The infamous Instant Pot — you either love it or hate it! Regardless of your feelings, one thing is certain: it cooks rice perfectly!
Forget mushy, water rice. And we definitely don’t want crunchy, undercooked rice. No — today we’re learning how to make light, soft, tender basmati rice in an Instant Pot, and (bonus!) it’s quicker than a stove top too. Yes, even factoring in the time it takes to come up to pressure!
What Is Basmati Rice?
Basmati is a thin, long-grain rice. It’s more floral than traditional white rice; it’s ‘fragrance’ is easily recognizable when cooked. It is available as white rice or brown rice.
Given the long, thin nature of basmati, it is the perfect rice choice for saucy dishes.
If you love Indian food as much as we do, you are already familiar with basmati. It’s the well loved rice side dish served alongside curries and used in biryani. (Great, now I’m hungry…)
You’ll notice below that the basmati rice is not bright white in color. Basmati rice is traditionally aged and dried longer than other rices, sometimes for years, giving it a more light golden color. Even cooked, the rice retains this hue.
- Basmati rice – look for a brand that sells basmati in a cloth bag labeled “extra long grain”
- Unsalted butter
You can substitute oil or ghee for butter.
For this recipe, we’re making basmati rice in an Instant Pot. Perfectly light and tender every single time!
Note: the Instant Pot takes about 6-8 minutes to pressurize before cook time begins.
How To Cook Basmati Rice
- Place rice in a sieve or fine mesh strainer, then rinse under cool water until water runs clear, about 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer water to the bowl of an Instant Pot, then add water and butter (or oil or ghee, if using).
- Secure lid, ensure the valve is closed, then cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Allow natural release for 5 minutes, then manually release remaining pressure by opening the valve.
- Fluff basmati rice with a fork, then serve. Rice should be soft.
You’ll know the rice is properly cooked when individual grains are separated and tender, but are not sticking together. There should not be any remaining water.
Instructions for Using a Rice Cooker
If using a rice cooker instead, place rinsed rice in the bowl of a rice cooker, then cover with water to appropriate level.
Close lid, select either ‘long grain’ or ‘mixed’ or ‘quick’ from the menu, then hit start.
When rice is finished, open lid, fluff with a rice spoon or fork, then serve.
Tips For The Best Basmati Rice
- Make sure to rinse the rice in cool water before cooking! This takes about 2-3 minutes, or until the water runs clear. No need to soak basmati rice any longer than this.
- Measure the water! Don’t just eye ball it. Rice cooks best when proper rice to water ratio is used.
- Allow to cool slightly before fluffing with a fork. This is achieve through the natural release (5 min) wait time before using manual release. Once you open the Instant Pot, you’re good to go!
- Store cooked basmati rice in an airtight, sealed container in a refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To reheat cooked basmati: place rice in a microwave safe container, then add a large splash of water. Reheat for 1-2 minutes on high, then fluff with a fork and serve immediately.
Our Favorite Recipes to Serve with Basmati Rice
While not Indian, we love to serve this red curry with scallops and string beans with basmati rice too!
Try serving instant pot basmati rice with peas and carrots mixed in or sprinkled with toasted cumin seeds or saffron for an elevated flavor!
Whatever you serve with it, we think you’ll agree that cooking rice in an Instant Pot is a foolproof way to ensure even cooking, and a soft, fluffy finished product every single time.
If you make Instant Pot Basmati Rice, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below.
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For more quick recipes, check out the following:
- Garlic confit
- Quick pickled red onions
- Bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese
- Sicilian cauliflower
- Roasted chickpeas
Instant Pot Basmati Rice
- Instant Pot pressure cooker
- Strainer or fine mesh sieve
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Place basmati rice in a strainer or fine mesh sieve. Rinse rice under cool water for 1-2 minutes, until water runs clear.
- Add rice, 1 ¼ cup water, and butter to the bowl of an Instant Pot. Close the lid, seal the valve, then cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Allow 5 minutes of natural release, then manually release remaining pressure by pushing the valve to open. Fluff rice with a fork, then serve immediately.
- To reheat: add a large splash of water to cooled rice, then microwave ~1-2 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.