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Basmati rice in a serving bowl
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4.95 from 19 votes

How to Cook Basmati Rice in the Microwave

Makes 4 sides of rice.
Note: 18 minute cook-time does NOT include optional soak-time.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 284kcal


  • 1 ½ cups dry basmati rice
  • 2 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 rice in a mesh sieve. 
  • Add rice, water, oil, and bay leaves to a large microwave-safe bowl.  Cover bowl with lid.
  • Microwave covered at 60% power for 12 minutes.* (See Recipe Notes).  Remove the lid, and cook uncovered on 100% power for 6 minutes.  Serve as a side dish, refrigerating or freezing leftover rice.
  • 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).



*Keep in mind microwave cook times may vary depending on the microwave.  This recipe was tested on a 900-watt machine.
*Note: Microwave recipes do not always 'double' well.  To make larger batches, try increasing the cook-time by adding 3 minutes to the 'covered' cook-time for each ½ cup of rice added.


Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 301mg | Potassium: 79mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 0.6mg