Rice in India has been cultivated for six thousand years. It is the staple food for 70% of the county’s population. With a population of two billion people, that’s a lot of rice. The majority of the rice eaten in India is the long-grained basmati rice. Unless its in a pilaf, pulao, biryani, or ground into a flour, basmati is usually eaten plain. When it’s made well, the long thin grains are tender and spongy to the touch while exuding a nutty and milky aroma.
Indian Basmati Rice – Three Ways
Two of the methods for making white basmati rice shown here; steaming and in a rice cooker. These produce separate grains of a soft and fragrant rice that is great served alone or as a side dish. The third recipe is for making rice for Fragrant Meat Broth. This rice is used for making Biryanis and accompanying rich lamb dishes. The key to making perfect basmati rice is the multiple rinsings and 30- minute soak it gets before cooking.Print Pin
- Electric rice maker, Instant pot, or pressure cooker (if using)
- Large saucepan with lid (if steaming)
- Colander and large bowl
- 2 cups Basmati rice
For: III. Fragrant Beef Broth Rice
- 3 cups Basmati rice
- 4 tbsp Ghee
- 5¼ cups Beef broth
Rinse and Soak Rice
- Rinse rice in bowl 7-9 times until water runs clear, pouring out water each time and refilling. Pour rice into bowl and cover with 4 cups water for 30 minutes.
I. Pressure Cooked Rice
- Drain soaked rice and add to the bowl of a rice cooker. Cover with 3 cups water. Close and set for white rice and turn on. When the cooker shifts to "Keep Warm", wait 15 minutes before opening cover. After 15 minutes, open cover and fluff rice with a wooden spoon. Serve right away or keep in the cooker on warm for up-to 6 hours.
II. Steamed Rice
- Strain soaking water into a heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add rice and gently stirring, bring to a second boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until most of the water is absorbed and steamy holes dot the surface, 10 to 15 minutes.Cover tightly and reduce heat to as low as possible. Using tongs or a wok ring, raise the pan an inch away from the heat source. Steam the rice for another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and without lifting the cover, let the rice rest undisturbed for 5 minutes. Just before serving, fluff rice gently with a spoon. Steamed rice will stay warm for about 25 minutes, covered.
III. Recipe for making Rice with Fragrant Meat Broth
- Measure 3 cups of basmati rice and 5¼ cups of a good beef stock or bone broth.Clean, soak, and drain rice as described above. Before cooking the rice, heat 4 tbsp of ghee in a large saucepan. When hot, add rice and stir with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes.If using steaming method, add broth and 2 tsp salt to the rice and continue as described in II. above.If using a rice cooker, add sautéed rice, broth, and salt to the rice cooker and continue as described above.