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Fluffing a pot of white basmati rice.
4.7 from 10 votes

How to Cook Perfect Basmati Rice

For added flavor, substitute the water for chicken or vegetable broth and swap the olive oil for butter.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 3 cups cooked rice (approx)
Calories: 308kcal


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1.5 cups just-boiled water (or low-sodium chicken stock)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (or butter)
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste


  • Wash rice. Wash your rice in several changes of cold water, or until the water runs nearly clear. Thoroughly washing the rice removes dirt and surface starch and helps promote fluffier, less sticky rice.
  • Soak. Transfer the rice to a medium bowl and fill with cold water. Allow rice to soak for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the water (or chicken broth). You may use an electric or stovetop kettle, or old-fashioned pot. You will need 1.5 cups of just-boiled liquid - no more.
  • Drain the rice. Thoroughly drain your rice in a fine-mesh strainer. Then, place the rice-filled strainer on top of a kitchen towel and carefully tap to remove any excess water.
  • Toast the rice. Heat the olive oil (or butter) in a wide, lidded saucepot or pan over medium heat. Add the rice and salt. Thoroughly mix the rice so that each grain is covered in oil.
  • Add the liquid and cook. Add the boiled water (or stock), increase heat to high, and bring to a rapid boil. Immediately reduce heat to low and cover with a lid. Leave the rice to cook for 10-12 minutes without lifting the lid.
  • If you have a clear glass lid, you can check for doneness by carefully tilting the pan to one side. If you see a pool of extra liquid, you know to keep cooking. If no liquid is visible, it's a good indication that most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Steam the rice. Without removing the lid, turn the heat off and allow the rice to steam, undisturbed, for 10-15 minutes. Just before serving, fluff with a fork and dot with 1-2 tablespoons of butter, if desired.


Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 391mg | Potassium: 71mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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