How to cook FLUFFY basmati rice, the way they do in India! With a Middle Eastern version too! Easy, flavorful and oh soooooooo fluffy and light! Naturally gluten-free and vegan adaptable.
While in India, one simple thing I fell in love with was the basmati rice. So light, so fluffy and so full of flavor, I couldn’t believe that something so basic as cooking rice, had escaped me for so long! While staying in a little village outside of Jaipur, I discovered the secret of cooking the fluffiest basmati rice from our cook at a beautiful homestay.
He showed us that boiling the rice in salted water like you would pasta, then draining it, allowed most of the starch to be removed from the rice and this was the secret.
In the past, I would just rinse the rice to remove the starch, but this simple technique removes more starch and makes the whole process much faster and easier, not having to measure the water as precisely.
Simply boil the rice in ample pot of salted water, then drain. Never struggle again with measuring the right amount of water to add again.
To season the rice the Indian way, heat ghee (or olive oil, but ghee really does have better flavor) and toss in cumin seeds, mustard seeds and optional curry leaves ( or bay leaves), toasting all about 30 seconds. This is called the “tempering oil”, which often is used over other Indian dishes as well, like Dal or Khichadi, and gives the rice such amazing flavor!
Pour the flavorful tempering oil over the fluffy basmati rice and serve immediately.
So simple and yet full of amazing flavor.
Rice need never be boring again!
So excited to share more Indian recipes with you!
Hope you are having a beautiful week!
How to Cook the Fluffy Basmati Rice!
How to cook the fluffiest BASMATI RICE, the way they do in India (with a Middle Eastern Version). Flavorful light and fluffy with the most flavorful “tempering oil”.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups 1x
- Category: side dish, grain,
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Indian
- 7–8 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup basmati rice
Indian Tempering Oil:
- 2–3 tablespoons ghee (or sub olive oil)
- ½– 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½– 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2– 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- pinch salt
- 8– 10 curry leaves ( optional, or use 2–3 bay leaves)
Middle Eastern Version:
Bring water and salt to a boil. Add rice and simmer at a low boil, uncovered over medium heat until rice is tender, 7- 10 minutes. Drain, and let stand over a strainer for 5 minutes.
For Indian Tempering oil: Heat ghee over medium heat. Add seeds, salt and leaves, and saute until seeds begin to crackle- about 30-60 seconds. Turn heat off.
Place rice in a serving dish and pour tempering oil over top. Serve immediately!
To make Middle Eastern Version, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the smashed garlic clove and swirl until fragrant, add cumin and coriander seeds and a couple bay leaves. Pour the tempered oil over the rice ( discarding garlic) and garnish with some torn parsley leaves and optional light sprinkling of sumac or lemon zest.
The rice is best, made right before serving. Sometimes I’ll have the pot of salted boiling water all ready to go, as well as the tempering oil. Then all I have to do is boil the rice right before dinner time.
If doubling the recipe, you probably only need 10-12 cups water.
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