Do you love fluffy and flavorful basmati rice for your lunch or dinner? Make this Instant pot basmati rice recipe and enjoy flavourful rice for your meal and make it special!
In this post, you will find detailed steps, tips, and tricks to cook perfect basmati rice in an instant pot. And you will also find different flavor variations you could try with basmati rice.
What is Basmati rice?
Basmati is a variety of rice that is long, slender, and aromatic. This variety of rice is majorly grown in the Indian subcontinent. Basmati rice will be long and thin even after cooking it, and that's the specialty of this rice.
Plain basmati rice is also so flavorful and makes an everyday meal special.
Rice: Good quality rice will yield light and fluffy rice. Choose aged basmati rice for better volume, aroma, and fluffiness.
Water: I used water to cook basmati rice in the electric pressure cooker. But you can use any broth as well to flavor the rice.
Salt: Salt is optional, and you can skip it. We usually do not add salt to the rice as other side dishes like curries and dals will have enough salt.
Oil: Oil will help in making basmati rice fluffy. I do not recommend skipping it. You can use any oil of your choice like olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil. Butter and ghee will also taste good if you don't mind the recipe being vegan.
How to make perfect basmati rice every time
You can cook perfect basmati rice every time using these simple steps.
Rinse: Rinsing is an important step, and it will help in removing starch from basmati rice. Rinsing will yield fluffy rice, so do not skip this step.
Soak: Soaking is optional, but I usually soak my rice for at least 30 minutes. By soaking rice, grains will absorb the water, and they get cooked uniformly. If you are skipping the soaking step, please use more water for cooking the basmati rice.
Pressure cook: Carefully drain the water completely from soaked rice and keep it aside. Next, brush the instant pot inner pot with oil so that cooked rice will not stick to the pot.
Alternatively, you can start the instant pot in saute mode. Once it is hot enough, add oil and turn off the instant pot. Spread the oil by tilting the pot or using a brush.
Add spices like cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick to the hot oil if you want to flavor the rice.
Now add drained rice, salt, and water to the inner pot. Close the instant pot with its lid and seal the vent.
Then, start the instant pot in manual or pressure cook mode and pressure cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.
Pressure release: Once the instant pot ends, wait for 5 minutes and do a manual pressure release. Do not wait for a natural pressure release as it will overcook the rice and make it mushy.
Fluff it up: Take the inner pot from the instant pot out and fluff it up with a fork. Let it rest for 5 minutes or so, and fluffy basmati rice is ready to serve!
Basmati rice to water ratio
|Soaked (at least 30 minutes)||1 cup||1 cup|
|Unsoaked||1 cup||1 ¼ cup|
Seasoning basmati rice
Though plain basmati rice will also be flavorful, seasoning it will make it richer. So depending on how you want to serve the rice, you can try adding these ingredients.
- Coconut milk: Just cooking basmati rice with plain coconut milk will make it nutty and rich. You can serve this plain coconut milk rice with any curries of your choice.
- Bay leaf: A simple bay leaf will change the flavor of rice.
- Spices: You can use whole spices like cumin seeds, cardamom, cloves, mace, caraway seeds(shahi jeera), black pepper to flavor the rice. Powdered spices like turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder will also go well.
- This recipe is naturally gluten-free and vegan (if not using butter or ghee)
- Once you release the pressure, remove the inner pot from the Instant pot to stop cooking the rice further.
- Sometimes, the top layer of rice looks uncooked. In that case, stir it once and close the lid for five more minutes. Then, the remaining heat will cook the rice. And this might happen if you do not soak your rice. So, my suggestion is to soak rice for at least 30 minutes for uniform cooking of rice.
- Oil in this recipe will make the rice grains fluffy. Do not skip it, and you can even use butter or any oil of your choice.
- Using this recipe, you can only cook white basmati rice. This recipe will not work for brown basmati rice.
- Cooking time is the same for soaked and unsoaked basmati rice. Only the rice water ratio will change.
