Making rice can be tricky, and I made my first pot of rice even before I was 10 years old. I’ve used rice cookers and saucepans to make rice; honestly, this is the most failproof way.
Basmati is versatile, and this traditional stovetop basmati rice recipe is savory. However, if you’re craving a sweet treat, try this arroz con leche Colombiano recipe that turns jasmine rice into a sweet, delicious, velvety, and creamy dessert.
Table of Contents
4 Simple Ingredients
- Basmati Rice (Trader Joe’s has delicious organic basmati rice)
- Oil (I love coconut in my recipe)
- Salt (other spices, optional) I occasionally add onion salt.
NOTE: All the quantities and details are below.
What is Basmati Rice?
Basmati rice is an aromatic long slender grain primarily grown in India, Pakistan, in the Indian subcontinent. Generally, basmati rice requires a specific water ratio to keep it separate and fluffy.
You can make this stovetop basmati rice or make the recipe using a rice cooker.
Popular Rice Recipes
Here are some variations to try.
Spiced Stovetop Basmati Rice
Add turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin to make a delicious fragrant rice dish perfectly paired with stews or veggies.
Chimichurri Basmati Rice
Chimichurri rice is a rice dish that is flavored with chimichurri sauce.
Chimichurri is a famous sauce in Argentina made from parsley, garlic cloves, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and red pepper flakes or red chili peppers. The sauce is typically used as a condiment for grilled meats, and it’s delicious when mixed with white basmati rice.
Try this authentic chimichurri recipe.
Lemon Basmati Rice or Copycat Chipotle Cilantro
Add some fresh lemon juice and zest to the rice while cooking to give it a tangy flavor. Or try to add cilantro and lemon juice to turn this stovetop basmati rice into a copycat chipotle cilantro rice.
What is the ratio of water to basmati rice?
The perfect ratio is 1.5 cups of water to every cup of rice. If you feel like you’ve added too much water, cook without the lid on medium heat until the water evaporates then reduce to low heat and continue to cook without a lid.
Do I need to rinse Basmati Rice?
Yes, rinse the rice until the water is almost clear. It takes 3-4 rinses. Make it easy by using a mesh strainer and bowl. Rinsing the rice removes starch, resulting in a fluffy recipe.
Why is my basmati rice always sticky?
There may be a few reasons why the rice is sticky.
- Too much water.
- The heat was too low.
- It was on the heat and cook for too long.
Your control over the recipe makes this stovetop basmati rice recipe failproof. For example, if you have added too much water, you can increase the heat or remove some water to prevent it from becoming mushy stovetop basmati rice.
Top Tips for the easiest stovetop basmati rice
Quality of the Basmati Rice
The quality of the basmati rice is crucial for a great final result. Choosing excellent quality basmati rice ensures the grain is fluffy and decadent.
Rinse the Rice
Rinse the rice thoroughly to remove the excess starch to prevent the grains from sticking together.
Basmati Rice to Water Ratio
The right amount of water in this stovetop basmati rice recipe will ensure the rice is perfectly cooked. For every cup of rice, add 1.5 cups of water.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Basmati and jasmine rice are both delicious. Jasmine rice is very similar to basmati and milder than basmati.
If you’re in the mood for a little onion or garlic in your rice, add a teaspoon of granulated rice or onion before adding rice to the water.
I also love onion salt and will traditionally cut the salt in this recipe for onion salt.
Here’s another great way to add flavor to this rice recipe. Cut scallions or green onions, slice them in half, and add them to the rice when you first add them to the water. Before serving, remove the scallions/green onions from the rice.
Stovetop basmati rice tastes delicious with coconut oul, but you can use avocado oil. While coconut oil gives this recipe a mild coconut flavor, it’s a delicious combination. I cook with coconut oil from Trader Joe’s. It’s simple to find perfect when you’re on a budget.
Easy Basmati Rice Instructions in less than 20 minutes
- Pour the water into a saucepan, and add the salt and oil. Set it on the stovetop on medium heat.
- Rinse the rice using a fine mesh strainer until the water goes from a cloudy white to clear. Note – the water will never run fully clear, but you want it to be clearer rather than cloudy.
- Once the water is boiling, carefully add the rice to the pot. Stir once or twice using a large spoon.
- When the water evaporates, reduce the heat to the lowest setting on your stovetop and allow it to continue cooking for 5 minutes, then cover.
- Remove from the heat 10 minutes later, and voila! Buen provecho!
Storage and Reheating
Once your stovetop basmati rice has cooled down, store the entire pan in the refrigerator. Honestly, no need to pour it into another container. It saves time and makes life easier.
Store the rice in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I have frozen rice, but just for a day, and wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re food prepping.
When reheating this basmati rice or jasmine rice, place the pan or pot on the stovetop and reheat for a few minutes. If you’re not reheating all the leftover rice, then reheat the rice in a pan for a few minutes on low to medium heat.
Stovetop Basmati Rice
- 1 Saucepan
- 1 Large Spoon
- 3 cups Rice
- 4.5 cups Filtered Water
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Onion Salt
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- Step 1Heat the water in the saucepan or pot and add the salt, onion salt, and coconut oil (or oil of your choice) on medium heat.Prep:While the water is on the stovetop, rinse the rice 3-4 times until the water runs somewhat clear. Water will not run completely clear. Drain the rice.
- Step 2Once the water boils, add the rice and stir. Every stovetop is a bit different. If you feel the medium heat will burn the rice, reduce the heat slightly. It's vital to ensure the stovetop is hot enough to allow water to evaporate quickly.
- Step 3Keep the saucepan or pot uncovered until the water evaporates, then reduce to low heat. After 5 minutes, place the lid on and cook for 10 minutes or so. Fluff the rice with a fork and have a quick taste test. If the grains are still somewhat hard, place the lid on and cook on low heat for a few more minutes.