this recipe makes 4 servings. Could you please clarify how much is 1 serving in this instance?

        Thanks,

        • — Susannah on November 27, 2023
        • Reply
        • Hi Susannah, each serving is about 3/4 cup.

          • — Jenn on November 27, 2023
          • Reply
  • hi! I thought I wrote this before but I guess it didn’t post = I’ve made this five times now (delicious) and although I’ve enjoyed the rice every time, I’m glad I watched the pot because it’s always, always, done at 10 minutes (if not sooner, some always sticks to the bottom). I can’t imagine cooking it for 15-20. I’m following the insrtructions exactly each time; what am I missing?

    • — RH on September 16, 2023
    • Reply
    • Glad you like it – your rice may cook faster simply because your cooktop runs a bit hotter. It’s good that you’re aware and keep an eye on it!

      • — Jenn on September 18, 2023
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,
    I am thinking making this basmati rice recipe with saffron . will it taste bad if i add safffron? I thought I should ask you since I have never disappointed with your recipe!
    Thank You so much for all delicious meals!

    • — celine on August 31, 2023
    • Reply
    • Hi Celine, I think it’s fine to use, but go easy — you’ll just need a tiny pinch.

      • — Jenn on September 1, 2023
      • Reply
  • What can I say. It WAS perfect! I sometimes by rice in bulk so it sure was great just to pull up your recipe and get cooking.

    • — Christina M Gibson on August 24, 2023
    • Reply
  • “Basmati rice is truly a culinary gem with its captivating fragrance and delicate taste. As a food enthusiast, I can’t help but be mesmerized by the aroma it imparts to every dish. Its rich history and nutritional benefits make it a staple in my kitchen, and I love exploring new recipes that showcase its versatility. Thanks for sharing this informative article about Basmati rice!” 🍚😊

    • — Talhaanwar on July 21, 2023
    • Reply
  • Growing up my grandma always made the mushiest, wettest rice ever. I despised rice because of that, until I came across this recipe. I love rice now. This is the best rice recipe ever. Now I can’t wait to eat more rice!!!!!

    • — Angel on June 12, 2023
    • Reply
  • I cant tell you enough how many times this recipie has saved me from no lunch haha

    • — Frank on June 9, 2023
    • Reply

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