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How to Cook Indian Rice Perfectly – A Beginners Guide

by Jayashri
cook rice perfectly

If you’re a BEGINNER, there are a lot of ways you can go wrong while cooking Indian Rice.

Undercooked, Overcooked, Soggy, Mushy, Burnt, etc! These are the results of getting the process wrong.

Today, I will show you (STEP by STEP with Photos and VIDEO) on How to Cook Indian Rice PERFECTLY.

Once you get the hang of it, you will get the perfectly cooked rice ALL THE TIME!

No more disappointments!

Let’s get started.

Rice is the Staple food for majority of the world’s population.

In India, it is said to be consumed at least once in a day, especially for lunch meal.

Knowing how to cook Rice and identifying the Right Indian Rice Type, opens up lot of options for Lunch like:

  • Sambar & Rice,
  • Rasam & Rice,
  • Chicken Gravy & Rice
  • Mutton Gravy & Rice
  • Fish Gravy & Rice
  • The list is endless…

That’s why in India, Rice is central to Indian Cooking, because of it’s simplicity and UNLIMITED combo options.

You should really learn the art of cooking rice for it’s wonderful meal options and health benefits. It needs practice in the beginning to get it right.

So be patient and enjoy the process!

New to Indian Cooking?

If you are a beginner or someone who is not sure on how to get started in Indian Cooking, please click on the below links for STEP By STEP GUIDE.

1. Essential Indian Cooking Tools – A Complete Guide for setting up basic Indian Equipment for cooking.
2. Essential Indian Spices – A Comprehensive Guide explaining the basics of Indian Spices which are Important for cooking Indian Foods.

I will cover 2 ways of Cooking Indian Rice: Pot and Pressure Cooker

Before diving into cooking rice, let’s sort out most commonly asked questions and challenges faced in the process of cooking Rice.

Cooking Rice – Answers to Burning Questions

What is the Ratio of Water to Rice?

For 1 cup of Rice, you will need 2 cups of water.

One very important thing to be noted here is that – whichever cup you use to measure rice, make sure to use the same cup to measure water as well. If you do not follow this step, you will end up burning the rice or rice will get soggy & mushy.

How Much is 1 Cup of Rice in Grams?

1 cup of rice measures approximately 150-160 grams.

How Much is 1 Cup of Water in Millilitres?

1 cup of water measures approximately 230-250 ml.

How Long does it take for Rice to Cook in a Pressure Cooker?

To cook rice perfectly in a rice cooker, it may take approximately 15-20 minutes depending upon the quantity of rice.

How many whistles do you need for rice?

Usually, it takes about 3 whistles for the rice to cook perfectly, i.e., First whistle on high flame, then simmer(low flame) and wait for 2 whistles. If the quantity of rice is more than 2 cups, then you can wait until 4 whistles too.

Is cooking rice in pressure cooker healthy?

Cooking rice in pressure cooker is healthy as it retains all the minerals and vitamins even after cooking.

The starch content in rice is quite unhealthy as it adds on body weight and also weakens your knee. Hence, it’s advisable to eat pressure cooker rice only occasionally.

If you are a person who consumes rice on a daily basis, then you may pot cook the rice instead of pressure cooking. Pot cooking method has no starch as the water is drained from the rice after cooking.

Can I use pressure cooker on induction top?

YES. If your pressure cooker has an induction compatible base, then you can use it on induction stove.

Why should you rinse rice?

Rice comes directly from the fields or factories to shops after being processed. It usually contains dirt, debris, starch etc. To remove such impurities from the rice, we need to wash & rinse rice before cooking.

What if I put too much water in the rice while pressure cooking?

Adding too much water in the pressure cooker will result in soggy or mushy rice. You will not get separate and non-sticky rice.

How Do you Know When Rice is Done Cooking?

When you cook rice in a pot, you can definitely take the rice between your fingers and try to mash it. If it mashes easily then your rice is cooked well, else you need to cook for few more minutes on low flame to get it cooked perfectly.

How long can you keep rice in the fridge?

Cooked rice can be refrigerated not more than 2 days and be consumed. Rice can be kept in room temperature for a maximum of 4 hours, after which it needs to be refrigerated if not used.

What is the fastest way to cook rice?

Cooking rice in a pressure cooker is faster when compared to cooking rice in pot. The reason being – pressure is locked inside the cooker which helps cooking the rice faster.

What can I do with soggy rice?

Drain the excess water and let it cool completely before you stir the rice. If the rice is quite distinct, separate and non-sticky, then you can eat it along with curries like sambar, mutton kolambu, poondu kulambu etc. If it is sticky and mushy, then try making Rice Pakoda, Cutlets or any snacks.

Why is my rice mushy?

If your rice turns mushy, it means you have added excess water or overcooked the rice. Make sure you measure the rice and water in the same cup.

Does Soaking Rice Reduce Cooking Time?

YES, soaking rice in water before cooking reduces the cooking time. This is because rice absorbs water and turns slightly softer making it whiter and swollen.

Do rice cookers cook rice faster?

Rice Cookers are different from pressure cookers. Cooking rice in pot is faster than cooking in rice cookers. Also, cooking rice in pressure cooker is faster than all other methods.

Video Recipe: How to cook rice perfectly in pot & pressure cooker?

