Rice is one of those side dishes that can take a lot of different flavors, but it's also just as good on its own. It's also considered to be gluten-free since rice doesn't contain any wheat. Rice comes in many sizes as well-short-grain rice, medium-grain rice, and long-grain rice. Some of these rice varieties come in tasty flavors, too, which is why we like basmati rice in our rice recipes.
Basmati rice is originally from India, however, you can find all kinds of different basmati rice recipes. Like jasmine rice, basmati has a distinct, fragrant aroma, which is pretty fitting because basmati comes from the Hindi word for 'fragrant'.
The trick to a great basmati rice recipe is rinsing the rice first and drain the water with a strainer before cooking. Once all the water has been absorbed, let the rice sit with the lid on for 10 minutes, then fluff the rice up before serving. You can cook basmati rice on the stovetop, in a rice cooker or in your instant pot. How much water you cook the rice in is important; for perfect rice, use one and a half cups water to one cup basmati rice.
Check out some of our favorite easy recipes where basmati rice is the star of the show.
1. The Perfect Basmati Rice Recipe
It can be tricky to cook rice, but if you have to right water to rice ratio, there's no need to worry. To prepare perfect basmati rice you first want to rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear and then let it soak in a bowl for a few minutes. This helps get rid of starch which makes the grains stick together. Drain the rice, then cook it.
A pinch of salt flavors this up nicely and that's all you need for this simple dish. Serve with lentils or your favorite veggies for a filling meal.
2. Fried Basmati Brown Rice with Chicken and Vegetables
One of my favorite meals to make during the week is Asian stir fry and fried rice. Basmati rice, rather than sushi rice, is way more flavorful and perfect to use in any stir fry recipe.
I like to cook basmati rice the night before to cut down on the amount of prep time it takes to cook dinner.
3. Herbed Basmati Rice
This basmati rice side dish is great alongside any entree because it's filled with aromatic herbs like: fresh basil, fresh thyme, and green onions.
It's also a simple one pot dish, so clean up is a breeze! Just make sure the pot you use has a tight fitting lid to go with it so the water absorbs during cooking.
4. Saffron Basmati Rice
This dish is sure to be fragrant from the basmati rice and saffron. The saffron is dissolved in boiling water and gives the rice a nice orange color.
It's important to wash the basmati rice until it's clean before cooking this dish, too.
5. Turmeric Coconut Basmati Rice
Known for its many health benefits and gorgeous orange color, ground turmeric along with some coconut milk, grated ginger, and fresh basil make this creamy basmati rice recipe interesting and full of flavor.
6. Greek Rice
Full of fresh flavor, this Greek basmati rice recipe is exactly what you need with your favorite fish dinner!
7. Creamy Basmati Rice Pudding
While I do love the thick texture of Arborio rice for my rice pudding recipe, basmati rice is great for a more delicate texture. And the texture works for this Indian inspired recipe because the cooked rice is flavored with some ingredients like cardamom and rose water.
8. Indian Style Basmati Rice
With delicious flavors coming from the cinnamon sticks, cardamom, cloves, and cumin, this aromatic Indian basmati rice recipe is sure to be a hit on the dinner table, especially if you're serving Indian food.
9. Basmati Rice with Kidney Beans and Thyme
Rice and beans, what could be better? This rice dish is also fitting for folks who follow a gluten-free and vegan diet.
10. Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet
A one skillet meal filled with everything you need: spicy flavor, long-grain rice, veggies, and shrimp. Even better, this basmati rice recipe will be on the dinner table in less than 30 minutes cooking time.
Helpful tip: cook rice in chicken broth or vegetable stock for more flavor.
This post was originally published on July 2, 2018.