No Soak Fluffy Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

5 from 2 votes

This delicious, no-soak Instant Pot brown basmati rice recipe will tell you all the tips and tricks to make fluffy rice that will become a part of your weekly rotation!

A plate of cooked brown basmati rice.

Fluffy instant pot brown basmati rice made easy.  Set it and forget it, no need to tend the pot. No more uncooked, burnt, or mushy rice!

Brown basmati rice is made Indian style for an easy side dish or accompaniment to MANY Indian dishes. This instant pot recipe is my favorite way to get the perfect brown basmati rice.

I experimented with times and rice-to-water ratios to make cooking brown basmati rice in an Instant Pot a breeze.  You’ll be able to start using it to meal prep along with Instant Pot Paneer.

What makes the best brown basmati rice?

  • It is not mushy, so the grains remain separated
  • A floral, nutty aroma
  • Delicious, almost buttery taste!
  • Vegetarian with a vegan option
Fluffy brown basmati rice in a white plate.

Brown basmati rice and white basmati rice have similar qualities. But, brown is unpolished whole-grain rice. 

The outer bran layer of brown basmati rice has not been removed through polishing as it has with white rice.  Consequently, brown basmati rice has a more robust and nuttier taste. 

Additionally, it is a whole grain.

Key Characteristics:

White basmati rice and brown in two plates.

Summary key tips for good Indian Brown Basmati Rice (Details below)

  1. Wash thoroughly – removing excess starch is important to prevent sticky, gluey rice. I wash a minimum of 4-5 times with cold water or until the water runs clear.
  2. Coat basmati grains in heated ghee or oil before adding water to the pot (optionally temper the oil/ghee for MORE flavor)
  3. Get the water ratio correct (may be different from brand to brand depending on the age of your rice)
  4. Look for visual cues that the rice is cooked (see picture below)
  5. Use a good brand of aged authentic Indian basmati rice (this is KEY)
  6. Adjust: Your idea of a perfect bowl of basmati may not be EXACTLY my idea of a perfect bowl, BUT you can easily tweak this slightly to make it perfect for you

Note: This recipe covers brown basmati rice Indian style.  Jeera rice is an excellent example of flavored Indian basmati rice (more on that below). White basmati rice is cooked a little differently.

Plate of rice with a spoon in it.

Ingredients

Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. 

Ingredients for brown basmati rice in small bowls.
  • Dry brown basmati rice – see more details on type and quality of rice below
  • Water
  • Ghee, butter, or oil (I prefer ghee! Give it a try one day)
  • Salt

Quality of Brown Basmati rice

Using good quality basmati is important. Keep an eye out for long-grain, aged basmati rice.

Aged basmati rice is better because it produces a lighter and fluffier grain which is key to the best basmati rice. Aging the rice ensures it is dried completely which is what lends the grain a better texture.

India Gate basmati rice is the brand my family uses and has produced the best results for us. It is aged rice and produces extra long grains. The Royal brand is also aged rice and it produces good results as well. Find either at your local Indian grocery store or online.

Note, the brand, quality, and age of your rice may impact the end result.  Different brands will absorb different amounts of water.  You may need to tweak to get the best results for what you use.

Upclose image of brown basmati rice.

Signs of aged basmati rice

  • The grains are slender and long as you can see above. When cooked, basmati rice grains will elongate further
  • Notice the tapered ends of the rice as well, this is another indication of good basmati rice.
  • The color is also a brownish/golden hue 

Wash the Rice

Remove excess starch by washing the dry grains until the water goes from cloudy to clear. I usually wash mine 4-5 times to remove extra starch.

 If using a mesh colander, then just rinse until the water runs clear. Make sure to move the grains around so they all get a good wash!

Rinsing brown basmati rice in a colander in the sink.

Why use ghee?

While you don’t HAVE to use ghee (or a ghee substitute like butter, or oil) it:

Ensures the grains remain nice and separate

Gives delicious flavor (especially ghee!)

Provides the taste of Indian restaurant-style basmati rice

Spoonful of ghee on a white plate.

Instant Pot Method

  1. Wash dry rice grains well until water runs clear (4-5 times)
  2. Press the sauté button on your Instant Pot. Let the inner pot heat up  and add ghee. Swirl it around so there is a coating on the bottom and ghee melts.
  3. Add washed and drained rice.  Mix the rice well to coat it with ghee. 
  1. Add 1¼ or 1 ⅓  cup water (dependent on whether you want al dente or softer rice), and salt. Mix well.

If you want the texture of brown basmati rice to have a bite use 1 ¼ cups of water.  If you want it softer use 1 ⅓ cups of water. See picture below for difference:

Two plates of rice
Bottom left cooked with 1 1/3 cup water. Top right cooked with 1 1/4 cup water.
  1. Close the lid, secure the valve and ensure the sealing position is correct. 
  2. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Leave it for natural release for 10-15 minutes. Then, release the remaining pressure.
  3. Fluff the rice with a fork and enjoy – After allowing the rice to rest, utilize a fork or rice paddle to loosen and separate the grains before serving it.

