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How to Cook Basmati Rice: Stove Top, Instant Pot & Slow Cooker

If you want extra flavor in your rice, feel free to use broth to soak and cook the rice. Alternatively, you can use water and cook the rice with 2 cinnamon sticks and several whole black or green cardamom pods. Feel free to add a pinch of salt to the rice as well. I typically don’t salt my rice.

Scale

Ingredients

Stovetop Method

Instant Pot

Slow Cooker Method

Instructions

WASH THE RICE

  1. Pour the rice in a bowl and fill it with water, enough to cover the rice by 1 to 2 inches. Use your fingers to swirl the rice around. The water will look very milky or cloudy after the first rinse. You are washing away excess starch in the rice so that it won’t clump up once cooked. Drain the water from the bowl.
  2. Repeat this cycle of washing the rice and draining the water four more times. The water should look quite clear during the last rinse. After the final rinse, drain the rice over a sieve or strainer.

STOVETOP METHOD

  1. Transfer the rice to a saucepan. Pour 2 cups of water over the rice and let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Cover the saucepan with a lid. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the water to boil. This should take about 5 to 6 minutes. Watch the stove carefully to keep the water from boiling over.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and let the rice simmer for 10 minutes, until all the water is absorbed into the rice. I usually move the saucepan to a smaller burner for this. 
  4. Turn off the heat, and leave the saucepan covered for 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover the saucepan and fluff the rice with a fork. The rice is now ready to serve.

INSTANT POT METHOD

  1. Transfer the rinsed rice to the Instant Pot. Pour 1 3/4 cups water over the rice and let the rice soak for 30 minutes. 
  2. Fasten the lid and press the “RICE” button on the Instant Pot. This will set the Instant Pot to cook on low for 12 minutes.
  3. Once the timer goes off, let the rice rest in the “KEEP WARM” function for 10 to 15 minutes. The pressure should release automatically after that time. If it doesn’t, manually release any residual pressure before opening the lid. 
  4. Fluff up the rice and serve.

SLOW COOKER METHOD

  1. Coat the bottom of the slow cooker with cooking spray. This prevents the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. It is particularly an issue if your slow cooker pot is made of ceramic, like mine.
  2. In a separate bowl, soak the rice with 1 3/4 cups of water for 30 minutes. Then, carefully transfer the soaked rice and water to the slow cooker.
  3. Set the slow cooker on low and cook the rice for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Fluff up the rice and serve. 

Notes

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Amount Per Serving (about 1 cup cooked rice): Calories: 169, Total Fat 0.3g, Saturated Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 2.3mg, Total Carbohydrate: 37g, Dietary Fiber: 0.6g, Sugar: 0.1g, Protein 3.3g

  1. Small Batch Stovetop Method: If you want to cook a smaller batch, cook 1 cup of rice with 1 1/3 cups of water. The cooking time is the same. This yields about 4 cups of cooked rice.
  2. If you are using the small measuring cup that comes with the Instant Pot to measure the rice, measure 2 cups.
  3. In my All-Clad slow cooker, I only need 1 3/4 cups water to fully cook the soaked basmati rice. Some slow cookers might need a little more water, especially if the lid isn’t tight. If you find that the rice is slightly undercooked after the cooking time, feel free to add another 1/4 cup of water and let the rice cook for another 30 minutes or so.