Basmati is a long-grain variety of fragrant rice that traces back to the Himalayan foothills! It is a well-loved staple of Indian and South Asian cuisine: Basmati is often served as a side dish for curries or roasted meat, and is the base ingredient for biryani.

If you love incorporating this nutty, floral grain into your cooking, you can whip up a batch faster than ever before using a rice cooker. It’s the best way to make a perfect basmati rice dish every single time – read on for a step-by-step guide for how to cook basmati rice in a rice cooker.

Basmati rice calories: how does this grain stack up?

When it comes to cooked basmati rice, calories are right around the same as regular white rice. While basmati rice nutrition macros will vary slightly depending on your chosen brand, the main difference between this fragrant long-grain rice and regular white rice is that it contains a small amount of dietary fiber and a little more protein. For these reasons, white basmati is considered to be a slightly healthier option overall and brown basmati even better, it’s a whole grain.

Is basmati rice gluten-free?

We have some good news for foodies who suffer from celiac disease! Did you know that all rice is gluten-free, as long as it’s in its natural form? From brown rice to white rice to black wild rice, every variety is naturally gluten-free. However, when rice is added to packaged mixes with other ingredients, it may contain gluten by association or become cross-contaminated. If you’re looking to maintain a gluten-free diet, be sure to purchase rice (basmati or otherwise) that is unprocessed and in its plainest form.

How to make basmati rice in a rice cooker

The days of having to watch over a pot of boiling water or scrape burnt rice off the botto

rice cooker

m of your pot are over! With a rice cooker, all of the hard work is taken care of: simply add your rice and water to the cooker, turn the heat on, and get on with the rest of your food prep. You’ll have a warm pot of rice ready to go in no time – just follow these basmati rice cooking instructions!

Step 1: Get set up

Take a moment to lay out all of your ingredients and supplies. All you need is your rice, water, a measuring cup (if your rice cooker comes with one, use it!).

Step 2: Rinse the rice (optional)

basmati rice for rice cooker

These days, most varieties of rice do not require rinsing, but some people still prefer to wash their rice to remove any extra starch. In this case, place your rice in a bowl of water, then agitate it with your hands. Repeat the process between three and five times until the water runs clear. If you’re unsure if you need to rinse your rice, simply check the packaging for instructions.

Step 3: Combine your ingredients

Referring to the basmati rice to water ratio indicated in your rice cooker’s instruction manual, add your two ingredients to the pan. If your appliance does not specify a basmati rice ratio, a good rule of thumb is 1:1.5. So, for example, if you have a 1 cup of rice, you will add a 1 1/2 cup of water to the rice cooker.

Step 4: Get cooking

Place the lid on top of your rice cooker and adjust the settings according to the instruction booklet. Basmati rice will take 12 minutes to cook. Once the rice is finished cooking, the appliance will automatically transition to warming mode, so your rice won’t burn if you turn your attention to something else!

Step 5: Let the rice rest

Your rice cooker can keep your food warm for hours and hours if need be. If you want to consume your rice right away, though, let it rest for at least 5-10 minutes, then fluff the rice with a spatula or wooden spoon to release any extra moisture.

Step 6: Serve

Once you’re ready to eat, serve your rice and enjoy! You can add salt (just a pinch) or a dab of butter to bring out Basmati’s natural flavours, or try out one of the following recipes to pre-season your rice during the cooking process.

If you need to learn the basics you’ll find here all the instructions on how to cook rice in a rice cooker.

Or learn with this video.

Basmati rice cooker recipe ideas

Give your next batch of basmati a little extra kick with these simple rice cooker recipes.

Cumin Spiced Basmati Rice

In addition to your rice and water (for this recipe, you’ll need 1 cup of basmati and 2 cups of water), add a cinnamon stick, 2 green cardamom pods, 4 whole cloves, 1 tbsp of cumin, a pinch of salt, and 2 tbsp of butter to your rice cooker. When your rice is finished, remove the whole garnishes and dress it up with some fresh chopped dill for a deliciously fragrant cumin spiced basmati rice dish

Herby Pesto Basmati Rice

pesto basmati rice

Add a fresh, herby dimension to classic basmati rice with pesto! For this recipe, you can either cook your basmati rice in water or soup stock. Once the rice is ready, stir in your pesto, and season it with some salt and pepper. Top it off with a few more dollops of pesto, plus some slivered almonds to further enhance its natural nutty profile.

Lemony Herbed Basmati Rice

lemon and herb basmati rice

Next time you’re cooking up a cup of hearty basmati, throw in 1 Tbsp. each of coconut oil, lemon zest and lemon juice (from one half of a lemon), and 1 tsp of dried basil and oregano (each). This bright, summery recipe is a real show-stopper that can be enjoyed no matter the season!

Coconut Basmati Rice


Adding a can of coconut milk or coconut water to a batch of basmati rice creates an end result that will have you licking your plate clean. For 2 cups of rice, you’ll want to add 1 can of coconut milk, plus 1 ½ cups of water. Top this dish with toasted coconut flakes, and you’re done.