How to cook perfect basmati rice on the stove

Hey friend! So you want to know how to cook perfect basmati rice on the stove? You are at the right place. I will show you how easy it is to cook rice without a rice cooker, without sticking, and without draining. Keep reading and don’t forget to pin it.

Is rice gluten-free?

I hear this question all the time. Is rice gluten-free? The answer to this question is simple, all-natural forms of rice, whether it’s white, brown, or wild rice, are gluten-free. Rice is a great option for people who are sensitive or allergic to gluten. If you have coeliac disease or an autoimmune disease triggered by gluten you are absolutely safe to eat rice.

Is basmati rice good for you?

This topic has been controversial for some time now and will depend a lot on who you ask. There is a big trend currently that cuts out all kinds of carbohydrates. Diets like Paleo and Keto minimise or eliminate grains completely. I will never support any diet that completely eliminates one of the major macronutrients unless it is recommended to you by your health professional.

Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet because glucose is the main source of energy for our brain. However if you are trying to lose weight or are pre-diabetic you might want to reduce the amount of simple carbs, such as white rice and switch to the complex carbs, such as brown or wild rice for a while.

Saying all that, basmati rice is high in micronutrients such as:

  • Folate (24% of the Daily Value (DV))
  • Thiamine (22% of the DV)
  • Selenium (22% of the DV)
  • Niacin (15% of the DV)
  • Copper (12% of the DV)
  • Iron (11% of the DV) and
  • Vitamin B6 (9% of the DV).

As you can see basmati rice can absolutely be part of a healthy family diet.

basmati rice served with balinese chicken and cucumber salad

Ok, now let’s talk about how to cook perfect basmati rice on the stove.

I promised you that cooking rice is easy. But first things first. You want to make sure your rice is clean. I can’t believe it but many years ago I did not wash my rice, if it all, I rinsed it quickly and that was it. Rice has to be washed. First of all, depending on the origin it can simply be quite dirty. You will see how murky the water is when you wash it. Secondly, by washing the rice you remove the surface starch which will minimise the sticking of the rice and make it fluffy and airy. Some people claim even that unwashed rice has a bad smell. So make sure you wash your rice.

How to wash rice?

I wash rice by putting it in a mesh colander and wash it for a minute or two under running water gently rubbing it with my hand. I found this method to be the fastest and most efficient.

washing rice in a mesh colander

What is the perfect basmati rice and water ratio?

Now that you have washed your rice, place it in a medium-size saucepan and add water. The ratio for perfect fluffy basmati rice is 1 to 2. One cup of rice – two cups of cold water. One cup is usually enough for our family of four. My kids are 5 and 10, to give you an idea.

To salt or not salt the rice? It is totally up to you. If you serve rice with some spicy food, like my …. for example, you want your rice to be quite plain. But if you like the rice a bit salty go ahead and add some good quality salt.

Now bring the rice to the boil and lower the heat to medium-low, so that the rice still boils a little. Watch it closely. Once the water reaches the same level as the rice, IMMEDIATELY lower the heat down to the minimum and cover the saucepan with a tight lid.

how to cook perfect basmati rice on the stove

Set your timer for 10 minutes and let the rice simmer. After ten minutes turn off the heat and take the rice from the hot plate. DO NOT OPEN the lid. Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Now it is time to serve the yummiest and fluffiest rice of all times. Enjoy!

how to cook perfect basmati rice on the stove

Cook with coconut milk.

If you would like to add a little more taste to the rice try cooking the rice in coconut milk. I especially like the coconut rice in my Balinese chicken. I found the ratio 1 cup of rice, 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of coconut milk is a perfect combination.

Cook with chicken stock

My personal favorite is to cook rice in broth. You can use chicken, lamb, beef, or vegetable stock. 2 cups of broth to 1 cup of rice. I love rice this way so much because it tastes absolutely delicious and cooked with broth is packed with nutrients from the broth. Delicious and nourishing, my kind of dish.

As you can see cooking basmati rice to perfection every time is no science.

What to serve it with:

Pan-Fried Chicken Drumsticks (simple recipe)

Easy garlic lemon chicken dinner

Baingan Bharta – Indian Roasted Eggplant

Here is step by step how to cook perfect basmati rice on the stove:

how to cook perfect basmati rice on the stove

How to cook perfect basmati rice on the stove

Elena Elliott
Find out how to cook basmati rice on the stove. No draining, no sticking, or burning. Just fluffy, airy rice every time. Don’t forget to pin it!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course dinner
Cuisine asian
Servings 4 serves


  • 1 cup basmati rice thoroughly washed (see post above)
  • 2 cups of water
  • pinch of salt


  • Wash the rice in a mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. Transfer the rice into a medium-sized saucepan.
  • Add water and a pinch of salt if using. For 1 cup of rice, you will need 2 cups of water
  • Bring water to the boil and lower the heat to medium-low so that water continues to bubble gently. Watch the rice closely.
  • Once the water has leveled with rice, IMMEDIATELY lower the heat to a minimum, cover the saucepan with a tight lid and let the rice simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Once 10 minutes are over DO NOT OPEN THE RICE. Take the saucepan from the heat and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Time to enjoy the perfect basmati rice!
Keyword basmati rice, how to cook rice, perfect basmati rice
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Had enough rice? Learn how to cook buckwheat.

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