If you haven’t made rice in the Instant Pot, what are you even doing? I’m just kidding, but we do highly recommend this method, especially for long-grain rice like basmati which can be hard to make. With this Basmati Rice Instant Pot, there is no worrying about water boiling over, just set it and (nearly) forget it while you make the rest of dinner!
I am a lifelong water boiler overer (it’s a word - look it up, ok maybe don’t). What I mean is I literally cannot make rice on the stove because it boils over one hundred percent of the time without fail.
My mom used to tell me in college “why don’t you make rice, it’s the easiest”, to which I would respond “um, no it is not the easiest, nor even remotely easy”. Ah, if only I had had an Instant Pot back then!
I discovered making rice in the Instant Pot a couple of years ago and never looked back. I can literally pour two ingredients into a pot, close the lid, and MOVE ON WITH MY DAY! Now a days, we love making basmati rice to enjoy with everything, sardines if you’re Dan (I don’t even know), salmon if you are Mika.
But, I learned that it can be a little tricky to make basmati rice in the Instant Pot because the longer grains are more susceptible to drying out. Don’t fear though, with this post you will making the perfect rice in no time and probably have the recipe memorized because it is that easy!
And since rice makes the best side dish, you probably want something to enjoy it with! Try it in our Salmon Buddha Bowls, Thai Bowls, or our BBQ Pulled Chicken (another one of our Instant Pot Recipes!).
Ingredients and Substitutions
All substitutions are a 1:1 substitute unless otherwise noted
Basmati Rice: We use white basmati rice, which is in the long grain category. It is commonly grown in Pakistan and India. For a long grain rice, it works great in an Instant Pot because it has minimal starch. This is unlike Jasmine rice, which has a lot of starch causing it to stick to itself.
Substitutions: Any white rice can be made using this method!
Water: When cooking in the Instant Pot, you NEED water! Pressure cookers rely on building pressure inside the container by using the steam created. Plus, you need some amount of water to make rice in general to hydrate and cook it.
Substitutions: Chicken stock, beef stock, vegetable stock, tomato juice, or even coconut water can be used to make this rice and will add some flavor!
How to Make this - Step by Step
Step one: Pour the rice, water, and salt into the Instant Pot. Stir gently to combine. No need to rinse!
Step two: Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure the pressure release valve is in the sealed position. Set to High Pressure and the cooking time to 6 minutes. That’s it! The Instant Pot will begin building pressure immediately, but it will take about 10 minutes to build pressure to start cooking. Once the pot comes to pressure, the timer will begin counting down.
Step three: Once the cook time is up, leave the pot alone for 10 more minutes. This will begin the countdown for natural pressure release. The timer will also begin to count back up so you can easily keep track of when the 10 minute natural release is up.
Step four: Once the 10 minutes are up, release the remaining pressure manually by pressing the quick release valve button. Be careful not to stand over it as a LOT of steam will come shooting out of the valve. Inside, you'll have perfect basmati rice waiting to be eaten!
Watch How to Make This - Step by Step
If you are looking for a fun variation for this simple rice, try using coconut water in place of normal water. This gives the rice a delicious tropical spin. Also, I love to finish with coconut milk and lime juice for moist, flavorful rice that goes perfectly with salmon!
Facts and Common Questions
What is the ratio of water to rice in an Instant Pot?
The water-rice ratio for white rice is one to one! Simple, right? If it’s one cup of dry rice, then you need one cup of water. If you are making brown basmati rice, your water ratio needs to be one and a half cups of water to one cup of rice.
How long does it take to cook this?
It takes 30 minutes from start to finish! That may seem a bit long, but it's very hands off. You can dump it in the pot and then leave it alone. While the rice cooks, meal prep your other dishes to serve with your fluffy basmati rice!
Should I rinse my basmati rice?
You can, but you don’t have to! Rinsing helps to remove excess starch stuck on the rice, which causes the grains to clump together. Basmati rice has a low starch content so it is much less likely to clump than some other types of rice, like jasmine rice, so I do not rinse basmati rice when cooking it. If you want to rinse it, run it under cold water until the water running through is clear.
Do I need to soak my basmati rice?
No, but rinsed rice grains can gain some extra flavor. Soaking helps to expand the grains and encourage the nuttiness of this aromatic rice. While soaking will yield more rice (2 cups dry will make 6 cups instead of 4) and enhance the flavor, it will result in a lesser quality of the texture of the rice, maybe even mushy.
What is the difference between a rice cooker and an Instant Pot?
Rice cookers work by boiling water rapidly in a sealed environment. An instant pot is an electric pressure cooker and cooks with pressure. Rice cookers are great for consistently good rice and only rice, while Instant Pots are more versatile. Rice cookers are a bit safer though, since they do not deal with pressure. Get our favorite Instant Pot here!
Want to Save it for Later? Here’s how!
This is my favorite rice hack! There is nothing worse than making rice or prepping it for the week only to have it turn crunchy. Unless you are making fried rice I guess. So here is how to keep it moist and fluffy!
- Put the cooked rice in an airtight container when it is still hot, if possible. This traps in the steam and preserves the texture. I like to put in personal sized containers for quick lunches. If the rice has sat out for a bit, no worries, just add a splash of water to the container and then seal.
- Let the rice cool down to room temperature while sealed. We want to ensure it's cooled before putting it in the fridge or freezer to prevent bacteria from growing.
- Freeze! Freezing is by far the best way to store rice. Just pop the cooled rice in the freezer. To thaw, either put it in the fridge the night before, or put it in the microwave for 1 minute. It will keep for 1 month in the freezer.
- Refrigerate. If refrigerating, put the cooled rice in the fridge and enjoy within three or four days.
Basmati rice is known as the ‘queen of fragrance’ because of its nutty flavor. It used to only be grown in India. While certain strains can still only be grown in India, basmati rice is now grown all over the world. Basmati is also known for being a long-grain rice with a slender shape, but it's extra cool because as basmati rice cooks, it grows to double its length but maintains the same width. (source)
More Joyful (Instant Pot) Recipes!
Pressure Cooker Pulled Chicken
Did you try this and love it? Leave us a review, we would love to hear from you!
Basmati Rice Instant Pot
- 1 cup Basmati Rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 pinch salt optional
- Add everything to instant pot and put the lid on. Make sure the vent is in the closed position. Not necessary to rinse basmati rice!
- Turn on high pressure and set timer to 6 minutes. Allow to cook, it will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
- Once the timer is up, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure manually with the quick release button.
- Open the lid and fluff with a fork. Unplug the instant pot and remove rice to avoid sticking to the bottom.
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