Total Time: Remember that the Instant Pot will take some time to build pressure and for the pressure to naturally release, so you need to add that extra time to the cooking time stated below. To be more precise, it usually takes about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, and another 10 minutes for the natural pressure release, so you should add an additional 20 minutes to the total cooking time.

Ideas for flavoring rice

I’ve outlined the Indian way of making rice – coating the rice in ghee 

  • Skip water and use vegetable broth – This is an easy way to sneak in more flavor.
  • Spices – Adding cumin to the ghee at the start before the rice gives you tasty Jeera Rice or Indian Cumin Rice.  Adding saffron will give you saffron rice! But don’t add it to the ghee, just add it to the water in the rice.
  • Aromatics- saute ginger, onions, garlic, scallions, and fennel in the pot before adding the water and rice can boost flavor.
Instant Pot

Trouble Shooting Instant Pot Basmati Rice

As mentioned above, the type of rice and brand of brown basmati rice you use can impact results.  Below are some common issues and how you can solve them:

ProblemWhat happened?What do I do?
Too chewy/hard?Not enough water or time or BOTH!Add 2-3 tbsp extra water for every 1 cup of rice and cook for 3 more minutes. Release pressure instantly.
Too mushy/ Too much waterIf the rice has a slight stickiness to it, it can be rescued by transferring it into a colander and washing it with cool water while separating the grains manually. 
However, if the rice has excessive mushiness to it, the recommended course of action would be to begin anew and cook a fresh batch.
You can try baking the rice in a pan at 300F for 20 minutes or just use it for something like Chili Paneer Fried rice.
Too wateryAdded too much water or not cooked long enoughIf the rice grains have been cooked to the desired consistency, but excess water remains in the pot, don’t try to cook out the water. Instead, transfer the rice to a fine-mesh strainer and, in a manner similar to that of pasta and strain the water.
If the grains aren’t cooked enough, you can try transferring them to a pot on the stove to try to burn out the water on medium heat and keep an eye on it.
Too clumpy/ gummy rice?Likely not rinsed well enough so there is excess starchIf the rice is slightly sticky, it can still be salvaged by transferring it to a colander and rinsing it under cool water while separating the grains using your fingers. However, if the rice is overly mushy, the recommended course of action would be to begin the cooking process again.
BurntNot enough waterTo prevent the burnt rice from continuing to cook and imparting its undesirable flavor and aroma to the rest of the rice, run the bottom of the pan under cool water. After that, try to salvage as much of the unburnt rice as possible while leaving the burnt portion behind. Unfortunately, the remainder of the rice that has been burned is likely unusable. The pan will probably require soaking in order to effectively remove the burnt, stuck-on grains.

Storing

Keep leftover rice refrigerated in an airtight container.  Try to use it within 3-5 days. The sooner the better!

You can also freeze the rice if you won’t be using it anytime soon.

Serving Suggestions

Have you tried this recipe? If so, I would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to leave a comment and rate it with stars. It would mean a lot to me to hear how it turned out. If you’re on Instagram, feel free to tag me so I can see your creation. Thank you for your support!

A plate of cooked brown basmati rice.

No Soak Fluffy Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

Shilpa Joshi
This delicious, no-soak Instant Pot brown basmati rice recipe will tell you all the tips and tricks to make fluffy rice that will become a part of your weekly rotation!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 servings
Calories 44 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup brown basmati rice
  • 1⅓ or 1¼ cup water If you want the texture of brown basmati rice to have a bite use 1 ¼ cups of water.  If you want it softer use 1 ⅓ cups of water.
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Wash dry rice grains well until water runs clear (4-5 times)
  • Press the sauté button on your Instant Pot. Let the inner pot heat up  and add ghee. Swirl it around so there is a coating on the bottom and ghee melts.
  • Add washed and drained rice.  Mix the rice well to coat it with ghee.
  • Add water. Close the lid, secure the valve and ensure the sealing position is correct.
  • Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Leave it to natural release for 10-15 minutes. Then, release the remaining pressure.
  • After allowing the rice to rest, utilize a fork or rice paddle to loosen and separate the grains before serving it.

Notes

See post for troubleshooting ideas
  1. Wash thoroughly – removing excess starch is important to prevent sticky, gluey rice. I wash a minimum of 4-5 times with cold water or until the water runs clear.
  2. Coat basmati grains in heated ghee or oil before adding water to the pot (optionally temper the oil/ghee for MORE flavor)
  3. Get the water ratio correct (may be different from brand to brand depending on the age of your rice)
  4. Look for visual cues that the rice is cooked (see picture below)
  5. Use a good brand of aged authentic Indian basmati rice (this is KEY)
Adjust: Your idea of a perfect bowl of basmati may not be EXACTLY my idea of a perfect bowl, BUT you can easily tweak this slightly to make it perfect for you.

Nutrition

Calories: 44kcalProtein: 0.01gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 203mgPotassium: 0.04mgCalcium: 6mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shilpa

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