a perfect pot of rice

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  • 1 cup basmati rice, or another long-grain rice (6 1/4 ounces)
  • Water for soaking and rinsing
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons butter or 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water


  1. Soak the rice for 5 minutes, covered by about an inch of water. Swish it around, strain it, and then rinse it with new water for about 15 seconds. Let the excess water drain away. If the water that drains away isn’t clear, soak it for 2 more minutes and repeat.
  2. Place the rice, butter/oil, salt, and measured water in a saucepan. Bring everything to a boil over medium-high heat. Once it comes to a boil, cover and immediately reduce heat to low. Set a timer for 14 minutes.
  3. While the rice is cooking, do not peek, do not stir, and do not mess with the heat.
  4. As soon as the timer goes off, remove from heat and keep the pot covered. Do not lift the lid. Let the rice rest for 10 to 30 minutes.
  5. Once the rice has rested, remove the lid, fluff it with a fork, and serve immediately.


for a medium pot (yield: 6 cups, or about 8 servings):

2 cups basmati rice (12 1/2 ounces)
Water for soaking and rinsing
3 to 4 tablespoons butter or 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 2/3 cups water for cooking

(Use the above instructions)