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Dec 20, 2006 06:13 PM

Basmati rice in rice cooker

Whenever I make basmati rice in my rice cooker, it always comes out sticky and clumps together. It never comes out light and fluffy like it is at a Persian or Indian restaurant. It's probably because I'm used to making short grain rice for Chinese food by just adding water and the same technique doesn't work for long grain rice.

So does anyone have some tips of how to make my Basmati rice come out properly? Do I need to add some oil? Maybe change the amount of water used?


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  1. It sounds to me like you haven't been washing the rice first. It's a very important step in making basmati rice.

    I use the bowl from the rice cooker - just cover the rice with water and swish around, then slowly pour off the water. It will take out bits of chaff as well as some of the surface starch from the rice. I don't worry if I lose a few grains of rice.

    1. The light and loose Persian or Indian method uses oil. Maybe this can be achieved in a rice cooker, but I'll say that whenever I've been to an Indian restaurant that uses a rice cooker, the rice is never right.

      Here's a recipe for chello -

      1. rinse the rice well and use less water.

        1. I always rinse the rice, usually 3-4 times, but the rice still comes out sticky.

          Thanks for the link Melanie. Although in the recipe it says to let the rice soak for 2-3 hours. I'm not sure if I have that kind of time, is it really necessary to soak it that long?

          Maybe I will experiment with using a little oil in the rice cooker next time I make basmati. I know it probably won't even be as good as making it in a pot but hopefully I can get something pretty close.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mliew

            If you soak the rice for 20-30 minutes, it will be stickier. Soaking counts for some steaming time. I haven't used Basmati for quite some time, but it definitely needs a modification of water quantity. I can't remember to add or subtract, but normal measure doesn't work. IIRC, Basmati needs more water.

            1. re: mliew

              I rinse the rice about 6-8 times, until the water becomes relatively clear. It never becomes completely clear, but you'll see a big difference from beginning to end. You want to get as much of the starch off as possible. Then just cook it. I sometimes add some oil or ghee, but often don't.

            2. It could be the brand of rice you are buying. I never soak the rice and I make it the same way I would for all other kind of rice.

              rinc a few times with cold water.
              use equal amount of water to rice (I use the rice measureing cup that comes with the cooker)

              that's it, and it turns out fine.

              1 Reply
              1. re: OnceUponABite

                Yup. That's exactly the same way I cook all types of rice in the rice cooker: Little rinse in cold water drain equal parts of water/rice.
                I do prefer Indian basmati lately.