Perfect Instant Pot Basmati Rice


I love making basmati rice in the Instant Pot because it comes out perfect every time. This recipe for perfect basmati rice is straight from my cookbook, Indian Food Under Pressure.

How to cook basmati rice in an Instant Pot

I wanted to share this recipe for basmati rice on my blog because it seems like a lot of people have trouble making basmati rice in their Instant Pot. I’m basing this off of the posts that I see asked in my Instant Pot for Indian Food Facebook group.

There are a few things you need to know in order to make a good pot of basmati rice in an electric pressure cooker. As a food blogger, it’s kind of funny to me that I’ve had to test this simple recipe so many times – but trust me, this really is the best way to make rice. So please follow my method – there are only a few steps but each step really matters.

Why Make Basmati Rice? And What is Perfect Basmati Rice?

Because it’s delicious! Basmati rice is an aromatic long grain rice that has a slightly nutty flavor to it. It’s delicious alongside Indian food – especially north Indian dishes like butter chicken, keema or dal makhani. But really, you can serve basmati rice with any of my Indian recipes.

How can you tell when basmati rice is cooked properly? You can tell when basmati rice is cooked properly because the grains are separate and don’t stick together. The texture of the rice should be soft and fluffy – not watery or mushy.

Do I need to Soak Basmati Rice before Cooking?

My answer to this is YES. Briefly soaking the rice makes a BIG difference for two reasons.

  1. Soaking the rice in water allows the fragile grains of rice to absorb a bit of water which in turn helps keep the grains soft and “bendable” if you will.
  2. Soaking the rice helps reduce some of the starch which can make the rice sticky. When it comes to basmati rice, you do not want it to be sticky or mushy.

To sum it up – by soaking rice you’ll be less likely to have broken grains (thanks to the water absorption) and you’ll be more likely to have separate grains (thanks to reduced starch).

A few more tips:

  • Don’t forget the cooking fat. You can use whatever fat you’d like – I typically use oil or ghee. It helps to keep the grains separate.
  • Don’t mess with the ratio! I know 1 cup water might not seem like enough but cooking rice is different in an Instant Pot versus the stovetop. Over the stovetop, water evaporates but in an Instant Pot it does not.
  • When the rice is done make sure to wait 10 minutes, then turn the valve to release any remaining pressure. By waiting 10 minutes, you’ve given the rice enough time to settle down and by releasing any remaining pressure after 10 minutes, you’re allowing a teeny bit of water to escape in the form of steam which I think actually helps prevent the rice from becoming mushy at the bottom.

What Type of Basmati Rice to Use?

There are many different varieties of basmati rice as well as different brands out there and while I have tested several different brands using this method, the fact is that there’s no way to test them all. You may have to adjust the cooking time according to the brand you use. Please leave a comment letting me know what brand of rice you used and how this dish turned out for you!

I have tried and tested several brands and this recipe always works for me. I prefer to make rice using two brands: organic basmati rice from Trader Joe’s (mainly because it’s organic and not necessarily for the flavor) or my family’s all-time favorite rice: Aahu Barah Basmati Rice which I buy either on amazon or at an Indian grocery store if I can find the brand locally. They are not a blog sponsor – I’m just a huge fan of their rice. It is honestly the best basmati rice I’ve had – and it’s kind of weird to say that out loud because who has a favorite brand of basmati rice? But once you try it, you’ll understand why. It’s just different from other varieties of basmati rice.


How to cook basmati rice in an Instant Pot

The method for cooking rice below works perfectly every time. I can’t wait to hear how this recipe for basmati rice works out for you! Look at those beautiful fragrant grains just waiting to be served alongside a delicious curry.

How to cook basmati rice in an Instant Pot

Perfect Instant Pot Basmati Rice

How to cook basmati rice in an Instant Pot

Perfect Instant Pot Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is aromatic long grain rice that has a slightly nutty flavor to it. You can tell when this type of rice is cooked properly because the grains don’t stick together. Briefly soaking the rice in cold water allows the rice to absorb some water, which helps keep it soft and reduces starch, which can make it sticky.
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  • 1 cup basmati rice soaked for 15-30 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon oil of choice
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste


  • Soak the basmati rice in cold water for 15-30 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  • Press the sauté button and allow the pot to heat up for a minute. Then add the oil and swirl it around the pot. This will help ensure that the rice doesn’t stick. Add the rice, water and salt to the pot and mix well.
  • Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 6 minutes at high pressure.
  • Naturally release pressure for 10 minutes. Open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.


There are several types of basmati rice and so you may have to adjust the time according to the brand you use. I typically use organic basmati rice or Aahu Barah basmati rice (our favorite!) and the method below results in perfectly cooked rice.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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How to cook basmati rice in an Instant Pot

Looking for more delicious Indian Instant Pot recipes?  Check out my cookbook Indian Food Under Pressure!

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Find out more about my cookbooks Indian Food Under Pressure and South Asian Persuasion.

About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Gore says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley. I’m thinking of adding a cup of frozen peas or frozen mixed veg to the rice when it cooks. Do you think I’d need to add extra water, or will there be enough in there to steam them?

  2. Shigufta says

    Hi just wanted to check when you say 1 cup rice you are using 1 measuring cup for the rice but 1 cup water is the measure cup you get with your IP ? Or the cup you have used to measure the rice ?

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