Perfect Basmati rice made in a rice cooker! Make basmati rice in the Indian and Pakistani style without the soaking, monitoring, or temperature adjustments. This recipe shares the perfect ratios for fluffy, moist, separated basmati rice kernels that’ll get compliments every time!

Basmati Rice in a platter with a silver spoon

“I’ve been making basmati rice in my rice cooker for years and this is the first time it’s ever come out perfect. Literally every grain.”

Julia

I’m a little hesitant to share this ‘non-recipe’, but in my defense, this is less a recipe and more a call for everyone reading this to invest in a rice cooker.

Here’s the thing – We can all make wonderful basmati rice without a rice cooker, but the idea is to do so consistently with no thought or effort on our part.

Considering how frequently South Asians consume basmati rice, I think rice cookers are a necessity. And I’ll show you how to use them to make the perfect basmati rice, every time.

Perfectly cooked basmati rice on a spoon

The 3 mistakes that result in ‘okay’ rice:

  1. Not adding enough water. Aged, long grain basmati rice needs more liquid than other types of basmati rice. You want it to be firm, each kernel separate, but soft enough to break easily between your fingers.
  2. Not adding salt. Not adding salt to rice is the equivalent of not adding salt while boiling pasta.
  3. Not adding fat. Adding just a tad bit of oil (any kind) or butter will enhance the rice and give it a moist finish, making it the perfect canvas for curries.

Ingredients for Basmati Rice in a Rice Cooker

Here’s what you’ll need.

  1. Basmati rice, preferably aged and long grain.
  2. Water.
  3. Oil. Optional, but lovely. You can use olive oil or a more neutral-tasting oil, but you can hardly tell the difference.
  4. Salt.
Basmati rice, oil, salt and water to make basmati rice in a rice cooker

What Is The Basmati Rice To Water Ratio In A Rice Cooker?

This depends on the type of rice you have, particularly if it’s aged or newly harvested. If you use aged, long grain basmati rice made in India or Pakistan, you’ll need 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice. If you’re using American-made or ‘newer’ basmati rice, try reducing the amount of water to 1 3/4 cups.

Do you have to rinse basmati rice when making it in a rice cooker?

The short answer is no, but it is a good idea in most cases. For example, aged, basmati rice is sometimes excessively starchy. If you’re making multiple cups of rice, that starch can really add up.

That said, I’ve made 1 cup of rice plenty of times without rinsing and you can hardly tell the difference.

Pouring water in rice cooker for making Basmati rice

How To Cook Brown Basmati Rice In A Rice Cooker?

If you’re using Indian or Pakistani grown brown basmati rice, increase the water ratio to 1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups water.

If you’re using new, American-grown brown basmati rice, stick to 1 cup rice to 2 cups water.

Basmati rice in the rice cooker bowl

How To Make Flavored Rice In A Rice Cooker

You can easily use this ratio and ingredients for variation:

  • Add a handful of frozen peas and cumin seeds to make a matar pulao.
  • Use this chana pulao (chickpea pilaf) or chicken pulao recipe to make the base in a sauté pan and transfer to the rice cooker.
  • Use leftover curry or meat and enhance it with spices to make a fresh new pilaf with minimal effort.
Fluffed basmati Rice with a rice paddle inside a rice cooker bowl

What brand rice cooker is best for basmati rice?

I love the Zojirushi brand. I have the Neuro-fuzzy and was recently sent the Micom NS-WTC10 (thanks, Zojirushi!). I found the Neuro-fuzzy to work a bit better than the Micom.

Tips for making basmati rice in the rice cooker

  • The rice at the bottom of the rice cooker naturally tends to be stickier, while the rice on the top is more dry. To prevent this, fluff with a rice paddle or spatula after cooking. If you cook a large quantity of rice and leave it in the rice cooker too long, it’ll stick together and form clumps.
  • The cooking time will increase depending on the quantity of rice.
  • To keep the rice from losing moisture or drying out, keep it covered after cooking.
  • Use a quality brand of basmati rice. I suggest purchasing it at Indian or Pakistani grocery stores as it’s generally aged and more affordable there. I use Royal Chef’s Secret Extra Long Grain.
Holding Basmati Rice in a platter with a silver spoon

How to Store & Reheat Basmati Rice

To store basmati rice, place in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

To reheat, sprinkle a bit of water on top of the rice and microwave until heated through.

Perfectly cooked basmati rice on a spoon
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Perfect Basmati Rice in the Rice Cooker

Learn how to make perfect Basmati Rice in the Rice Cooker (Indian/Pakistani style).

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • Optional – Wash the rice to remove excess starch and use a colander to drain well.
  • Add the rice, water, oil, and salt to the rice cooker and stir to combine.
  • Choose Normal (Regular/Sushi) Rice setting. For Brown rice, select Brown Rice Setting.
  • Once finished cooking, fluff with a rice spatula/paddle and remove promptly to prevent the rice from getting mushy toward the bottom of the cooker.

Video

Notes

*Water quantity depends on the type of rice you have.
White Basmati Rice: If you use aged, long grain basmati rice made in India or Pakistan, you’ll need 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice. If you’re using American or newly-harvested basmati rice, try reducing the amount of water to 1 3/4 cups.
Brown Basmati Rice: If you’re using Indian or Pakistani grown brown basmati rice, increase the water ratio to 1 cup rice to 2 1/2 cups water. If you’re using new, American-grown brown basmati rice, use 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. 

 

Calories: 200kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 590mg, Potassium: 53mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 1mg