How to Cook Basmati Rice on the Stovetop
Basmati rice is an aromatic variety of rice grown in India. Known for its subtle aroma and unique flavor, it has become a staple in households worldwide.
Think about Indian food, and it’s hard not to think about Basmati rice, which pairs perfectly with aromatic Indian curries and pulaos
What is Basmati rice, and why is it special?
Basmati rice is a unique long-grained variety of rice that’s widely grown in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Basmati means “fragrant” in Hindi, and the rice lives up to its name. It has a subtle aroma and unique flavor, which is one of the reasons why it’s a favorite addition to Indian cuisine.
In addition to its flavor, Basmati rice is known for its distinct texture and elongated grains. The starchy, fluffy texture of Basmati is what makes it pair well with dishes that have rich and complex flavors.
How is Basmati rice different from regular white rice?
Basmati rice is different from regular white rice for various reasons. Basmati rice grains are slender, long, and have pointed ends. The grains fluff up less and remain separate when cooked, which accounts for its unique texture compared to regular white rice. Basmati rice is more aromatic than regular white rice, giving it an enhanced, subtle flavor.
How Do I cook Basmati rice perfectly?
If you love Indian food you got to have Basmati rice! Cooking perfectly separated beautiful, long Basmati rice might sound complicated, but with the right technique, it’s easy to achieve perfect results every time.
Here’s an easy stovetop method that guarantees fluffy and separate Basmati rice:
- 1 cup (200 g) white Basmati rice
- 4 cups (1 liter) water
- Add 1 cup of Basmati rice and 4 cups of water to a medium-sized pot.
- Place the pot on the stovetop and set the heat to high.
- Bring the water to a boil, uncovered. As the water comes to a boil, keep an eye on the rice.
- Once the rice starts to boil, stir it and let it boil for 2 minutes.
- Check to see if the rice is just cooked but still has a slight bite. Continue to watch the rice till it’s just done. You can take a spoon and take a few grains and see if they’re hard or getting cooked.
- Once the rice is done, immediately drain it using a colander to stop the cooking process and prevent it from becoming mushy.
- If you’re serving the rice right away, you can cover it to keep it warm. Alternatively, if you’re making a dish like pea and carrot pulao, transfer the rice to a long aluminum tray and spread it out to cool. This helps to keep the grains separated and prevents them from sticking together.
There you have it! The simplest and best way to cook Basmati rice is on the stovetop. In just a few minutes, you’ll have fluffy, fragrant Basmati rice.
You can use it in any recipe that calls for Basmati rice, or simply enjoy it on its own. Try making Peas and Carrots Pulao with cooked Basmati rice. You can pair Basmati rice with so many types of curries and lentil soups. Try Butter Chicken Masala, Cabbage Curry, Adraki Gobi (cauliflower with ginger), Beans Poriyal (green beans and coconut curry), and Kaali Daal (black lentil and red kidney bean soup), for starters.
Basmati Rice FAQs
Try adding a pinch of salt or a couple of whole spices like cloves, cinnamon sticks, or cardamom pods to the water while cooking. The spices will infuse into the rice, elevating its taste and aroma. Remember to take out the whole spices later, before serving. You can also just eat it with some regular butter, ghee, or vegan butter.
Absolutely! I often freeze a few servings of Basmati rice especially when we travel as well as a curry so we have a meal ready to go when we arrive back home. All you have to do is defrost in the microwave.
Basmati rice is widely available. I usually buy white Basmati rice as I love the fragrance and texture. You can buy it at your local grocery store or in Indian grocery stores. My all-time favorite is Dawaat Extra Long Basmati Rice. It doesn’t need soaking and cooks fast and is beautifully long and separated not to mention its beautiful aroma and pairs with all curries and makes the most fantastic pulaos and biriyanis.
You can store cooked Basmati in the fridge for 2-3 days. If it feels a little hard then sprinkle a tiny bit of water and cover and microwave in 1-minute increments depending on the amount of leftover rice.
Basmati rice is classified as long-grain rice and long-grain rice has the least amount of starch as compared with shorter-grained rice. Additionally, we are draining a lot of the starch out when we strain the rice in a colander.
That’s because in this method you can control the cooking of the rice easily as you are checking periodically and this method ensures perfectly separated long Basmati rice. A rice cooker could possibly get similar results but the starch content is higher as you’re not draining the water out. Keep in mind this kind of separated, fluffy rice is most important when you are having guests over or creating a special rice dish (pulaos maybe) or wanting to keep the starch content as low as possible when you eat rice. Same for making rice in an Instant Pot.
The next time you’re craving a delicious Indian dish or exploring new recipes, reach for Basmati rice. Let its fragrant grains transport you to a world of incredible flavors and culinary delights.
Remember, cooking is an art, and Basmati rice is your canvas. So, grab your apron, fire up the stove, and embark on a culinary adventure with Basmati rice as your faithful companion. Happy cooking!Print