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a blue bowl on a barn board tabletop filled with cooked basmati rice

How To Cook Basmati Rice

Rice is a staple food in many countries and cultures around the world. Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa or Oryza glaberrima, and is one of the most important agricultural crops in the world besides corn and sugarcane.  Wild rice most often refers to a mixture of rice grains native to North America and China which are closely related to the two main species of rice but are actually considered a grain.

uncooked basmati rice spilling from a red spoon on a barnboard tabletop

Oryza Sativa the most commonly grown variety, is also known as English rice and was first domesticated in Asia. It has two sub-species, a short grain species known as japonica rice, and a long grain species, known as indica rice. Of course in these two sub-species, there is a multitude of different varieties being grow.

Basmati rice belongs to the later family, (long grain or indica rice) and has been grown in the Indian sub-continent for centuries. An important part of Persian and Middle Eastern Cuisine, Basmati rice is delicate, slightly nutty in flavor and very easy to cook at home making it an excellent rice for beginner cooks to master!

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Is White Rice Healthy?

Despite many people thinking white rice is an un-healthy option loaded with empty carbs, there are a few important things to consider when asking the question: is rice a healthy food for me to eat?

For one, rice has been consumed by many cultures around the world for centuries, so any rice can’t really be ‘that bad’ for you if eaten in moderation. That being said, the way rice is grown and processed has also changed over the years, and as such it is important to know where your rice comes from and how it has been processed.

Katie from Wellness Mama explains the differences between brown rice and white rice, and which rice she prefers to eat at home. Teaser Alert: It’s White Rice! Rice is also naturally gluten free making it a great carbohydrate for people with celiac disease or those trying to avoid other inflammatory grains.

To sum up Katies comparison of white and brown rice, white rice has had the hull, germ, and bran removed, leaving only the very core, (or endosperm) of the grain intact. Brown rice has only the hull removed, which leaves the bran and germ intact. Because brown rice is less processed and still retains it’s bran and germ, it is also higher in nutrients then white rice. Brown rice has more naturally present macro-nutrients and vitamins and minerals, (such as vitamin B,E and iron) then white rice.

On the flip side, brown rice contains phytic acid which makes it harder for the body to naturally absorb these nutrients. In recent years there has also been studies suggesting that the higher levels of arsenic in brown rice make white rice a healthier option. Rice imported from other countries has been shown to have lower arsenic levels, and rinsing it before cooking can further reduce the arsenic content. This makes Basmati Rice and Jasmine Rice to very popular white rice options.

learn how to cook basmati rice at home!

Whichever you do choose to include in your diet, cooking and eating any kind of rice at home as part of a healthy from scratch diet, (with lots of vegetables and organic meats) will be healthier then any processed food you can buy. Basmati is the favorite variety in our home as it is easy to cook and has a mild flavor, making it a great multipurpose side dish. Basmati rice makes a great side with this simple Beef Korma!

How To Cook Basmati Rice On The Stove

As I mentioned above rice has been consumed by humans for centuries, and surprisingly the basic method for cooking rice from scratch with just a pot and a heat source, has hardly changed.

Ingredients

To cook basmati rice at home start with:

If cooking basmati rice with broth, note that if the broth or stock is very gelatinous, the rice will naturally become more sticky after cooking. – Chef Markus Mueller

Instructions

  1. Start by boiling the water or broth. Water is of course the traditional medium used when cooking rice, but using broth is a great way to add extra nutrients and flavor to the cooked basmati rice. I most often use homemade chicken broth, but beef or vegetable stock can be just as easily used.a pot of water with a bay leaf that will be used to cook basmati rice on the stove top
  2. Rinse the basmati rice in a sieve under running water. The water does not have to run completely clear, but you do want to give it a good wash. This removes excess starch and ensures the rice will not be sticky and clumpy after cooking. Let it drain well.basmati rice being rinsed in a sieve under running water
  3. Add the rinsed rice to the boiling water or broth. Immediately turn down the heat to a simmer and give the pot a stir to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down further to low. Let the basmati rice cook for 15 minutes undisturbed.basmati rice simmering in a pot on the stove
  4. Once the 15 minutes are up, remove the pot of rice from the stove, and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes. The rice will finish cooking and absorb any moisture which is still present.perfectly cooked basmati rice in a blue porcelain bowl garnished with chopped parsley
  5. Remove the lid and fluff the cooked basmati rice with a fork. Serve immediately.

Why Not Just Cook Rice In An Instant Pot Or Other Specialty Appliance?

Of course there are fancy appliances available such as specialty rice cookers and more recently the Instant Pot which will cook ‘perfect rice’ every time.

The downside to these appliances of course is that they first need to come to temperature before the ‘cooking time’ begins, essentially eliminating the ‘saved’ time and they are usually not as easy to clean as a simple pot. Cooking basmati rice in an Instant Pot for example takes 4 minutes of cooking time. What they don’t tell you is that it takes about 5 minutes to first heat up and then you need to let the pot sit for 10 minutes after the timer has finished. All of a sudden rice takes 20 minutes to cook again!

Cooking wild rice in an Instant pot as well as other grains though does prove advantageous, as the normally 45 minute long cooking time for these grains is easily cut in half.

Tried the recipe? Take a picture and tag me on Facebook & Instagram: @earthfoodandfire . For more from scratch recipes follow me on Instagram & Pinterest

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How To Cook Basmati Rice At Home

Cooking basmati rice at home is an essential skill everyone should know. Cook perfect and nutritious rice at home on the stove, consistently with this simple to follow guide!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups cooked basmati rice
Calories 340kcal
Author Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire

Ingredients

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 2/3 cups of water or broth

Instructions

  • Boil water or broth on the stove.
  • Rinse the basmati rice under running water to remove excess starch. Let drain.
  • Add the rinsed rice to the boiling pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Stir once, then cover with a tight fitting lid.
  • Turn the heat down further to 'low', and let the basmati rice cook for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the rice from the stove, and let sit for 3 to 4 minutes to steam.
  • Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Serve immediately.

Notes

If cooking basmati rice with broth, note that if the broth or stock is very gelatinous, the rice will naturally become more sticky after cooking.

This post contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated if a purchase is made through the links provided. For more information please read my affiliate disclosure.


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Cooking basmati rice at home is an essential skill everyone should know. Cook perfect and nutritious basmati rice at home consistently with this simple to follow guide! #basmati #rice #cookingskills

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2 Comments

  1. Great post! I make Basmati at home all the time and it was still a very interesting read! You can also try adding some oil and/or lemon juice to your rice and it will help keep the grains from sticking. Basmati cooked in stock is also called a Pulao.

    • Adding lemon juice to keep the rice from sticking is a new one for me! I also didn’t know using broth instead of water gives the dish it’s own name! Thanks for the tips. Do you mind if I quote you in the text above?

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