How to Cook Rice | Buttery Steamed Rice | Sada Chaval

A very special way to cook rice.

How to Cook Rice using Steaming Method | A Life Time of Cooking

There is a very gentle way of cooking rice using a combination of steaming and the absorption method, using indirect heat that leaves the rice so very fluffy with a wonderful texture. The method uses indirect heat to cook rice that as been previously soaked.

Soaking allows the long pointed grains of long grained rice to absorb some water, and allows the rice to relax a little before cooking. It does make a difference, especially if you are using basmati rice.

There are other ways to cook rice, including the absorption method and oven method.

How to Cook Rice using Steaming Method | A Life Time of Cooking

You might also like to try Pepper Rice, South Indian Coconut Rice, Balinese Coconut Rice, Masala Lemon or Lime Rice, Tamarind Rice, or Urad Dal Garlic Rice. Or browse all of our Rice recipes here. You might get inspiration from our Summer dishes here.

For some reading, explore different kinds of rice.

Steaming and Steamers

This technique uses the double-steamed approach. Rice and water sit in a closed pan which rests in a larger closed steamer pan. Steam surrounds the closed rice pan, producing very soft, evenly cooked rice with fluffy, well separated, unsplit grains. It is far superior to any other method that I have tried.

Multi tiered steamers are very available today and can be used for the rice. Otherwise, place the dish containing the rice on some sort of trivet that keeps it 2 cms above the level of the water in the steamer pan. You can use a cake cooler, or upturned heat proof bowl, or, as I did, an upturned Chinese bamboo steamer. If you have a vegetable steamer that fits tightly onto a saucepan, you can use that.

This is a very gentle style of cooking, and the end point is therefore not as critical as in other types of cooking rice. Use around 30 minutes for a “just cooked” style of rice or 40 minutes for a softer end result. DON’T OPEN THE STEAMER DURING COOKING.

How to Cook Rice using Steaming Method | A Life Time of Cooking

Buttered Steamed Rice | Sada Chaval

Source : Lord Krishna’s Kitchen
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 5 mins + 10 mins soaking time
Cooking time: 25 – 45 mins
Serves: 3 – 4 people, depending how you use it

1 cup basmati or other long grained rice
1.5 – 1.75 cups (360 – 470 ml) water
1 tspn salt
1 – 2 Tblspn ghee or butter

Wash the rice to remove dust and excess starch. Soak in water to cover for 10 minutes. Drain very well, removing as much water as possible.

Combine the water (if using basmati, you can use 1.5 cups of the soaking water), salt, half of the ghee or butter and the rice in a pan or dish with a lid.


If a lid is not available, fashion one with some foil and secure tightly.


Add some water to a large steamer pan and set up your steaming tier or trivet. Bring the water in the steamer to the boil. Reduce heat to low and place the covered rice pan into the steamer. Cover the steaming pan.

Cook the rice slowly for 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the texture desired.

Remove the rice from the heat, uncover, add the remaining ghee and fluff gently with a fork.

Steamed Rice

Buttery Steamed Rice


6 thoughts on “How to Cook Rice | Buttery Steamed Rice | Sada Chaval”

  1. I cook my daily rice somewhat this way, but in a pressure cooker. The rice and water sit in the pressure cooker which has water in it and the rice cooks in the steam, but under pressure.

    That makes sense, Aparna. I don’t use a pressure cooker, and had never cooked rice this way. But love the results and will use the method more often.

  2. I love your website, absolutely adore it! This is such a beautifully designed website – one of my favourites at first sight. I read a whole lot of food blogs and maybe a tiny percentage of that shows up in my cooking… 🙂

    Hi Lakshmi, welcome. Thanks for your lovely and kind comments. Hope you find some inspiration here.

  3. I have found by accident, that putting the pot with water/butter/salt/rice in the oven when I bake something, the rice turns out perfect. It’s ok on the stove top using the common method….but putting it all together, cold, etc. and then letting it sit at 350 in the oven for an hour it’s incredible.

    Hi Patty, that sounds like a great and time saving way of cooking rice when you are using the oven or just want to get the rice off of the stove top. Thanks for sharing – I will certainly try it.

  4. Been steaming rice my whole life (that’s the only way I know how to cook rice, sadly speaking), and I never needed to soak rice prior to cooking. I use basmati rice as well. Usually I only need to wash it, make sure there is enough water for absorption and leave it in the steamer for 20 to 30 minutes, and it’s perfectly cooked – anything longer than that would dry up the water (though I’m not sure how much water you put to be able to cook for 45 minutes). I don’t have an actually steamer by the way, just use a wok with a cover, and those steaming stands.

Welcome! I hope you are enjoying what you see here. Thank you so much for your comment and your thoughts.

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