Basic Basmati Rice (Absorption Method)

Photo by: Sarah Shatz

by Whole Foods Market

over 2 years ago

There are two basic methods for cooking basmati: absorption and boiling. This recipe outlines the first, more familiar, method. (For the boiling method go to the recipe for Basic Basmati Rice (Boiling Method)). Either way, basmati rice should always be washed in several changes of water before cooking (some say to change the water as many as 9 times). After washing, traditionalists insist that you soak rice to allow the grains to “relax” before cooking so they will expand to maximum length and not break when cooked. Many cooks skip the soaking for most everyday meals, unless using older rice which tends to be brittle and soaking can help prevent breaking. Be sure to drain the rice thoroughly after washing (and/or soaking) or you'll be using more water in cooking than you intended.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  1. Place rice in large bowl and fill with cool water. Swish with your hand, dump into a fine mesh strainer, and repeat several times until the water runs clear. Drain and shake thoroughly to dry.
  2. If planning to soak the rice, put in small pot, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 30 minutes. Drain and shake thoroughly to dry. If not soaking, proceed to step 3.
  3. Combine rice and the 1 3/4 cup water in a medium, lidded saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir gently, and cover tightly. Lower heat and simmer gently until the water is completely absorbed and the rice is tender, about 12 minutes (it's okay to lift the lid to make sure the rice is fully cooked and the water is absorbed—just replace the lid quickly). Remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, undisturbed with the lid on, for at least 5 minutes and for as long as 30 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the rice gently with a fork, and serve.

Nutrition Info:


  • 675 calories
  • 1g total fat
  • 0g saturated fat
  • 0mg cholesterol
  • 26mg sodium
  • 148g carbohydrate (2g dietary fiber, 0g sugar)
  • 13g protein
2 Comments Add a Comment
  • S2

    Susan_P says: Constanza, when you squeeze a grain of the cooked rice, if should give, but it should not be mushy. Also, the granules should keep their shape and not stick together. If resting the rice for 10 minutes produces those results, you're good to go. Otherwise, you'll want to shorten the rest time. You can certainly add salt. However, if you're pairing the rice with a heavily spiced dish, you may not need it. Cheers,Susan

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »
  • Conthanksgiving08

    Constanza says: Susan, Is 12 minutes the same for soaked and unsoaked rice? I give my unsoaked rice 20 minutes, then turn it off and let it rest 10 more minutes. Do you think I may be overcooking it? Also, do you not add salt to the water?

    over 2 years ago Reply to this »

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