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How to Cook Rice Perfectly

A white plate with perfect basmati rice and butter chicken

Here’s a no-fail technique for cooking perfect white rice on the stovetop. If you’re new to this method, you’ll be amazed at its simplicity. All you need are basic ingredients: rice, a pot with a lid (or foil), and water. A timer comes in handy too – I usually just use my watch.

This approach is perfect for any type of white rice where you want distinct, separate grains. You can even apply this method with your rice cooker if you own one. Though I have a Thermomix, and sometimes I use it for rice, often my TM is busy preparing the main dish, with rice playing the supporting role. Making rice on the stove ensures it’s ready right when you need it.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

There’s a multitude of ways to do pretty much everything in the kitchen, but I’m all for simplicity. If a task seems complicated, I’m always on the lookout for the most straightforward, fastest, and cleanest solution. After all, who really wants to spend unnecessary hours slaving away in the kitchen?

When it comes to adding water to your rice, less is definitely more. Too much water can lead to overcooked, mushy rice. If you’re not using my method detailed below, then at least stick to the pack instructions. Though, when I follow packet guidelines, I prefer to use a little less water as you can always add more later; removing excess is a tricky affair.

Saucepan with lid for cooking rice.

There’s one rule I never skip, it’s so important if you think about where much of our rice comes from.

  • Wash the rice first. There are so many ways you can do this, but you if you have a strainer, it’s easy. Pop your rice in it and run water through it until the water runs mostly clear. I don’t do this so much to wash the starch out, I do it to clean it. Depending on where your rice has come from you will defiantly want to wash it.
  • Put your rice in a pot that has a lid. Cover the rice with enough water until it comes up to your first knuckle. (Your fingertip sits on the surface of the rice and the water reaches your first knuckle.)
Rice in a pot with water and spices.  A finger showing how much water to add, so you get perfect rice when cooked on a stove.
Jeera rice (Cumin Rice)
  • Set the pot on the stove with the lid on and bring to the boil. Keep an eye on it, as soon as it starts to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes don’t take the lid off, simply take it off the heat and let it rest for a further 10 minutes before removing the lid. If you don’t keep an eye on it for that first step and your rice boils too long, then you’ll overcook it. Once you’ve done this a few times, you’ll know how long it takes, and it will become second nature for you.

How easy is that? Just a little tip, if you use too much water you’re rice can overcook or blow out. If you use this method at any time and you find the rice seems overcooked, it’s because you used too much water or you left it sitting with the lid on too long. It’s almost impossible to ruin your rice if you follow this method correctly.

  • Your rice will have perfectly absorbed the liquid
  • It won’t be too soft
  • it won’t be too hard
  • You can add flavour before you start as I do with my Cumin rice recipe
A saucepan with herbs and spices cooking with a little butter.
Herbs and spices used in Cumin rice

Rice is such a quick and easy side to prepare. It’s a pantry staple that everyone loves. This recipe for cooking rice on the stove works for any rice that needs to have the grains separated.

Cumin rice in a saucepan that has just been cooked prefectly on a stove.
Cumin rice

Want to know more?

If you love curry or any dish that has bags of flavour, check out my spice blend eBooks. We’ve added a second one as a freebie with even more ways to use them. There are recipes for southern fried chicken, powdered vegetable stock, Ras El Hanout, Tandoori, Laksa and a whole lot more.

Bec’s Favourite spice blends eBook bundle

Or, have a look at this rice recipe (Cumin Rice) blog post

Cumin Rice (Jeera rice)


  1. Ive always done my rice like this, but I turn it off as soon as it boils and tbe lid in on from tbe start.

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