Plain White Rice

There are many varieties of rice and everyone has their favorite. My favorite is Basmati rice; I like the aroma and texture of Basmati rice. Rice can be very plain or very colorful. Rice is easy to cook and can be served as a side dish or a main dish. Plain rice is served with lentils, dal, or a gravy-based dish.
Serves 3 to 4.
5 from 1 vote
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian


  • 1 cup Basmati rice or long grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oil


  • Wash rice gently changing water several times until the water appears clear.
  • For fluffier rice, the rice should be soaked for at least 15 minutes prior to cooking.
  • Cooked rice expands to about 3 times its original size, so be sure to use the proper size pan.
  • Drain the rice and put into the saucepan. Add the water, oil, and salt, bring to a boil and turn the heat to low, and cover the pan.
  • Cook rice for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water has evaporated.
  • Turn off the heat and fluff the rice with a fork.


  • If rice has been soaking longer then half an hour use 2 tablespoons water less.
  • Check the rice after about 12 minutes, stirring gently. If rice is not ready cover it again and cook a few more minutes.
  • When rice is ready but you feel it is too wet, turn off the heat and keep the cover open half way.
  • Don’t check the rice repeatedly because water will evaporate faster and rice will not cook right. Also, the grains will break if you stir the rice frequently and then the rice will look and feel mushy.
Keyword basmati, chawal, Gluten Free, lentils, long grain, plain, Rice, white
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43 thoughts on “Rice

  1. Hello! Someone in my Facebook group shared this website with us so
    I came to look it over. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m book-marking and will be tweeting this
    to my followers! Great blog and excellent design and style.

  2. Hello! I tried aloo fry masala kichidi. It is very tasty and healthy my children liked very much. The method of speaking is very good and attractive, we are expecting more recipie from you.

    Thank you very much have a good life.

  3. Hello! I didnt find Kara Pongal recipe in your website madam. Its a famous dish in South India. Can you please add in your website and explain it how to prepare it in better way? I will be viewing ur recipes and its easy for the startup person to cook in better way as simple as that.

    Thank you

  4. Can you please tell me how to get my rice to come out the same way it is when I buy a take-a-way. Every grain of the rice is separate and I love it this way. I have tried all sorts of ways and have adjusted the water time and time again but it still comes out sticky. If I leave it to cool and then turn it several times as it cools this does separate the kernels a little. However there are still lumps but in the take-a-way rice every single kernel is separate. I have no idea what they do with it. I have never put in oil though as you do in this video. I will try it but if you have any further advice about this I will be pleased to receive it.


    1. Hi Alex,

      First, washing the rice until the water is clear or soaking it as instructed will release much of the starch that makes rice sticky. Furthermore, the oil or butter or ghee really can make a difference in the rice grains separating during the cooking/steaming process. Do try it!

      Another problem is too much water (it’s happened to me…); if you wash/soak the rice, drain it, then put water just to cover, that can sometimes do the trick.

      Happy cooking!

  5. If I may call you Auntie…:)….I have been following you since college….and I just found your website again today…I just popped out of the bed and said Manjula…I have missed your recipes so much…I love all things ethnic and I love cooking ethnic dishes also…a huge thank you for your time and patience for putting together a lovely website so that everyone may enjoy Indian food. Thank you

  6. What is so special about basmati rice ? i’ve tried it, and it doesnt really feel different from any ordinary long grain rice. Except at 4 times the price.
    At least jasmin rice actually has incredibly pleasant aroma, even uncooked. Compared to jasmin, basmati seemed quite bland to me.

  7. My family love Indian vegetarian food. I also really like your website and watching your video. I just cooked your basmati rice recipe and love it. I’ve tried several other recipes, but this one is my favorite — just perfect taste and consistency. I really like your website and and learn a lot about healthy Indian cooking. Thanks so much for sharing.

  8. Gd morn Aunty …..MY name is Natalia from Sharjah. u have wonderful receipes… i came across ur site few days back…. and yesterday just popped in for ur rice receipe (ie) the plain rice…i was very scared making rice wit Basmathi cos it comes sticky. After going thru ur receipe for plain rice i tried it yesterday and it came out perfect…. My hus just loved cos usually we have kerala rice… we r having some guest this friday and i want to make this plain rice… my one doubt is how long wil u soak rice for 9 cups of Basamati.is it 15 mins or more? hope to hear frm u soon… thankin u

  9. Hi Manjula

    I’m writing from Chile, in Southamerica. I love all your recipes. They are just perfect!
    I wonder if for the others preparations with white rice, do I have to wash rice too?

  10. Hi Manjula
    Thank you so much for your recipes. If we use a rice cooker to cook rice, we don’t need to follow steps 2 and 3. Am I correct ? I am using rice cooker to cook 🙁

      1. just keep adding 2 tablespoon of water less for every added cup.

        So if you tripled the recipe, you would take away 14 tablespoons from the third set of 2 cups? (subtracting 2 tablespoons from each previous cup)


        2 cups
        + (2 cups – 6 [minus 2 tablespoons for first extra cup, 4 for second])
        + (2 cups – 14 [minus 6 tablespoons for third extra cup, 8 for fourth])

        So if you tripled the recipe, you would take away 20 tablespoons away from 6 cups?

        If this is not correct, how many tablespoons would you subtract from the third set of 2 cups?

  11. Thank you so much for your wonderful cooking lessons. You are truly a great teacher. Today I made your dosa with the shredded zuchini. They were delicious, especially the ones with cheese and tomatoes. Thank you Majula.
    Laurie from Michigan

  12. Thanks for the technique and recipe for perfect rice! I really need to watch my money right now and cannot afford to throw away food that is not cooked improperly. All of your recipes have taught me that even the most humble of ingredients with a modest investment in spices can be turned into flavorful, wonderful, and healthy meals that when cooked properly, can be meals I am proud to serve!

  13. cooking rice is so simple your way but i dont know why my rice becomes hard after a day even after storing it in airtight container in the refrigerater

  14. Hello Aunty,
    Namaste ..Thanks for posting the recipe to make perfect basmati rice.
    Can you please tell me from where you bought the steel saucepan which you have used in this recipe.
    Thanks in advance for your reply.

    1. Check stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Homegoods, Marshall’s, Williams-Sonoma and other similar stores with a good cooking supplies department.

  15. Ms Manjula,

    I would like to thank you for posting this simple way of cooking rice. People need to move away from rice cookers and other gadgets for cooking rice. Thank you for all your recipes. We need to see you on the Food Network. You will probably say no. Your personality comes across as very humble and kind and self-giving. Thank you again. Continued success with your site. Don’t stop. We need you.

  16. Ms. Manjula, Thank you for posting these recipes!! I love Indian cuisine and had been searching for authentic recipes for a while prior to finding your site. I love it and will be using many of your recipes. Please keep posting. Best wishes.

  17. wow, i had no clue u had to wash the rice and let it soak! i think that’s why my rice comes out kinda yellowish and small. Thank you so much. I really enjoy watching these videos.

  18. Great recipe. I had to leave behind my rice cooker after I moved, and I was having a lot of trouble making rice on the stovetop. Rinsing and soaking made all the difference. Thanks!

  19. Hello! You are right! many people really dont know how to cook rice. Here in Brazil it is very common to eat rice and beans. It is always the main dish.

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