Perfect Sona Masoori Rice(Stovetop,Instant Pot,Rice Cooker)

5 from 1 vote

Get ready to learn how to make perfect, easy way to get fluffy, easy sona masoori rice three ways: stove top, rice cooker, or Instant Pot! Round out your favorite dish with a heaping side of warm, delicious rice.

Sona masoori rice on a gray plate with a white serving spoon.

A guide to no soak sona masoori rice including brands that are top notch.

Sona Masoori is a type of medium grain unpolished rice that is widely popular in India, especially in the southern states. The rice variety is also widely exported and can be often found abroad.

It is also known as Bangaru Theegalu, Samba Masuri, or simply Masuri rice.

It is valued for its distinct aroma, delicate flavor, and soft texture.

This rice variety is a hybrid of two rice varieties – Sona and Masoori. Sona rice is known for its aroma and Masoori rice is known for its soft texture. The combination of these two varieties gave rise to Sona Masoori.

White sona masuri rice grains on a gray plate.

It is a type of Indian rice very commonly available in the US along with Basmati Rice. (I’ve seen it at Costco in the US).

It is a great alternative to basmati rice and can be used to make Tamarind Rice or Puliogare, Coconut Rice, and sweet pongal to name a few.

In this post learn about how to cook sona masoori white and brown rice, popular brands, and the difference between it and basmati rice.

What makes this Sona Masoori rice so good?

  • Subtle aroma that is often described as nutty or popcorn-like
  • Flavor is delicate and slightly sweet
  • Texture of this rice is soft and fluffy when cooked
  • It is not mushy, so the grains remain separated

Similar to Basmati Rice, it is available in both white and brown varieties.

Cooked rice in a pot.

Ingredients

Uses

which makes it perfect for dishes like biryani, pulao, and khichdi. for making dosas and idlis.

One of the unique characteristics of Sona Masoori rice is that it is low-starch rice. The low-starch content also means that this rice does not stick together when cooked, making it perfect for making fluffy rice dishes.

  • Dry rice
  • Water
  • Ghee or oil
  • Salt
  • Whole spices (optional)

Brands of Sona Masuri

Keep an eye out for aged masuri rice which is premium quality rice.  There are many brands available at Indian grocery stores you can check out.

BrandWhite or BrownOrganic or Conventional
1Laxmi sona masoori rice  BothConventional
2Jiva OrganicsBothOrganic
3RoyalBothBoth
424 MantraBothOrganic

Washed rice in a colander.

Wash the Rice

Remove excess starch by washing the dry grains 2-3 times or until the water goes from cloudy to clear. I usually wash mine 4 times to remove extra starch.

How To Cook (White and Brown)

The method is the same for each approach. However, the water-to-rice ratio may change dependent on the brand of rice and your preferences. The water and cooking time also depends on the variety, age of the rice, and altitude of the location.

MethodWater (cups) to Dry Rice RatioCook TimeModel used
White Sona Masoori Rice   
Stovetop2:115-17 minutes, let sit 10 minutes uncoveredNon-stick pot
Rice cooker2:1~15 minutes (let run on Cook setting), then let sit 10-15 minutes covered once doneHamilton Beach rice cooker (it is a basic rice cooker with only Cook and Warm options)
Instant Pot2:15 minutes – at least 12 minutes of natural release   Select the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL (High Pressure)Instant Pot Duo
Brown Sona Masoori Rice   
Stovetop2 ¼  : 1 45 minutes, let sit 10 minutes uncovered Non-stick pot
Rice cooker2 ¼  : 1 ~15 minutes (let run on Cook setting), then let sit 10-15 minutes covered once done
If you have brown rice setting, use that!
 Hamilton Beach rice cooker (it is a basic rice cooker with only Cook and Warm options)
Instant Pot2:122 minutes   20 minutes for perfectly cooked, but firm rice with a chewy texture (al dente rice) 22 to 24 minutes for softer rice Instant Pot Duo

Rice to water ratio: For soft, fluffy, nonsticky sona masuri rice: 2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. For curd rice: 2.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. For fried rice, you can use 1 ¾ cups of water for 1 cup of rice.

Adding flavor to Basmati rice

The traditional way of adding flavor is to do a tadka or tempering of oil with spices.  This tadka (heated oil with spices) is done first in the pot into which your rice grains will be added. Tadkas are a common part of Indian cooking.

