How Do You Make Basmati Rice Like They do in Indian Restaurants? It is Very Simple to Make and the Rice Cooks in Less than 30 Minutes.

I am a basmati rice snob and connoisseur.  Everything about basmati rice makes me happy and the perfectly cooked rice is not very hard to do.

One of the best things about Indian restaurants is free rice

I haven’t been to an Indian restaurant in the US that doesn’t serve free rice with your main course meals

Overhead view of a black bowl filled with basmati rice and garnished with cloves, cardamom and ghee. A red sari / scarf is on the left

Indian Restaurant-Style Rice

What is Basmati rice?

Basmati Rice is a variety of long-grained rice that is traditionally served with Indian food. It has pointy ends and a nuttier flavor than traditional white rice.

It’s a long thin rice used in Indian cuisine that just happens to be so easy to cook. Some of the best Indian rice dishes are made better because of basmati rice.

Ever wonder why they serve free rice? I was given 2 reasons for it:

The first reason is that they are made in bulk, so, it costs them about $1 per day to make the rice. For this reason, they can give it away for free.

The second reason is probably a better reason. Restaurants think that if they give you free rice, you will eat more entrees. Since entrees are where they make the most of their profit, it is a fruitful tactic.

So, the next time you are looking to make easy dinner recipes, try this basmati rice technique.  Also, if you have a rice pudding recipe, use this method of cooking rice.  Your pudding will turn out nice and soft.

Serve it with my palak makhani recipe

After seeing these steps you will never have to wonder, “How to make basmati rice?”

How To Make Basmati Rice Without Cooker

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to cook basmati rice Indian style.

1) For this recipe, I am going to use 1 cup of basmati rice.  It usually serves 2-3 people

Top view of uncooked basmati rice in a 1 cup measuring cup

2) First, we need to wash/rinse the rice. In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup of Basmati rice. Place the pan under your kitchen tap and fill it with water. There is no measurement for this because we are rinsing the rice. I like to fill it about halfway through.

Water from tap going into a stainless steel pan filled with rice

3) Using your fingers, gently stir the rice and water. You will notice that the water will get cloudy. That is a good thing. It means that the rice was packaged right after harvesting.  Tilt the pan and remove as much of the water as you can. It’s ok to leave some water in it.

Water being drained out of the stainless steel pan

4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 again. Personally, I like to rinse it the rice three times, but, two times is sufficient

5) Once rinsed, we now add water that will be used for cooking the rice. The general ratio rule is 1:5. For every cup of rice, add 5 cups of water.

How to make restaurant style Basmati rice? This is a step-by-step recipe on how to make basmati rice

6) Place the pan on high heat. Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and ghee or oil.

Small bowl with cloves, cinnamon and cardamom

7) Stir frequently so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom.  I like to use a fork to stir because it fluffs the rice.

closeup view of rice boiling in water

8) When the rice grains have doubled in size (about 15-20 min), your rice is ready to be taken off the heat.

Fork filled with cooked basmati rice

9) Next comes the removal of excess water. I like to use a nylon strainer because it catches all the rice. If you don’t have it, use a colander or any strainer with holes that are tiny.

Top view of cooked rice in a nylon strainer with a fork on top

10) Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with curry or other meals

Closeup view of cooked rice in a black serving bowl

So, this is how to make basmati rice. It’s a very quick, easy and fluffy way to make it for dinner

If you are using (affiliate link) Saffron, check out how I made my Saffron Rice Recipe using this basmati rice. 

Learn more about Basmati Rice on Wikipedia.

how to cook basmati rice

How To Make Basmati Rice (Restaurant Style)

Rini
How to make basmati rice like they do in Indian restaurants? It is very simple to make and the rice cooks in less than 30 minutes.
5 from 48 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Drinks, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 cups
Calories 358 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • In a medium sauce pan, add 1 cup of Basmati rice
  • Place the pan under your kitchen tap and fill it halfway with water
  • Using your fingers, gently stir the rice and water.
  • Tilt the pan and remove as much of the water as you can. It’s ok to leave some water in it.
  • Repeat steps 2 to 4 two more times. The water will be less cloudy at the third time
  • Once washed, we now add water that was set aside for cooking
  • Place the pan on high heat.
  • Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and ghee or oil.
  • Stir frequently so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom
  • When the rice grains have doubled in size (about 15 min), turn off heat
  • Using a strainer, strain the rice to remove excess water
  • Use a fork to stir the rice in the strainer to make it fluffy
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy

Video

Notes

– If you are using Saffron, soak the 2 strands in 3 tsp of warm water. After 4 min of soaking pour the saffron water over rice and stir it. Some of the rice will turn red, some will be yellow and the rest will be white, just like they are in Indian restaurants. 

Nutrition

Serving: 2peopleCalories: 358kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 6gFat: 2gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 45mgPotassium: 106mgFiber: 2gCalcium: 72mgIron: 1.2mg
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Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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How to cook basmati rice restaurant style and without cooker.  #healingtomato #basmatirice #howtocookbasmatirice #howtocookrice #howto #indianbasmatirice

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50 Comments

  1. I tried making this Basmati rice and it’s definitely going into my regular rotation! I loved how fluffy my rice turned out and it smelled so good because of the spices! Can’t wait to try this again!

  2. How long should I let it cook if using brown rice? The directions on brown rice says to let it cook 40 minutes. Should I let it cook the full 40 minutes or eyeball it until it doubles in size?

    1. When in doubt, always follow the instrctions on the box. However, I always eyeball it too and make sure it’s done. Sometimes, brown rice cooks in 30 min. It depends on how much water you use and how high you keep the temp. For a 1 cup, I usually add about 8 cups of water and then cook on medium high for about 30-35min. Drain any excess water and mix with a fork to fluff the rice.

  3. Suggestion: If you reduce your water:rice ratio to a 1 + 2 = 3 (Example: 1 cup rice + 2 cups water = 3 cups cooked rice) you will no have to drain the water. You will have to also incorporate covered pot with reduced heat. But no water is wasted.

    1. Thank you for your suggestion, Christina. Just FYI, the water is not wasted, Christina. I use it in hair products and even to water plants. The reason I like to cook rice this way is because it makes each grain individual instead of lumping the rice together. The rice comes out fluffy.

  4. Wow, that’s a simple and tasty recipe with basmati rice. But some varieties bvecome sticky if we over cook or if we cook in pressure cookers.