5 Common Mistakes People Make When Cooking Basmati Rice


Basmati rice is a type of long-grain rice that is known for its fragrance and taste. Basmati derives its name from the Hindi words “bas,” which means “aroma”, and “mati,” which means “full of,” resulting in the meaning “full of aroma.” True to its name, Basmati is extremely aromatic and has a light nutty flavor when cooked. It is primarily grown in the north of India and Pakistan.

While you can easily buy Basmati rice at the nearest store, it can be tricky to cook, especially if you are not familiar with it. In this article, we reveal the common mistakes that people make when cooking Basmati rice and what you should do to avoid them.

Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Basmati Rice

Basmati rice stands out among other rice varieties thanks to its distinct fragrance and taste. Cook it perfectly and you may never want to eat any other kind of rice anymore.

However, cooking the perfect batch of Basmati rice is something that a lot of people still struggle to do. Let’s take a look at the most common mishaps one can make when cooking Basmati rice and how you can make sure you won’t commit any of them.

Not Washing the Rice

Just like any other rice grain, Basmati rice needs to be rinsed properly. Rice grains come with a lot of starch and when there is too much starch present, cooked rice may end up sticky and mushy.

Basmati rice should always be soft and fluffy when cooked, not gloopy and mushy. To avoid this, you have to wash Basmati rice a couple of times until the water runs clear.

Not Soaking the Rice

When it comes to Basmati rice, the most important part of preparing it before cooking is soaking the grains. Most Basmati rice disasters happen because a lot of people skip this step. Soaking Basmati rice allows the grains to absorb enough water, helping them expand. Soaking also retains most of the flavor and texture of the grain.

Furthermore, this step also shortens the cooking time. After rinsing your grains, place the rice in a bowl and add water just enough to cover the grain. Soak for about 15 to 30 minutes.

Not Using the Correct Rice-to-Water Ratio

One of the most important aspects when cooking rice is the amount of water you need, and Basmati rice is no different. You need to put the correct amount of water in order to cook Basmati rice. In general, the rice-to-water ratio is 1:1 but the amount of water can be increased or decreased depending on the size and hardness of the grains.

As Basmati rice has less starch than other East Asian rice varieties, it needs a little less water. If you are cooking one cup of Basmati rice, you only need 1 1/2 cups of water. If you’re cooking 2 cups, use 2 1/2 cups of water, and so on.

Not Seasoning the Rice

A lot of dishes benefit from the addition of simple seasoning, and so does Basmati rice. Seasoning the rice with salt and adding a splash of oil can help lock in the water and seal in the flavor and aroma of the grains. The oil also helps in keeping the rice grains separate and fluffy.

You can use regular oil or butter but for a more authentic Indian-style Basmati recipe, you can use ghee.

Not Using Quality Basmati Rice

There can be times when you’ve done all the steps to cook the perfect Basmati rice but it can still turn out bad. One thing that many individuals overlook is their choice of Basmati rice. If you want the best results, you should only buy Basmati rice brands that come from Asia, India, and the Middle East.

Ensuring that you’re buying a trusted, quality brand means you’ll be cooking authentic Basmati rice and eating the most perfect bowl.

What to Serve with Basmati Rice?

Basmati rice is a scrumptious side dish that pairs well with a lot of meals. You can eat it on its own as a flavorful yellow rice, made with saffron or turmeric. You can also make Indian Cumin Fried Rice with it.

Basmati rice is also eaten with great dishes such as chicken tikka masala, vegetable curry, chicken coconut stew, and so much more. Any chicken, beef, or fish recipe that is eaten with Basmati rice will surely level up your weekly dinners.

Final Note

Making the perfect bowl of Basmati rice takes a bit of practice to master. However, once you take note of the common mistakes when cooking Basmati rice and take the necessary steps to correct them, you will get restaurant-quality rice that even professional chefs will be proud of. Try it out!