Serving Suggestions

Make sure to keep leftover rice refrigerated in an airtight container.

Tamarind rice on a plate.

Basmati Rice Vs Sona Masoori Rice

Sona masoori rice is unpolished, unlike basmati which is usually polished (except brown basmati rice). Additionally, it contains lower levels of starch and calories compared to basmati rice.

CategoryBasmati RiceSona Masoori Rice
OriginNorthern Indian + PakistanSouthern Indian
Grain lengthLong grainMedium grain
Grain shapeSlender and pointedShort and round
AromaHighly floral and nuttyMilder aroma
TextureFluffy and separateSeparate and fluffy but a little softer – easier to become sticky
Cooking time Longer – polished riceShorter – unpolished rice
UsesBest for biryanis, pilafs, and other rice dishesGood for daily cooking, idlis, and dosas

Sona masoori rice on a gray plate with a white serving spoon.

Perfect Sona Masoori Rice (Stovetop,Instant Pot, Rice Cooker)

Shilpa Joshi
Get ready to learn how to make perfect, easy way to get fluffy, easy sona masoori rice three ways: stove top, rice cooker, or Instant Pot! Round out your favorite dish with a heaping side of warm, delicious rice.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 1 cup dry
Calories 269 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Pot For Stovetop method
  • 1 rice cooker For rice cooker method
  • 1 Instant Pot For Instant Pot method

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup aged basmati rice (rinsed at least 3 times) I use an aged long grain basmati rice – India Gate brand
  • 1 tbsp Ghee or oil I use ghee or olive oil.
  • 1 cup water* *Depends on method used, water to rice rations: Rice cooker 1:1, Stovetop 2 3/4:1 Instant Pot 1 1/4:1
  • tsp salt Adjust to your preference

Instructions
 

Stove top Method

  • Rinse rice (3-5 times) and drain until water is not cloudy. Use a mesh strainer for an easier way to rinse until water runs clear.
  • Melt ghee on medium-high in pan.
  • Add rice and mix thoroughly with ghee/oil, coating grains well in it.
  • Add 2.5 cups water (make sure atleast 1 inch of water above the rice) and salt. Bring to boil (about 6 minutes). Once it comes to boil cover and cook on medium for 10 minutes. Turn off gas and let it sit covered 10 more minutes.
  • You will see the rice cooked and pointing up (see post for pics). Fluff the rice with a fork and enjoy.

Rice Cooker Method

  • Wash dry rice grains well until water runs clear (about 3-5 times)
  • Turn on rice cooker on Cook and melt ghee.
  • Add rinsed and well drained rice to melted ghee in pot and mix well
  • Add water (2¼:1 cups of water to rice ratio) and close the rice cooker with its lid.
  • If your rice cooker has options, select brown rice, or else start the cook button.
  • Once cook time is over, let sit 5-7 minutes. Open lid and fluff rice before serving.

Instant Pot Method

  • Wash dry rice grains well until water runs clear (about 3-5 times)
  • Press the sauté button on your Instant Pot. Let it heat up 2 minutes and add ghee to melt or oil. Mover it around the pot to provide a coating and prevent sticking.
  • Add washed rice,2 cups water and salt. Mix well.
  • Close the lid, secure the valve. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Naturally release the pressure for 12 minutes. Then do manual release.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork and enjoy.

Notes

See post for more details and timings for brown sona masoori rice.  Summary tips below:
  1. Wash thoroughly – remove excess starch is important. I wash a minimum of 4-5 times or until the water runs clear
  2. Coat basmati grains in ghee or oil before adding water
  3. Look for visual cues that the rice is ready (pics in post)
  4. Use a good brand of aged authentic rice such as India Gate (this is KEY)
  5. If you want a softer texture, add 3-4 tbsp water more and cook 4-5 minutes longer covered.
– Rice cooker used: Hamilton Beach (only cook and warm settings)
– Instant Pot used: Instant Pot Duo Plus
You can use 1/2 tbsp ghee/oil but 1 tbsp ghee/oil produces a delicious taste.
Jeera rice is a popular type of flavored basmati rice
Caloric values are rough estimates using WPRM calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 269kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 4gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 7mgPotassium: 71mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 20mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Shilpa

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