April 19th is National Rice Ball Day ...incase you were planning a night in!

How to Boil Rice on the Stove?

Mastering the art of boiling rice on the stove is akin to discovering a culinary cornerstone that paves the way to a multitude of dishes. Whether you’re aiming to pair it with a sumptuous curry, use it as the base for a hearty fried rice, or simply enjoy it as a fluffy, standalone side, getting your rice just right can elevate your meal from good to great. In this guide, we’ll navigate through the steps to achieve perfectly boiled rice, ensuring it’s neither too mushy nor too firm.

Choosing Your Rice

Firstly, it’s pivotal to select the right type of rice. From the fragrant Basmati, ideal for Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine, to the sticky texture of short-grain rice, perfect for sushi or risotto, each variety offers unique characteristics. For the purpose of this guide, we’ll focus on long-grain white rice, a versatile choice that complements a wide array of dishes.

Preparing Your Rice

  1. Measure Your Rice: A common rule of thumb is to use a 1:2 ratio of rice to water. This means for every cup of rice, you’ll need two cups of water. Adjust the quantity based on your needs, but maintain this ratio for the best results.
  2. Rinse the Rice: Place the rice in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. This step removes excess starch, preventing the grains from sticking together and resulting in fluffier rice.

Boiling Your Rice

  1. Boil the Water: In a medium-sized pot, bring the water to a boil. You can add a pinch of salt for seasoning at this stage.
  2. Add the Rice: Once the water is boiling, stir in the rinsed rice. Allow the water to return to a gentle boil.
  3. Simmer the Rice: Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice simmer. This is where the magic happens, as the rice slowly absorbs the water. For long-grain white rice, this should take about 18-20 minutes. Resist the urge to peek; lifting the lid lets steam escape and can affect the cooking process.
  4. Check the Rice: After 18 minutes, check the rice. The water should be completely absorbed, and the rice should be tender yet firm to the bite. If there’s still water, or the rice is too firm, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  5. Rest the Rice: Once cooked, remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for about 5 minutes. This allows the rice to steam further and become perfectly fluffy.
  6. Fluff and Serve: Using a fork, gently fluff the rice to separate the grains. This is the final touch to ensure your rice is ready to grace any dish with its presence.

Tips for Perfect Rice Every Time

  • Use a Heavy-Bottomed Pot: This helps distribute heat evenly and prevents the rice at the bottom from burning.
  • Adjust for Altitude: Cooking times may vary if you’re at a high altitude. Higher altitudes require longer cooking times.
  • Experiment with Flavours: Consider cooking your rice in vegetable or chicken broth instead of water, or adding a bay leaf, cardamom pods, or a cinnamon stick to the pot for aromatic rice.


Boiling rice on the stove might seem like a basic skill, but it’s one that can significantly impact the quality of your meals. By following these steps, you’ll ensure your rice is perfectly cooked every time, ready to complement any dish you prepare. Remember, cooking is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. So, take your time, enjoy the process, and let the simple act of cooking rice be a gateway to exploring a world of culinary delights.

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