HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Do you create unique foods? Share your adventure

Basmati rice in rice cooker

mliew Dec 20, 2006 06:13 PM

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?


  1. c
    ChristeMihok Apr 15, 2013 01:41 PM

    As long as you put a teaspoon or so of olive oil in the rice to coat the rice and cook it for a minute or two BEFORE adding your water, it should stay separate. I had the same problem before learning that trick. :-)

    1. t
      teemai Jun 27, 2009 11:54 PM

      Here's how to cook Tilda Basmati rice properly: Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over high heat until almost smoking. Add a 3-inch piece of a cinnamon stick that's been halved 2 whole cloves and 2 green cardamom pods, and cook, stirring until they pop. Add 1/4 thinly sliced onion and cook, stirring until translucent, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 cup rice and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 1-1/2 cups water and a teaspoon of table salt and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, over tightly, and simmer until all the water has been absorbed, about 17 minutes. Let it stand, covered, at least 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork and serve.

      4 Replies
      1. re: teemai
        Dynne Apr 19, 2012 06:48 PM

        Very good recipe and worked perfect, easiest way to make it.

        1. re: teemai
          ChristeMihok Apr 15, 2013 01:45 PM

          Where can I buy Tilda rice? Do I have to go to a specialty market?

          1. re: ChristeMihok
            teemai Apr 15, 2013 10:57 PM

            I've purchased mine from Amazon. See http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_...

            for a number of different buys -- even Kosher!

            1. re: ChristeMihok
              Chowshok Apr 19, 2013 12:56 PM

              Tilda Basmati is available at any Indian Stores, but it is the most expensive brand of Basmati. There are other cheaper brands, which when cooked properly, are as good as Tilda.

              I always wash/rinse the rice 3-4 times. If Basmati, 1:1 ratio with water and if Sona Masoori, 1:1.5 ratio. Sometimes we do Pulao like Teemai, but have been cooking a lot in the rice cooker lately. Add a couple tbspn of butter, a tsp of Cumin seeds, 1-2 crushed pods of cardamom, a piece of cinnamon, a bay leaf and you have "jeera rice" in your rice cooker. Dont forget to pull the cord out & fluff the rice within the first 5 to 10 minutes after the button pops to warm setting.

          2. luckyfatima Feb 17, 2008 08:56 PM

            In my family we eat basmati rice with nearly every meal and unless it is for a pullao or something, I always prepare it in a rice cooker. I do not have the clumpy problem. Actually, I get compliments on my rice. Here is what I do: I use Tilda brand rice because I have been using it for years and I know how it "behaves," you will have to practice with your brand of rice because some require longer soaking, etc. So for Tilda, wash well and soak for only 10 minutes but do not exceed 10 minutes or it will get mushy. You can skip the soaking if you prefer firmer rice. Then I use 2 cups water to one cup rice. I salt the water, add in the rice, and cook. When the button pops saying it is done, I allow the rice to "rest" for approximately 10 minutes by removing the lid once, allowing some steam to come off, then recovering it and leaving it alone. If you attempt to fluff the rice before this resting period, the grains will break apart. Basmati is finicky and sensitive. After ten minutes, I fluff the rice by stirring it with a fork and stir in a drop of ghee at that time. It always comes out fluffy. I have noticed though that if I do not fluff after 10 minutes and I let it sit there for a long time and then fluff, it will stick together and get clumpy. Even my hawk eyed mother in law complimented my rice saying it was perfectly "dumm" or cooked in the traditional parboiling method. She couldn't tell it was done in a rice cooker, hahaha!

            1. v
              verve365 Feb 17, 2008 08:22 PM

              I don't soak but rince twice. I then use the same amount of water that my rice cooker recommends for sticky rice but I add about a tablespoon of butter per cup of rice and a pinch of salt. Comes out great. It gets a bit dried out and hard if I leave it warming in the rice cooker for more than an hour. My rice comes out nice and fluffy and really fragrant.

              1. m
                mineral Dec 20, 2006 09:12 PM

                I have never used a rice cooker in my life, but I have grown up eating basmati rice and make it myself (my father is from India.) Here's how I learned how to do it: first soak the rice for maybe a half hour or so in a normal pot. I think longer is fine, but you do need to soak it for a bit. Next, drain the water from the rice and add twice as much new water as you have rice (1 cup of rice, 2 cups water, etc.) Put the pot uncovered on the stove on high heat and let it come to a boil. When the water boils, turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. My parents always use a dish towel folded to fit over the pot but I use the lid to the pot, partially cracked. Let the rice finish cooking--try not to check it very much but if you do, just kind of use a spoon to check at the edge if all the water is gone. Don't let it go completely bone dry on the bottom, when the water has just disappeared, you can turn off the heat and leave the lid on until you're ready to eat it. Give it a little stir and you're good to go.

                As far as brands, Tilda is good, but I have used other types all cooked in this fashion and I can't tell a difference.

                1. p
                  pâté chinois Dec 20, 2006 09:07 PM

                  Here's how I make basmati in my rice cooker, and it never comes out sticky.

                  1. Rinse your rice well and several times (I saw that you already do that)
                  2. Use a ratio of 1 measure of rice to 1.5 measures of water
                  3. Add salt (half tsp per rice "cup")
                  4. Add olive oil or butter - I prefer oil (1 good swirl per "cup" of rice)
                  5. Start your cooker
                  6. Once the rice is cooked, let it rest for a few minutes, ideally 15-30 minutes, without touching the rice.

                  Good luck!

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: pâté chinois
                    wasabijazz Apr 16, 2013 12:43 AM

                    Excellent instruction and perfect ratios. Folks this is your answer. Came out heavenly! Thank you pate chinois.

                    1. re: pâté chinois
                      ktejaswini Oct 27, 2013 10:36 AM

                      This was the perfect recipe! All the instructions were accurate..my rice came out perfect! Thanks!

                      1. re: ktejaswini
                        pâté chinois Oct 29, 2013 02:08 PM

                        I'm glad this was helpful! I guess having Persian friends helps in the rice cooking department :)

                        If you want to vary, add a few crushed and steeped strands of saffron. Do not add more water, just use a bit of the water you would normally use. MMMMmmmm! Saffron rice!

                      2. re: pâté chinois
                        laughwcs Oct 30, 2013 01:28 PM

                        THANK YOU THANK YOU it did work!!!!

                      3. c
                        C70 Dec 20, 2006 09:05 PM

                        that is correct. equal amounts, not 2:1 like regular long-grain.

                        1. o
                          OnceUponABite Dec 20, 2006 08:03 PM

                          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. m
                            mliew Dec 20, 2006 07:53 PM

                            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.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mliew
                              OldTimer Dec 20, 2006 08:09 PM

                              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.

                            2. c
                              C70 Dec 20, 2006 06:52 PM

                              rinse the rice well and use less water.

                              1. Melanie Wong Dec 20, 2006 06:50 PM

                                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. k
                                  kbw18 Dec 20, 2006 06:29 PM

                                  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.

                                  Show Hidden Posts