Indian Style Basmati Rice Recipe -
Indian Style Basmati Rice Recipe
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Indian-Style Basmati Rice
This savory Indian rice is flavored with whole spices and sautéed onions. See more
  • READY IN 45 mins

Indian Style Basmati Rice

Recipe by  

"This is a savory Indian style rice dish flavored with whole spices and fried onions. Soaking the basmati rice before cooking makes all the difference. Serve with your favorite Indian curry or dal (lentils). Make sure you warn people not to bite into the whole spices!"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    25 mins

    45 mins


  1. Place rice into a bowl with enough water to cover. Set aside to soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot or saucepan over medium heat. Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, and cumin seed. Cook and stir for about a minute, then add the onion to the pot. Saute the onion until a rich golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain the water from the rice, and stir into the pot. Cook and stir the rice for a few minutes, until lightly toasted. Add salt and water to the pot, and bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork before serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Feb 26, 2005

I thought this recipe was very good but I should have listened to my intuition and reduced the amount of cumin seed it called for. 1 tablespoon of cumin seed is WAY TOO MUCH for the amount of rice indicated. It totally overpowered the rice and muted all the other great flavours going on in the dish. I would definitely make this again but I will use about 1 teaspoon of cumin seed next time and probably add green peas to it, as a matter or preference. I also used jasmine rice, so I did not soak it, but I washed it thoroughly until the water was clear and let in drain in a colander until the rice is relatively dry. I find this is essential in making rice dishes like this so the rice sautes better and doesnt taste bland or waterlogged. I also reduced the cooking time slightly, since I was using a different type of rice and reduced the water to 2 cups, but kept the amount of rice used the same.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 08, 2011

I make indian food a lot and try to get what I make as close to restaurants that I've been to. I don't ever remember seeing their basic rice with cumin in it. It usually has ajwain seed (carrom) about 1/4 tsp. This gives it almost a slight menthol mouth watering affect. It looks like cumin but smaller. I'd also suggest 4-5 cardamom pods, 2 black cardamom pods (gives a subtle smokey flavor), and 6 cloves. Make sure to wash and scrub the rice beforehand with several changes of water until the water is clear to get all the starchy powders removed. Then soak in COLD water.

Jun 24, 2006

Great recipe. out of necessity used 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, and 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom. I make basmati rice all the time but never thought about browning it first. This changes the flavor for the better! Oh this was wonderful served with "Maharaja Curry" and it was a restaurant-quality meal. I did add Saffron and frozen peas to the rice for color and substance. Thanks for this nice recipe!

Mar 03, 2007

I just finished preparing this recipe... it was tasty, but nothing spectacular - hence my 4 star rating. I followed the directions for the most part - except I didn't bother soaking the rice - because in my experience, the rice is easier to toast if you skip the soaking step. Also, I doubled the recipe and used about 1/2 less cumin seeds, a few extra pods of cardamom and an extra clove or two. I added a pinch of saffron too! Note: If you decide to use ground spices in place of the whole ones, be careful with how much you use - otherwise you won't get the right flavor. Too much cinnamon can ruin the dish, and typically the cardamom is essential with Indian cooking.

Oct 24, 2011

This is very good. I was a little disappointed in the hieroglyphics I had to go through to figure out the "ground equivalents" of the spices. So, thanks to the internet, here they are: 1 tsp cinnamon 1/8 tsp cardamom 1/2 tsp cloves 1 tsp cumin I thought it could use a little more salt, too, maybe 1 1/2 tsp. Othewise, a keeper!

Jan 03, 2006

This tasted very good, however I had to make some changes to it because I had to use white rice and substitute ground spices. For the cinamon I used one teaspoon ground, and cardamon also suffered because I couldn't find pods. So I used 2/3 of a teaspoon and the rice was great. Extremely easy to make and flavorful.

Feb 02, 2006

this was just what we needed for our indian food fix! i spent some extra time sauteing the rice after it was soaked to toast it to a light golden color, it really brought out the rich flavor of the basmati. i doubled the onions (personal preference) and threw in 1/2 cup frozen (but thawed) mixed vegetables for color and added texture. served this with the indian tandoori chicken on this website. it was fabulous!

Oct 29, 2006

This was very good. I skipped the cardamom completely, used ground cinnamon instead of sticks, and used ground cumin instead of cumin seeds (but reduced the amount to 2 tsp). I seemed to need a bit of extra oil when browning the rice so that it didn't stick. The rice turned out to be tender and flavorful.


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  • Calories
  • 216 kcal
  • 11%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 38.9 g
  • 13%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 5.4 g
  • 8%
  • Fiber
  • 1 g
  • 4%
  • Protein
  • 3.9 g
  • 8%
  • Sodium
  • 394 mg
  • 16%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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