How to cook basmati rice

22 November 2016

Cook fluffy, aromatic basmati rice to perfection every time with our easy video guide.

How to cook basmati rice

Cook fluffy, aromatic basmati rice to perfection every time with our easy video guide.

Basmati rice is one of the highest quality types of rice available in the shops, and is used in all sorts of cuisines, particularly Indian, Pakistani and Middle Eastern. The grains are long, thin and aromatic, and are solely grown in the foothills of the Himalayas. Cooking basmati rice can cause trouble for some home cooks, who end up with sticky, soggy or undercooked grains, but as long as you have the right ratio of rice to water and follow a few rules, it’s simple to prepare.

  • basmati rice
  • salt


Measure out 60g of dry rice per person
Place the rice in a large bowl of cold water and leave to soak for 30 minutes
Pour 120ml of water per person into a saucepan with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil
Drain the rice and add it to the pan, giving it a quick stir
Place a tightly-fitting lid on the pan and turn the heat down. Leave the rice to cook for 10 minutes until the grains have turned bright white and absorbed all the water
Remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand, covered, for 3 minutes
Lightly fluff up the grains with a fork and serve


Try adding certain spices or herbs to the pan as your rice cooks to infuse certain flavours into the grains. If you're after basmati rice without any stickiness, a few drops of vinegar can help to keep them separate.

Serving suggestions

Basmati rice is especially well suited to Indian cuisine, and can be served as a side dish to all sorts of curries. Nisha Thomas’ Coconut rice adds extra flavour and fragrance, but if you want to make rice the star of the meal try Peter Joseph’s Vegetable biryani pie or Shu Han Lee’s Rabbit biryani. Grame Taylor makes the classic British-Indian dish Smoked haddock kedgeree using basmati, while Eric Chavot serves it as a side to his French Blanquette de veau.

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