I make these variations with basmati rice when I want to make my lunch or dinner special. You can easily make delicious and flavored rice at home (just like your favorite restaurant).
To make these basmati rice variations, all the steps mentioned above will be the same: rinsing, soaking, pressure cooking, and fluffing up.
But before pressure cooking the rice, we will start the Instant pot in saute mode and add these additional ingredients.
Coconut basmati rice:
Once the pot is hot, add oil, 1-inch cinnamon stick, two cardamoms, one bay leaf. Stop the saute mode and add the drained rice. And cook the rice using coconut milk instead of plain water.
Once the pot is hot, add ½ tsp of cumin seeds, two cardamoms, two cloves, and one bay leaf. Cumin seeds will splutter and then stop the saute mode. Add drained rice to this and pressure cook it.
Green peas rice:
Once the pot is hot, add ¼ tsp of cumin seeds, two cardamoms, two cloves, and one bay leaf. Now add green peas, let it cook for a minute, and stop the instant pot saute mode. Add drained rice to this and pressure cook it.
Indian Basmati rice (Restaurant style Indian spiced):
Once the pot is hot, add oil, ¼ tsp caraway seeds, 1-inch cinnamon stick, two cardamoms, one bay leaf, two cloves, 6 to 8 peppercorns. Stop the saute mode and add the drained rice. As mentioned in the recipe, cook the rice, and the flavorful Indian spiced rice is ready (just like how you get in your favorite restaurant).
This basmati rice will taste best when served with any curry or dal. Try these healthy and delicious side dishes to go with your basmati rice.
Kidney bean curry with veggies: Simple Indian-style kidney bean curry with seasonal veggies. Beans and rice can never go wrong!
Indian dal: Rice & dal is my favorite combo and a perfectly healthy meal on any given day.
Spinach tofu: Simple Indian restaurant-style curry with spinach puree and tofu.
Spinach lentils: Indian-style spinach and lentils with this basmati rice is a hearty comfort meal.
Chickpeas vegetable curry: Easy curry with mixed vegetables cooked in a soupy coconut broth.
Cooked basmati rice keeps well for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze the rice in individual portions and thaw it when needed.
As we can cook the rice easily using an Instant pot, I usually make it fresh every time.
Yes, you can cook even 1 cup of rice in the Instant Pot. However, to avoid rice sticking to the bottom, grease the bottom of the pot will oil.
If you are soaking the rice for at least 30minutes, use 1 cup of water for every 1 cup basmati rice. If you are not soaking the rice, use 1 ¼ cups water for every 1 cup of basmati rice.
One cup of dry basmati rice makes almost 3 cups of cooked rice.
Yes, you can cook rice in large quantities and use it for get-togethers or as meal prep. Just keep in mind that rice expands almost three times. So water + rice should not go beyond the halfway mark.
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Instant pot basmati rice
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup water
- ½ tbsp oil
- ¼ tsp salt optional
- Rinse the rice at least 2 to 3 times to remove all excess starch from it.
- Soak the rinsed rice for about 30 minutes. This step is optional and if you are not soaking the rice, use 1 ¼ cup of water for every 1 cup of rice.
- Start the instant pot in saute mode. Once it is hot, add oil and spices if you are using them. Now switch off the instant pot.
- Drain water completely from the soaked rice and add it to the instant pot inner pot.
- Add water, salt and close the instant pot with its lid.
- Seal the vent and start the Instant pot again in manual or pressure mode. Set the timer for 5 minutes on high pressure and let it cook.
- Once the Instant pot turns off, wait for 5 minutes and manually release the pressure. Do not wait for a natural pressure release. Rice will be overcooked if you leave it for more time.
- Open the lid, take out the inner pot and fluff it up with a fork or wooden spoon.
- Close the inner pot with a lid and keep it aside for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- The flavorful and easy instant pot basmati rice is ready to serve with your favorite curry or dal.
Other Instant pot recipes you may like to try.