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!
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’m slightly concerned about the absence of rice cookers.
A rice cooker is the answer to perfect basmati rice, every time. It’s one less thing to think about, outsourcing at its finest.
The 3 mistakes that result in ‘okay’ rice:
- 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.
- Not adding salt. Not adding salt to rice is the equivalent of not adding salt while boiling pasta.
- 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.
- Basmati rice, preferably aged and long grain.
- Oil. Optional, but lovely. You can use olive oil or a more neutral-tasting oil, but you can hardly tell the difference.
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 some 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.
How To Cook Brown Basmati Rice In A Rice Cooker?
If you are using new, American-grown brown basmati rice, stick to 1 cup rice to 2 cups water ratio.
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) recipe and transfer the onions to the rice cooker.
- Use leftover curry or meat and enhance it with spices to make a fresh new pilaf with minimal effort.
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!).
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 more affordable there. I use Royal Chef’s Secret Extra Long Grain.
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.
If you try this recipe, please let me know in the comments below. If you’re on Instagram, please tag me so I can see your creations. I love hearing from you!
Perfect Basmati Rice in the Rice Cooker
- 1 cup aged long grain basmati rice (185 g) brown or white
- 2 cups water* (see note)
- 1 tbsp oil any kind
- 3/4-1 tsp salt or to taste
- Optional – Wash the rice 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.
- 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.