Solutions to Problems Faced While Cooking Rice

Problem Reason Solution
Rice becomes SoggyExcess WaterMeasure the right proportion of Rice to Water Ratio
Rice becomes Mushy & MashedOvercooked RiceReduce the no. of whistles or cooking time
Rice cooked but WateryExcess WaterFilter the rice using a strainer or colander
Burnt Rice or Burnt BottomLess/Insufficient WaterMeasure the right proportion of Rice to Water Ratio

Ratio of Rice to Water Measurement For Various Rice Types

Ponni/Sona Masoori/Puzhungal Arisi1 Cup/150gm2 Cup/450-470ml
Basmati Rice1 Cup/150gm1.5Cup/330-350ml
Seeraga Samba/Jeera Rice1 Cup/150gm 1.5Cup/330-350ml

Rice & Water Quantity For Individual & Family (approximately)

RICE1/2 Cup / 80-90gm1 Cup/150gm1.75-2 Cups / 250-300gm
WATER1 Cup / 225-230ml2 Cup/450-470ml3.5-4 Cups / 800-850ml

Rice Cooking Methods

Pot Method & Pressure Cooker Method

Step 1: How to Wash & Rinse Rice?

  • Measure the required amount of rice using a measuring cup.
rice measure
  • (FIRST WASH) Add sufficient water to rice and rinse with hands.
  • Rub the rice well to remove the excess starch and dirt.
  • Water turns white, drain the water.
  • (SECOND WASH) Add sufficient water to rice and rinse with hands.
  • Rub the rice well to remove the excess starch and dirt.
  • Water turns white, drain the water.
  • (THIRD WASH) Add sufficient water to rice and rinse with hands.
  • Rub the rice well to remove the excess starch and dirt.
  • Water turns white, drain the water.
  • (FINAL WASH) Add sufficient water to rice and rinse with hands.
  • Rub the rice well to remove the excess starch and dirt.
  • Water turns white, drain the water.
  • Wash rice until the water turns clear.
  • Water can get clear even after 2 washes. In that case, 2 washes are more than sufficient to clean/rinse the rice.

Step 2: Soaking the Rice Before Cooking

Soaking rice before cooking is a very important step. When you soak rice in water, the rice absorbs water and becomes slightly soft. By doing so, the cooking time reduces by at least 10 minutes. Add enough water to soak the rice, it can be excess too, doesn’t matter as this water will not be used for cooking.

You will notice that before soaking rice in water, it will be hard and thin. Whereas, after soaking rice in water it will turn slightly whitish, swollen(due to absorption of water) and breaks if you apply pressure on it.

Step 3: Cooking Rice

Method 1 – How to Cook Rice in Pot?

Add enough water to a deep pot or sauce pot. Bring it to a boil. The water amount should be at least 5-6 times more than the rice. I have taken 1 cup of rice, for which 6 cups of water is needed while cooking in a pot.

As you see tiny bubbles at the bottom of the pot, the water starts to boil. At this stage, drain(throw away) the water from the soaked rice and add in the rice into the pot to the boiling water. Also, add a little salt to the rice, else it will taste bland. Mix well. Use medium-high flame for the first 5 minutes.

Stir occasionally so the rice gets evenly cooked and doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

After about 8-10 minutes, you will notice that the rice starts growing bigger in size. Take rice between your fingers and try to mash it. It will be slightly harder. Continue cooking until the rice mashes easily.

Turn to low-medium flame now. Continue cooking. After about 5-8 minutes you will notice that the space between the rice has reduced further. Check if the rice is cooked perfectly by mashing it between your fingers.

Rice is perfectly cooked now. Turn off the flame and transfer the rice to a colander or strainer to drain off the excess water.

Leave the rice in colander or strainer until all the water drains off completely. Once it is completely drained, transfer it to a vessel or bowl. Always remember to mix the rice from the sides or edges. Doing so will not break the rice.

Rice is now cooked fluffy & perfect. The rice is separate and non-sticky.

Method 2 – How to Cook Rice in Pressure Cooker?

Wash and soak rice for 15 minutes as mentioned above. In a pressure cooker, add the washed and soaked rice. Don’t forget to drain the water from the soaked rice.

I have taken 1 cup of rice, for which I will need to add 2 cups of water. Make sure to measure rice and water in the same cup or glass. The proportion of both rice and water is very important to get the rice cooked perfectly.

Add a pinch of salt to taste and mix well.

Cover with the pressure cooker’s lid. Make sure the safety valve and gasket are intact. Put on the weight to lock the pressure inside the cooker, which helps cook the rice faster. Cover & cook on medium-high flame for 1 whistle, then simmer (low flame) and cook for 2 whistles. Turn off the flame and wait until the pressure is released by itself.

Rice is cooked perfectly. Always take the rice from the sides or edges. By doing so, rice doesn’t break or turn mushy. Do not mix the rice when its hot, it will result in breaking of rice.

Non-sticky & fluffy rice. No excess water.

Recipe Card

Now that you know How to Cook Indian Rice, you should move on to the below Important Topic:

Commonly Used Indian Flours

(Learn to Identify and Choose the Right Flour)

For more such interesting video recipes, check out my Three Whistles Kitchen YouTube Channel.

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