If you always wanted to learn how to cook basmati rice, you’ve come to the right place. Cooking basmati rice right is rewarding and a very good skill to have in the kitchen.
Below we give you a recipe for plain rice inspired in Indian cuisine. Apart from rice, it adds the flavors of ghee or olive oil and an aromatic spice.
However, if you were rather searching for the best way to cook rice with nothing else added —just rice, salt, and water— here we give instructions on how to cook white rice.
We cook this aromatic plain rice all the time and probably you will too, once you taste it. Indians are masters of cooking basmati rice and we wanted to share with you a simple but very tasty way to cook it. This recipe will come to your rescue many times in the kitchen. And kids love it too.
It combines with many other foods as accompaniment or side dish. For vegetarians, cooking rice in such a healthy way is invaluable and it can also replace bread at lunch.
The best choice for cooking rice in this manner is basmati rice, but our experience shows us it also works very well with long and short grain rice, and sticky rice.
Regarding the healthy fat we add, you can choose between clarified butter and olive oil. Both work and both make cooking basmati rice easy.
In fact, because we are familiar with Catalan cuisine, which often combines olive oil and lard in the same recipe, we have experimented with combining ghee and olive oil in this recipe with remarkable success.
How to cook basmati rice and what cooking utensil you need
A suitable kitchen utensil for 1 1/2 cups of basmati rice is a casserole or saucepan with a lid of approximately 7 to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter.
Use a saucepan with a thick bottom if you have one. It will make rice cooking much more reliable.
Finally, 1 measure of rice to 2 measures of water is the usual ratio of rice to water.
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces or 350 g) rice
- 3 cups (0.75 cl) hot water
- 1 tablespoon ghee or 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 level teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 pinch black cumin seeds
How to make basmati rice
Preparation time: 4 minutes.
Cooking time: 14 to 18 minutes.
- First wash the rice thoroughly. A good method is to add it to a strainer and put it under running water for some minutes. Stir the rice with your hand or a wooden spoon to rinse it properly. Drain it.
- In the meantime, bring water to a boil.
- Add the ghee or olive oil to a saucepan, heat it and add the cumin seeds. Sautee for a moment over medium heat stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.
- Now stir in the rice and mix well. Add the salt and the water and stir briefly. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. The 5 minutes can be extended to 7 minutes if you feel it’s necessary. When you see that there’s no excess of water on the surface and the rice begins to build small craters, it’s time to put the lid and turn the heat down. This usually happens after 5 to 7 minutes of cooking the rice uncovered.
- Turn the heat to low and cover with the lid. Simmer for 9 minutes more. Do not stir. The rice should absorb all the water. 14 minutes into the total cooking time, taste a few grains of rice to see if you have to simmer it a few more minutes or it’s already tender. For sticky rice, after turning the heat to low, leave the lid slightly ajar.
- When the rice is tender, turn off or remove from heat and let it sit covered for 3 to 5 minutes.
Here you have it, you have learned how to cook basmati rice and can incorporate it in your daily cooking.