Perfectly fragrant basmati rice

It is difficult to cook really good rice, not because it is complicated, but because it requires plenty of practice. You need to get to know your rice, your rice cooker, if you are using one, and learn a few good tips to make really special. I always use basmati rice as I love the long grains that don't stick together, it also goes best with Indian dishes.

Tip 1 - Always wash your rice well until the water is clear.

Tip 2 - Soak washed rice for at least 30 mins before cooking. Do not soak and then wash, this will cause the grains to break as they become more brittle after soaking.

Tip 3 - Use the right amount of water for cooking. Follow your rice or rice cooker instructions and go from there, adjusting slightly to get it perfect. Usually you would use double the quantity of water.

Tip 4 - Adding a little bit of butter or ghee always makes it better. 

This recipe comes from my mother in law, and to be honest, only recently have I managed to perfect it, but it was worth it.

* indicates that the ingredient is organic / easily available in the UK as organic

Prep time 30 mins

Cooking time 20 mins

Serves 2 and a baby x2


500g basmati rice*

1 tablespoon ghee* (clarified butter) 

1 inch cinnamon stick* 

4 green cardamom pods

1 onion*

1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or use freshly grated)

salt to taste


Wash and soak the rice in the correct amount of water. Meanwhile, in a pan heat ghee and add cinnamon and cardamom, fry for 30 seconds. Add finely sliced onion and continue fry for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. You want the onion to become golden brown. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for further 2 minutes. Add onion with spices to the rice pot, add salt if using, and stir once gently.

Cook the rice in rice cooker (preferable) or on the stove. 

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