Love basmati rice, but don’t like cooking it on the stovetop? Here’s an easy tutorial on how to make Instant Pot basmati rice!
For years, I’ve been gazing longingly at rice cookers.
I both wanted one and also refused to take up precious kitchen space with an appliance that only does one thing.
When your apartment is tiny, every inch of counter space (and cabinet space) counts.
And so, when I heard that the Instant Pot “makes perfect rice,” I was intrigued.
This past summer, I took the plunge and I bought an Instant Pot (instead of a rice cooker) but (at least at first) it did not make perfect rice.
I tried the rice button.
I tried recipe after recipe– all with different tricks– and each time I was unsatisfied and left with raw, crunchy rice.
It was sad.
Julia was correct, and so was my mom, who sent me her favorite Instant Pot rice recipe later the same day.
Thank you both for your rice skills.
This Instant Pot basmati rice recipe is based on the techniques in the recipe booklet included with the Instant Pot, with some recipe tweaks to add more flavor.
No Instant Pot yet? Learn how to make basmati rice in the microwave!
Do I Have to Soak My Basmati Rice?
No– but do it if you have time.
Soaking basmati rice helps elongate the grains, so if you skip soaking, the rice grains will be slightly shorter.
The good news is that you can soak the rice for much longer than the twenty minutes the recipe calls for.
If you remember to put the rice in water an hour or two before you want to cook your rice, go for it.
That said– I often skip soaking basmati rice.
The rice is still delicious.
Want more rice? Try making Instant Pot jasmine rice!
Do I have to rinse the rice?
Rinsing the rice gets rid of some extra starch, but also– importantly– this recipe uses a rice-to-water ratio for rinsed, wet rice.
If you use dry rice, the rice-to-water ratio will be off, and your rice won’t cook properly.
How to Cook Basmati Rice in an Instant Pot
Add rinsed rice, water, oil (or ghee or butter), salt, and bay leaves to the Instant Pot.
Close the Instant Pot, turn the valve to the sealing position, and press pressure cook (or manual). Set the timer to three minutes.
Some model Instant Pots have a pressure cook button, and others have a manual button. They do exactly the same thing.
It will take about six minutes for the Instant Pot to build pressure, and then it’ll start counting down.
When the countdown finishes, your pot will beep and begin counting up.
Let the Instant Pot do a natural release for ten minutes. In other words, don’t touch the Instant Pot– let it do its thing for ten more minutes.
After ten minutes, carefully release any remaining pressure.
Remove the bay leaves, stir, and the rice is ready to serve!
Can I Double or Triple This Recipe?
You sure can!
Check the recipe card notes for directions, and make sure that you don’t fill the Instant Pot past the halfway mark.
The rice needs room to expand while cooking.
Did you try this Instant Pot basmati rice recipe? Let me know in the comments!
Want more Instant Pot ideas? Check out all of my Instant Pot recipes!
Instant Pot Basmati Rice
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, ghee, OR butter
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 bay leaves (optional)
- Optional but recommended: Soak rice in water for at least 20 minutes before cooking. (Soaking helps to elongate the rice– Skip if you don't have time.)
- Rinse the rice in a fine mesh sieve until the water runs clear.
- Add the rice, water, oil, and salt to the Instant Pot. If any rice grains are stuck to the side of the pot (above the water level), push them down into the water.Set the bay leaves on top (if using).
- Seal the Instant Pot lid, and turn the steam valve to the sealing position.
- Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manual, high pressure. Set the cook time for 3 minutes.
- The Instant Pot will take about 6-7 minutes to come to pressure, and then will start counting down the cook time. The Instant Pot will beep to let you know the cook time has finished. After the cook time is finished, the machine will begin the natural release process, and the countdown timer will start counting up. Allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes.After 10 minutes, carefully quick release the remaining pressure by using the handle of a long spoon (I use a wooden spoon) to turn the steam valve to venting. Tip: Quick release can be messy– the vent will shoot some liquids out with the steam. Lay a kitchen towel over the top to keep your kitchen clean.
- Wait for the steam to escape and the pin to drop down. Then, carefully remove the lid.
- Remove bay leaves, and stir rice, Serve immediately.
- Leftovers:This rice is best served immediately, but can be kept refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 4 days. To reheat, add about a tablespoon of water, and microwave covered until warm (2-3 minutes).