Friday, September 12, 2014

How to cook Basmati Rice for Fried Rice and Pulao

How to cook basmati rice
Cooking basmati rice perfectly is the key to any good fried rice or pulao. Many of my relatives,friends and readers requested / enquired about the brand of basmati rice and method I use to cook basmati rice.I admit yes the brand does matters but the method of cooking is all the more important too so thought to share a separate post for it so that it will be helpful for beginners.

I've always wondered how the rice in restaurants alone is cooked so soft yet grain separated as during my initial days of cooking I always overcook / undercook basmati rice. At home we use pot method for cooking rice daily so pressure cooking rice was always a nightmare....Years back on a casual note when I told this to Raji (Raks) she gave me tips and exact measures for cooking basmati rice in pressure cooker which till now I am following and getting great results.If anyone tells I cook the perfect grain separated basmati rice I owe all the appreciations to her.Thank you so much Raji, you are always my cooking guru!! :)

I am no expert just giving the method and tips that I've experienced. I have given both the methods including pressure cooker and pot method.

Check out Fried Rice and Pulao Recipes that I've posted already.

Fried Rice Recipes Pulao Recipes
Mushroom Fried Rice  Veg Pulao
Veg Fried Rice  Sweet Corn Pulao
Paneer Fried Rice  Paneer Pulao
Egg Fried Rice  Peas Pulao
Sprouts Fried Rice  Kashmiri Pulao
Veg Fried Rice Lunchbox  Tawa Pulao
Veg Fried Rice Version 2  Chana Pulao

How to cook basmati rice

How to cook basmati rice - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 15 mins | Serves : 2
Recipe Category: Main | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Water - 1.5 cups to 2 cups (Check my notes)

Method 1:

  1. Take basmati rice in a bowl , rinse it well then add water and soak it for atleast 30-45mins.
    How to cook basmati rice in pressure cooker - Step1
  2. Drain water and add  basmati rice to pressure cooker.I soaked it for around 40mins so added 1 and 1/2 cups water.
    How to cook basmati rice in pressure cooker - Step2
  3. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles , for first one whistle you can cook in medium flame then lower in low medium and give 3 more whistles.Switch off.Let the pressure completely release by itself.Then open and set aside for 5-10mins.
    How to cook basmati rice in pressure cooker - Step3
  4. Fluff it with fork.If you are planning to  make fried rice then add a  tsp of olive oil and fluff it up.
    How to cook basmati rice in pressure cooker - Step4

Method 2:

  1. Boil 4 cups of water for 1 cup of rice.Once it starts boiling vigorously, add the rice(rinse it well and then add).I cooked it for pulao so added all the whole spices like cinnamon,cardamom,cloves and bayleaf along with it.If you prefer you can add required salt too.Simmer the rice on a low flame uncovered.
    How to cook basmati rice - Step1
  2. Cook till soft yet grains separated.Drain water immediately and spread the rice it in a plate and let ti cool down.Then fluff it up.
    How to cook basmati rice - Step2
My Notes:
  • I usually use pressure cooker method for making fried rice and the pot method for making pulao or jeera rice.As I feel the grains easily break when the pot method is used so I wouldnt recommend it for fried rice but still its your preference.
  • If you are soaking for just 15-20mins then add 2 cups of water.If you are soaking for 30mins and more add 1.5 cups.
  • Soaking for more times yields softer rice and gives perfect grain separated rice.
  • I use India Gate or attimes buy Double Deer when India gate is out of stock.
  • While fluffing fluff it up with a fork carefully , don't mash the rice.
  • I use the same measures and method for cooking biryani too except for non-veg biryani.
How to cook basmati rice for fried rice and pulao

Written by: SHARMILEE J


  1. Hi Sharmi, Nice and useful post. In notes point 2, you have mentioned 2 cups for soaking for 15-20 mins as well as 30 mins and above. So is it 2 cups for any soaking time? Can you pls clarify?

    1. That was a typo...have corrected it now......

  2. Very useful hints for cooking basmati rice. Thank you.

  3. And now you are really cooking it perfect than me :)

  4. grate idea sharmi....thanks for sharing

  5. Nice post Sharmi! Very useful info , luv the notes part where you hint!

  6. Such an useful post.. Can u pls tell me y do u insist on using olive oil and not just sunflower oil..

    1. You can even use sunflower oil, I use olive oil for fried rice so used it.....

  7. i was searching for this information.. Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Will 4 cups of rice require 3 to 4 whistles in a pressure cooker? Kindly let me knw.

    1. I have tried with 3 cups and yes its the same only...but depends on ur pressure cooker too...

  9. Hi sharmi very useful post indeed thanks a many liters pressure cooker is this one that you have put in this post....what brand

    1. This is pressure pan, prestige 3 liters

  10. Worked like a charm, fluffy rice and no slop. One cup rice, 1.5 cups water, 1 medium whistle, 2 low whistles and a 5 minute rest. Used an Indian Prestige cooker, aluminum (started off on high to get the column of steam then turned it down after sticking on the stopper.)


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