Make light, fluffy and perfect basmati rice in the rice cooker for your lunch or dinner easily using my recipe. This post has all tips, tricks, and different variations to the plain basmati rice recipe.
What is basmati rice?
Basmati is a variety of rice that is long, slender, and aromatic. Its floral aroma and nutty taste make it unique. Basmati rice is best for pilafs and as a side dish for curries. Long, tender, fluffy rice soaks up curry flavors very well.
Though many countries grow this variety of rice, Basmati rice is mainly grown in the Indian subcontinent.
Why use a rice cooker for basmati rice
Though I love my Instant pot and use it very often, I like rice cooker for basmati rice as
- Rice will not be gooey (Sometimes pressure cooker will yield sticky rice if rice water ratio messes up)
- It's handsfree method
- We need not monitor like in the stovetop method
Rice: Good quality and aged basmati rice will yield long-grained rice that is flavorful.
Water: I used water to cook basmati rice. But you can use broth or coconut milk to flavor the rice.
Salt: Salt is optional, but adding a pinch will flavor the rice. As curries and dal already have salt, add it with caution to the rice.
Oil: I will not skip the oil as it will help in making light and fluffy rice. I used coconut oil, and you can use any oil like olive oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil in this recipe. You can even use butter or ghee if you don't mind the rice being vegan.
Lemon juice: Adding lemon juice will make the rice more white and fluffy. Rice grains will be separate and do not stick to each other by using lemon juice, and it will not taste lemony.
Rinse the rice:
Rinse the basmati rice very well at least three times to remove all excess starch from the rice. Do not skip this step, as rinsing will give light and fluffy rice.
Soak the rice
Take the rinsed rice in a bowl. Add a cup of water to it and let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
Soaking is optional, but I always soak the rice. Rice is cooked uniformly by soaking the rice as all rice grains absorb water while soaking.
But If you are out of time, you can skip it. The basmati rice to water ratio will change when you soak the rice.
Add rice and water to the rice cooker
Brush the rice cooker cooking pot with oil. By doing so, rice will not stick to the bottom of the pan. Oil will also make rice fluffy and light.
Drain the water completely from soaked rice and add it to the rice cooker.
Next, add water and salt (if using) to the rice cooker.
If you want to flavor the rice, you can add dry spices like cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon to the rice at this stage. You can see the variations section for more flavoring options.
Set it on
Close the rice cooker with its lid. If your rice cooker has options, select white rice, or else start the cook button.
Fluff the rice
Once the cooking is over, wait for 5 minutes or so and open the lid.
Then, fluff the rice with a spatula and let it rest for another 5 minutes. Light, fluffy and flavorful basmati rice is ready to serve with your favorite curry or dal.
Basmati rice to water ratio in a rice cooker
|Soaked||1 cup||1.5 cups|
|Unsoaked||1 cup||2 cups|
- Rice will expand almost three times. So check the rice cook manual and decide on how much to cook. Else spillage might happen. If you use a 6 cup rice cooker, you can only cook 2 cups of dry basmati rice.
- With a rice cooker, we can cook rice in large quantities for get-togethers and meal prep. If we cook more rice, the cooking time of rice will be more.
- If rice is not aged, then it will take less water. For new rice, use ¼ cup less water for every 1 cup of rice. So if you use 1.5 cups of water for soaked aged rice, new rice will only require 1.25 cups of water.
- Soaking is optional, but you need to rinse rice very well.
- This recipe will not work for brown basmati rice.
Though I love basmati rice as it is, seasoning makes it tastier.
You can season the rice while cooking it or season the cooked rice.
For seasoning the rice while it is cooking, you can add some spices like bay leaf, cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, and cinnamon.
I use spice powders like turmeric powder, cumin powder, pepper powder, coriander powder, Mexican spice powder, cajun spice powder, and garam masala powder to season the cooked rice.
Instead of water, you can use broth or coconut milk for cooking the rice.
- Indian spiced rice: Add two bay leaves, ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, 2 cardamoms, 2 cloves, and 1-inch cinnamon stick along with rice and cook the rice. You will have flavorful restaurant-style Indian spiced rice to enjoy.
- Cumin rice: Heat a small pan, add oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, two cloves, one bay leaf, two cardamoms, 1-inch cinnamon stick, and let them fry. Add this seasoning to the rice and cook it as described in the recipe.
- Peas Rice: Heat a small pan, add oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, two cloves, one bay leaf, two cardamoms, 1-inch cinnamon stick, and let them fry. Add this seasoning, ¼ cup green peas to the rice, and cook it as described in the recipe.
- Butter rice: Heat a small pan, add butter to it. Once it is hot, add spices ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds, one bay leaf, 1-inch cinnamon stick, and let them fry. Add this butter to the rice and cook it as per instructions.
You can store cooked basmati rice in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. I usually do not use a microwave to heat the rice. Instead, I steam the rice using a steamer or pressure cooker for 5 minutes.
You can freeze the rice if you intend to use it for a more extended period. Store the rice in portion-sized containers and thaw it when needed.
Basmati rice will soak the flavors very well from gravy curry and dal. Try these healthy and delicious side dishes to go with your basmati rice.
Yes, we need to wash basmati rice at least 2 to 3 times to remove the excess starch from the rice.
Rice will be sticky if you add more water. To avoid sticky rice, drain the water entirely from rinsed and soaked rice before adding it to the rice cooker. Also, use the same measuring cup for measuring rice and water.
If you are soaking the basmati rice for 30 minutes, use 3 cups of water for 2 cups of rice. If you are not soaking the rice, use 4 cups of water.
No. Both rice cooker and stovetop methods take the same amount of water. However, the pressure cooker takes the least amount of water.
Soaking basmati rice before cooking is optional, but soaking will yield evenly cooked rice that will be fluffy and light.
Basmati rice expands three times, so 2 cups of rice will make 6 cups of cooked rice.
To make the fluffy rice, wash the rice at least three times to remove that extra starch. Soaking and adding oil while cooking rice will also make the rice light.
Basmati rice in the rice cooker (Perfect & fluffy rice)
- Rinse the basmati rice very well at least three times to remove all excess starch from the rice.
- Take the rinsed rice in a bowl. Add a cup of water to it and let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
- Brush the rice cooker inner pot with oil.
- Drain the water completely from soaked rice and add it to the rice cooker.
- Next, add water and salt (if using) to the rice cooker.
- If you want to flavor the rice, you can add dry spices like cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon to the rice at this stage.
- Close the rice cooker with its lid. If your rice cooker has options, select white rice, or else start the cook button.
- Once the cooking is over, wait for 5 minutes or so and open the lid. Then, fluff the rice with a spatula and let it rest for another 5 minutes.
- Light, fluffy and flavorful basmati rice is ready to serve with your favorite curry or dal.
As you are here, you will love my other easy cooking 101 recipes.