Perfect Basmati Rice in a Rice Cooker (White and Brown)

Basmati rice cooker recipe

Perfect Basmati rice made in a rice cooker! Make Indian and Pakistani style basmati rice without soaking, monitoring or temperature adjustments. This recipe shares the perfect proportions for fluffy, moist, and separated basmati rice grains that will receive praise every time!

Basmati rice on a tray with silver spoon

“I’ve been making basmati rice in my rice cooker for years and this is the first time it comes out perfect. Literally every grain.”


I’m a little hesitant to share this “no 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 a wonderful basmati rice without a rice cooker, but the idea is to do it consistently without thinking or straining on our part.

Indian and Pakistani cuisine is full of delicious rice dishes like biryani and pulao. Considering how often South Asians consume rice, I think rice cookers are a must. And I’ll show you how to use them to make the perfect basmati rice, every time.

Basmati rice perfectly cooked in a spoon

The 3 mistakes that result in ‘good’ rice:

  1. Not adding enough water. Long-grain, aged basmati rice needs more fluid than other types of basmati rice. You want it to be firm, each grain separate, but soft enough to break easily between your fingers.
  2. Do not add salt. Not adding salt to rice is the equivalent of not adding salt while boiling pasta.
  3. Do not add fat. Adding just a little oil (any kind) or butter will enhance the rice and give it a wet finish, making it the perfect canvas for curry.
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Ingredients for Basmati rice in a rice cooker

This is what you will need


  1. Basmati rice, preferably aged and long grain
  2. .

  3. Water
  4. .

  5. oil. Optional, but lovely. You can use olive oil or a more neutral-tasting oil, but you can hardly tell the difference.
  6. salt.

<img src="×1092.jpg" alt="Basmati rice, oil, salt and water to make basmati rice in a rice cooker

” />What is the ratio of Basmati rice to water in a rice cooker


This depends on the type of rice you have, especially if it is aged or freshly harvested. If you use long-grain, aged basmati rice made in India or Pakistan, you will need 2 cups of water for 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.

Should basmati rice be rinsed when doing it in a rice cooker?

The dreaded answer – it depends. It’s not absolutely necessary, but it’s a good idea in most cases. The excess starch in rice causes cooked rice to clump together, which is not what you want with basmati rice.

If you are using newer basmati rice

  • found in American supermarkets (shorter, whiter grain), then you can do without rinsing
  • .

  • But long-grain, aged basmati rice (longer grain, more ivory-colored) is sometimes excessively starchy. The ideal is to rinse it. (That said, when I’m in a hurry, I’ve made 1 cup of rice many times without rinsing and no one has complained.)
  • Rinsing is especially important if you’re making several cups of rice because starch can actually build up.

Rinsing tip: When rinsing, be sure to drain excess water well so you don’t end up with soft rice due to too much water.

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Pour water into the rice cooker to make Basmati riceHow to cook whole grain Basmati rice in a rice cooker


If you are using brown basmati rice grown in India or Pakistan, increase the water ratio to 1 cup of rice to 2 1/2 cups of water.

If you are using

new U.S.-grown brown basmati rice, stick to 1 cup of rice for 2 cups of water.

Basmati rice in rice bowl

How to make

flavored rice in a rice cooker

You can easily use this ratio and ingredients for a change:

  • Add a handful of frozen peas and cumin seeds to make a pulao kill.
  • Use this recipe for chana pulao (chickpea pilaf) or chicken pulao to make the base in a pan and transfer it to the rice cooker.
  • Use curry or leftover meat and enhance it with spices to make a fresh new pilaf with minimal effort.
Fluffy basmati rice with a rice popsicle inside a rice cooker bowlWhich


of rice cooker is best for basmati rice?

I love the Zojirushi brand. I have the Neuro-fuzzy and they recently sent me the Micom NS-WTC10 (thanks Zojirushi!). I found that Neuro-fuzzy works a little better than Micom.

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 at the top is drier. To avoid this, sponge with a rice popsicle or spatula after cooking. If you cook a large amount of rice and leave it in the rice cooker too long, it will stick and form lumps.
  • The cooking time will increase depending on the amount of rice.
  • To prevent rice from losing moisture or drying out, keep it covered after cooking.
  • Use a quality brand of basmati rice. I suggest buying it from Indian or Pakistani grocery stores as it is usually aged and more affordable there. I use Royal Chef’s Secret Extra Long Grain.
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Holding Basmati rice in a dish with a silver spoon


to store and reheat Basmati rice To store basmati rice


place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator


To reheat, sprinkle some water over the rice and microwave until hot.


rice goes perfectly with curry like dal, Chana Masala or a chicken curry. It’s also great along with fusion dishes like Spicy Cashew Chicken and Chicken Shashlik.

Need more ideas? Check out this roundup of 30+ easy and authentic recipes for dinner!

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