How To Cook Basmati Rice

Perfectly cooked Basmati rice should be be soft and fluffy with each grain separate from the other. If that sounds difficult, it really shouldn’t. Yet, making Basmati rice can intimidate even the most experienced cooks.


There are two important steps to cooking Basmati rice: 

  1. To rinse and soak the rice before cooking. This removes the extra starch (when rinsing the water will initially appear cloudy) and helps to prevent the rice from sticking to itself.

  2. Cooking on both high heat and then on a hot but switched off stove plate. Allowing the rice to cook on an off plate in it’s own steam prevents the rice from over cooking. 


Following these two steps goes a long way in making the perfect pot of
Basmati rice, every time. 

An easy Basmati rice to start with is Lal Qilla Sella (Parboiled) Basmati Rice. Since it’s parboiled, it can’t be over cooked. 



Ingredients in bold available at The Spice Emporium.

1 cup Basmati rice

5 cups water

1 tsp salt



  1. Place rice in a sieve and wash thoroughly under running water. At first the water will appear cloudy, wash until water runs clear. 

  2. In a bowl, add 1 cup of Basmati rice and cover with water. Soak for 30 minutes and drain.

  3. On high heat, in a deep flat bottom pot, boil 5 cups water with the salt.

  4. Add the soaked Basmati rice to the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. 
    To test if the rice is ready for removal, take out a grain from the pot. The two tips should be soft, while the centre of the grain should be slightly hard. 

  5. Switch stove off, drain rice. Place rice back into the pot, cover and allow to steam on the switched off plate for ±10 minutes.  

  6. Remove from stove, fluff with a fork and serve hot.


Tip: Not all Basmati rice are equal. A good test of quality is whether the grains are full, unbroken and that all grains swell to the same (long) length. 


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