Perfect Instant Pot Basmati Rice

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I love making basmati rice in the Instant Pot because it comes out perfect every time.

How to cook basmati rice in an Instant Pot

This recipe for perfect instant pot basmati rice is straight from my cookbook, Indian Food Under Pressure.

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.

Suggested

aahu-barah-basmati

This is my favorite basmati rice to use when making plain rice or for biryani. The grains are exceptionally long and the rice is very fragrant.

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

Because it’s delicious! Basmati rice is 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).

Tips for Making Basmati Rice:

  • 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.
How to cook basmati rice in an Instant Pot

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.

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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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Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup basmati rice soaked for 15-30 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon oil of choice
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt adjust to taste

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

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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Comments

  1. Vijaya Kotur says

    Hi Ashley,
    I have been following your recipes on Facebook and very new to Instant pot. Still experimenting! Cooking rice – Trial and error experimentation is ongoing! I like my rice very fluffy and grains to be separate than soft and podgy! I’ll try yours using 1:1 ratio – it might help. Does the time vary according to the quantity of rice? Or will 6 mins on high pressure will do?
    Thanks
    Vijaya

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Hi Vijaya, the time won’t vary according to the quantity of rice – so if you make 2 cups of rice (with 2 cups water), you’ll keep the cook time at 6 minutes. However, I have found that some brands of rice are better with 1 minute less or 1 minute more. You may find that you need to adjust the time to get the rice just as you prefer it. I would start with my recipe though as that seems to work well with a lot of brands.

  2. Kent says

    5 stars
    Thank you for this Ashley – it came out perfectly. Can you help me prepare some aged parboiled basmati rice? I didn’t realize it was parboiled and cooked it like this and it was very undercooked and it tasted like someone’s basement. I asked the Indian store if I could exchange it and they understandably said no but that I just needed to cook it “properly”. I asked for directions and he shrugged. 🙂 I’m pretty sure this is not going to turn out like Green Eggs and Ham but I hate to think of wasting this. The brand is Zebra and it is Super Basmati. I wrote the company to ask for help and no response.
    Thank you for the save!

  3. Noor says

    5 stars
    Since I’ve started following your recipes.. (more than a year) especially Basmati Rice.. it’s like magic! No watching over, no burnt.. etc.

    You’re my go to my Recipe hunt!! Your recipes are easier, very well explained, and it turns out great! Love it! Thank you 🙏🏼

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