How to cook perfectly FLUFFY Indian Basmati Rice, just like they do in India! Finished with a flavorful tempering oil this rice is nothing short of delicious! Fast, easy and vegan-adaptable. Video!
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 that 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.
Watch how to cook Indian Basmati Rice | 60-second video
How to make the BEST Indian Basmati Rice
- Simply boil the rice in an ample pot of salted water, like you would pasta, then drain. Never struggle again with measuring the right amount of water to add again.
- Strain, and let the rice sit in the strainer 5 minutes, then fluff!
- Top with the Tempering Oil!
What is Tempering oil?
Tempering oil, called Tadka, is made by sizzling whole spices in ghee, to unlock and enhance their flavor and fragrance. It can be used in the initial stages of cooking to build flavor in Indian dishes, or used to finish a dish, spooning it overtop adding a beautiful aroma.
The types of spices will vary, depending on the region in India. The spices may also be medicinal. For example, black mustard seeds are often added to dal- to help with the digestion of legumes.
Today we are using tempering oil as a finishing oil.
The curry leaves will elevate this– and I encourage you to seek them out. Often they can be found at Asian markets and when I find them either fresh or frozen, I make a point of buying extra and freezing, so to always have them on hand.
Spoon the flavorful tempering oil over the fluffy basmati rice and serve immediately. Inhale the beautiful aroma!
So simple and yet full of amazing flavor.
Basmati Rice need never be boring again!
More Indian Recipes you may like:
- Golden Cauliflower Dal w/ Red Lentils, Coconut and Spinach
- Emerald Dal
- Roasted Butternut Tikka Masala
- Aloo Gobi (Indian-Spiced Potatoes & Cauliflower)
- Comforting Lentil Dal with Sweet Potatoes
- Chana Masala (Instant Pot or Stovetop)
Hope you are having a beautiful week!
How to cook the fluffiest Indian Basmati Rice the way they do in India Flavorful light and fluffy with the most flavorful “tempering oil”. Middle Eastern version included below.
- 7–8 cups water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup basmati rice
Indian Tempering Oil:
- 2–3 tablespoons ghee (or sub coconut oil)
- ½– 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½– 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2– 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- pinch salt
- 8– 10 curry leaves ( 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 an 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.
Keywords: how to cook rice, how to cook basmati rice, how to make rice fluffy, basmati rice recipes, indian basmati rice, hindu basmati rice,