How To Make Basmati Rice Fluffier, According To Reddit

Statistics say that the U.S. alone consumed about 4.6 million metric tons of rice between 2021 and 2022, making it one of the most popular types of grains to exist. In fact, the whole globe ate up 510.29 million metric tons of the stuff, so it goes without saying that we live in a world that loves its rice.

Of the many types that are grown, basmati rice is arguably one of the most popular ones to cook with for many dishes. Translating to "fragrant" in India, where most of the world's basmati rice comes from, the grain is sought after for its nutty flavor and aroma (via MasterClass). Cook it right and you'll have rice that is much lighter, more tender, and a lot fluffier than its long grain counterparts. Taste Atlas also notes that basmati rice usually does not stick together when cooked, and as such, the loosely packed individual grains of rice can be uniformly covered in sauces and seasonings.

Cooking basmati rice perfectly each time however, is easier said than done, for it can easily turn into a sticky, clumpy, and glutinous mess if you aren't careful. Use a couple of tricks though and you'll be on your way to making the most of all the soft fluffiness that basmati rice has to offer.

Soaking basmati rice changes everything

According to a Reddit user who seems to have nailed the method to making basmati rice fluffier, you should be soaking the grains for at least 30 minutes before draining it and putting on the stove. Additionally, when you let the rice sit after it is done cooking, sandwiching a cloth between the lid and the pot will help soak in the steam that would otherwise condensate on the lid and drip back into the rice.

Redditors add that, along with soaking, rinsing rice until the water runs clear goes a long way in making fluffy basmati. "Made in India" author Meera Sodha also recommends rinsing rice thoroughly, soaking it for 20 minutes, and also advises to toss the rice in a drizzle of canola oil before you let it cook in water (via Food52). The oil, it turns out, will help keep the rice grains separate.

One Redditor also found from experience that soaking basmati in the refrigerator for four to eight hours makes the grains even fluffier when they cook. Other ingenious comments suggest to "use stock instead of water" and "steaming instead of cooking." Delish also swears by using a fork to fluff up the rice and separate it into soft grains once it is done cooking.