Steamed Rice recipe - Plain Rice

Cooking White Rice or Brown rice

Steamed rice or plain rice is easy to cook. You need to just add the water proper measure.

You can cook it using a pressure cooker or a rice cooker or you can also cook it in a pot on a stove.

Below you will find instructions to cook steamed rice or plain rice on the stove top in a pot.

cooked plain white ricecooked plain white rice

How to cook steamed rice it in a pot

Amount of water to add for cooking rice

If you are using long grain basmati rice, we have a separate page about detailed instructions Here to cook basmati plain rice.

For short grain rice, you will need about 2 cups of water for each cup of rice. The quantity of water will depend on the variety of rice and also on how old rice is.

New rice needs less water. Adding more water than necessary will make the rice mushy, too soft or like a paste.

Adding too little will not cook the rice properly. The rice is perfectly cooked when rice is cooked soft but each grain is separate.

Ingredients for cooking rice on the stove top in a pot

raw white riceraw white rice

Ingredients for cooking plain rice for 2-3 servings

  • Rice - 1 cup
  • Water - 2 cups

Optional ingredients

  • Salt -1/4tsp
  • Ghee / Clarified butter - 1 or 2 tsps - makes rice very yummy
  • Lime juice - 1 tsp, makes rice white

Step by step instructions for making plain steamed rice


  1. Take rice in a plate and remove any impurities visible. Now a days you get cleaned rice so this step may not be necessary.
  2. Take 1 cup rice in a bowl. Add water and wash rice 2-3 times till water runs clear .
  3. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

Cooking Rice

  1. Keep a big pot(about 2 litre size) with 2 cups of water to boil.
  2. When water starts boiling, add soaked rice.
  3. Stir, reduce flame to medium low. Stir once in a while rice cooks.
  4. Add salt. If you cover the pot, it may boil over so watch it. Or cover the pot in such a way that the steam can escape a little.
  5. It will take about 15 minutes to cook rice. Add a little water if necessary.
  6. When the rice is almost done, Cover it and switch the flame off.
  7. The rice will continue cooking in it's steam for some time even after you switch off the flame.
  8. Leave the rice covered for 5-10 minutes or till serving time.

Serve plain rice hot with rasam, sambar, lentil curry, dal, vegetable curry.

You may use this rice to make Lemon rice, Tomato Rice , tamarind rice, Vegetable biryani rice, Fried rice etc.

 Tips and variations


  • Remember to add the water according to the type of rice, how old the rice is and what you are planning to use it.
  • Add water depending on what you are planning to make after making plain rice.
  • For curd rice, you need softer rice so you may add a little more water.
  • For  Lemon rice, Tomato Rice , tamarind rice, Vegetable biryani rice, Fried rice etc, rice should not be cooked too soft, so add less water. If it is too soft will get mushy when you mix it with vegetables, lemon etc.
  • Basmati rice needs less water. It also breaks easily.
  • I usually cook rice in the pressure cooker. That saves time and fuel as I can cook the lentils and the vegetables too using separators.

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