A Simple Process To Perfectly Cooked Basmati Rice

When I think of rice my thoughts always go to basmati. I always have a tin full to the brim in my kitchen, it’s absolutely essential. Being very quick and easy to make it’s perfect for those last-minute cooks and works as a fantastic pairing to so many dishes.

So what is basmati rice? Rice, in general is classified by size into three groups – long grain, medium grain and short grain. Basmati is a variety of long, slender-grained aromatic rice which is traditionally from the Indian subcontinent. India accounts for over 70% of the world’s basmati production.

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Why basmati Rice

Basmati is now the most popular type of dry rice with UK consumers. Sales of Basmati rice have grown every year for the past 20 years and now account for over 50% of the rice sold in the UK. This can be attributed to a few things:

  1. Basmati Is A Healthy:  Gluten-free and low in fat. It contains all eight essential amino acids, folic acid, and is very low in sodium and has no cholesterol. Basmati has a low to medium glycemic index, meaning that energy is released at a slower, steadier rate leading to a more balanced level of energy.
  2. Basmati Extremely Versatile & Improves With Age: The open texture of Basmati allows the grain to absorb other flavours, making it a sociable partner to a whole host of recipes. Like a fine wine, Basmati improves with age, and relies entirely on nature for its very special characteristics.
  3. Basmati Is Tasty: Basmati tastes like no other rice on earth. Unlike ordinary long grain rice the light, fluffy texture of Basmati’s long, slender grains offers the palate a totally different experience in terms of mouth-feel and taste – distinctive, unique and slightly ‘nutty’.

How to infuse Basmati rice

When cooking, the rice will absorb all the liquid and steam that it’s cooked in. We always want to keep the steam in the pan, we do this buy not removing the lid during the cooking process. To infuse the rice we can simply add a selection of aromatic herbs or spices and let the rice absorb the flavour as it Cooks.

A fantastic choice is 2 star anise & 4 cardamom pods (cracked). Or how about using chicken stock rather than water? Sounds delicious right… Such a quick easy change that will take the taste to a whole new world. For spices some options would be curry powder, turmeric & Chinese five spice. Add a tsp of your favourite spice when seasoning the rice at the start and see how the taste works out. A few tweaks here can completely change your rice.

Washing rice

A basic here, Always give the rice a good wash! You want the water to run clear when rinsing. This is to remove the starch and will help you achieve a light fluffy rice.

Remember to always wash rice in cold water

The Basmati Rice To Water Ratio

The key to cooking basmati rice is to remember a simple ratio. This way you can just increase or decrease the quantity depending on the guests.

One part rice, One and a half part water

  • 100 g Basmati rice 150 ml Water
  • 200 g Basmati rice 300 ml Water
  • 300 g Basmati Rice 450 ml Water
  • 400 g Basmati Rice 600 ml Water

If we work on a 75 g per person for the rice we can generally fall into a ratio above.

The Simple 10 Step Basmati Cooking Method

So now we know how to infuse, the rice ratio next we need to know a simple step by step process. 10 steps to perfect fluffy rice.

  1. Weight out the rice. We will use 400 g for this example
  2. Wash well in a sieve until the water runs clear
  3. Add the rice to a pan
  4. Season well with salt & pepper
  5. Add 600 ml of cold water
  6. Lid on and heat up high
  7. Bring to a boil and immediately turn the heat to the lowest setting
  8. Start the timer for 9 minutes. Don’t remove the lid
  9. After 9 mins remove from heat and stir through with a fork
  10. Serve

That’s really all there is to rice. 10 steps to perfect fluffy rice. We talked about adding spices and herbs. To incorporate your chosen spice of life, simply add when adding salt & Pepper. The printable recipe is a star anise and cardamom rice. Try adding 2 Chicken Stock cubes to the water to take the flavour up a level.

Storing and re-using rice

If we wanted to store the rice the most important fact is to let it cool slowly before adding to the fridge. Now a key point to remember is cooked rice is very moist, which can be a breeding ground for bacteria growth if it is left at room temperature for more than two hours. Transfer the cooled, cooked rice into an airtight storage container or a zip lock plastic bag. We want to use an air tight container because if air gets to the rice it will become chewy and hard.

The Printable Recipe

Basmati Rice

A simple recipe for great basmati rice
Prep Time4 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time16 mins
Course: Side Dish
Servings: 6
Author: @mrjay_thehomecook


  • 400 g Basmati Rice
  • 600 ml Cold Water
  • 2 Whole Star Anise
  • 4 Cardamom Pods Cracked
  • Salt & Pepper


  • Weight out the rice and Wash With Cold Water Then Add to a pan
  • Season the rice with salt, pepper, 2 Star Anise and 4 Cracked cardamom pods. Add 600 ml of cold water and place the lid on. We want to keep the lid on during the entire cooking process as the steam is the key to great rice.
  • Bring to the Boil quickly then turn the heat down to the lowest setting and start the timer for 9 minuets 
  • After the timer stops, remove from the heat and discard the pods and star anise. Stir through with a fork to separate and serve.

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