Fluffy Instant Pot Basmati Rice with chickpeas & an aromatic blend of kid-friendly spices. An easy, flavorful side dish!
My family loves this Instant Pot basmati rice! It's a simple side dish that's both flavorful and filling. Gentle, aromatic spices and a sprinkle of fresh herbs turn basmati into a more interesting side dish than just plain old white rice.
What is Basmati Rice?
Basmati is a long-grain rice, simply meaning that the individual grains of rice are longer in length. It has a mild and pleasantly nutty flavor.
6-Minute Instant Pot Rice & Chickpeas Ingredients
This recipe has a short list of ingredients: basmati rice, water, oil, onion and a pinch or coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon. Adding fresh herbs is optional.
How to Make This Recipe: 3 Easy Steps
Step 1: Saute onion and spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon)
Step 2: Add water, rice, chickpeas and salt.
Step 3: Cook on high pressure for 6 minutes, with a 10 minute natural release
Can I Make Plain Basmati Rice with this Recipe?
Sure, you can use this recipe to make plain basmati rice in your Instant Pot. Just follow the recipe below, but leave out the onion, spices and chickpeas.
- Combine the oil, rice, water and salt in the Instant Pot. Stir to combine.
- Follow the same cooking time, 6 minutes on high pressure and a 10 minute natural release.
What Foods Pair with Basmati Rice?
Basmati rice is most often served with South Asian meals. Any type of curry or dishes with Indian spices would be delicious. I also like this rice with Yogurt Flatbread and roasted vegetables.
Because this recipe includes Middle Eastern spices, this rice also pairs well with main courses like Mediterranean Grilled Chicken with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce.
Truly, though, this blend of rice and chickpeas is really versatile. I often serve this rice with just store bought hummus, cucumber yogurt sauce and pita bread for a simple dinner.
Don't hesitate to serve basmati rice with whatever type of protein you're making for dinner, like these recipes for chicken, vegetables or turkey meatballs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cooking Basmati Rice
For this recipe, I use 1 ½ cups water to cook 1 ½ cups basmati rice. That's a 1:1 ratio of water to rice.
When you cook basmati rice in a pressure cooker, the 1:1 ratio makes fluffy basmati rice that cooks into individual grains that are tender but not overly soft.
If you prefer softer rice, then use 1 ¾ cups water for this recipe. The rice won't be quite as fluffy and will clump together a little bit, but it's still tastes really good and has a softer texture.
On the stovetop, more water is generally used to cook rice because the water evaporates while the rice cooks. In a pressure cooker, the water won't evaporate so you can use a 1:1 ratio.
Rinsing rice cleans the rice and also removes starch from the outside of the rice. Rinsing off this excess starch helps the rice cook into fluffier, individual grains.
Is rinsing basmati rice absolutely necessary? This depends on how particular you are about the texture of rice. I think basmati rice turns out better when it's rinsed. However, if you're in a hurry, it's okay to cook rice without rinsing it first. Just know that if you don't rinse basmati rice, the rice might be a little stickier and clump together more.
I rinse rice using a fine mesh strainer. Put rice in the strainer, then run water over the rice. I move the rice around with my fingers, to make sure the water runs over all of the grains. I usually rinse the rice for about 30 seconds, although longer is even better.
Shake as much water as possible off of the rice, so that you're not inadvertently adding additional water to the Instant Pot.
The second method for rinsing rice is more similar to soaking rice, in that the rice is covered with water in a bowl. Swirl the rice around with your fingers, making the water white and cloudy with starch. Drain off the water then fill the bowl again and repeat the process until the water is mostly clear, not cloudy.
I don't personally soak basmati rice before cooking it, but some recipes include soaking the rice in water for up to 30 minutes. There are several reasons that some cooks like to soak basmati rice.
1. This can serve the same purpose as rinsing the rice, which removes starch and prevents the rice from clumping or getting sticky. 2. Soaking helps grains of rice re-hydrate and plump up. 3. Some also believe that soaking rice helps remove toxic substances, like trace arsenic.
The "Rice" button on an Instant Pot is a generic setting that cooks rice for 12 minutes at low pressure. This setting works pretty well for most types of white rice, but if you're cooking a specific type of white rice (like basmati) you'll get better results by using a very specific cooking time, like this recipe does.
Also, the "Rice" setting takes longer because it's cooking on low pressure. If you want to get dinner on the table faster, cooking the rice for a shorter amount of time on high pressure is a better option. This recipe cooks basmati rice for 6 minutes at high pressure.
I reheat leftover rice in the microwave with a sprinkle of water (about 1 tablespoon) and I loosely cover the rice while it reheats. Don't forget to add the water, or the leftover rice will be dry and hard.
If you don't have a microwave, then reheat the rice in a sauce pan with a sprinkle of water. If the rice still seems dry, then add a little oil or butter.
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