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What are the differences between basmati vs jasmine rice? When to use each? Here’s what you need to know before planning your meals.

How to cook jasmine rice
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Basmati rice vs jasmine rice: what’s the difference? Cooking a recipe and wondering the difference between these two whole grains? They’re both common varieties of long grain rice, but there are some distinct differences. Here’s what to know when you’re planning your meals!

Basmati rice vs jasmine rice: similarities and differences!

Let’s get right to it. What are the differences between these similar types of rice?

  • What is basmati rice? Basmati rice is a long grain rice traditionally grown in India and the surrounding countries (Pakistan, Nepal, etc). The flavor is nutty and floral: the name “basmati” comes from the Hindi word for “fragrant.”
  • What is jasmine rice? Jasmine rice is a long-grain variety of rice grown mostly in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It’s also known as Thai fragrant rice. Jasmine rice has a nutty flavor: in fact, some people say it tastes like popcorn! It’s very similar to basmati rice, but it has a shorter grain and is a little stickier.
  • Both are aromatic rice. Basmati rice and jasmine rice are in a category called “aromatic rice”. These are medium to long grain rice varieties that have a nutty aroma and flavor.
  • Both have white and brown varieties. There is both brown and white basmati rice, and brown and white jasmine rice. The white variety is most common in cooking.

Basmati rice vs jasmine rice: when to use them

When to use basmati rice and jasmine rice in cooking? There’s a distinct difference between these two types, mainly based on where they’re grown. Here’s what to know about when to use them:

  • Basmati rice originates from India, Pakistan and Nepal. It’s best paired with Indian-style recipes, like this Chickpea Curry or Vegetable Curry.
  • Jasmine rice is grown mostly in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, so it’s best paired with Southeast Asian style recipes. Try it with this Shrimp Curry or Coconut Tofu Curry.

Our personal favorite? We like them both, but the popcorn flavor of jasmine rice is our favorite. We can’t get enough of it!

How to cook basmati and jasmine rice

There are a few ways to cook basmati and jasmine rice: on the stovetop, or in an Instant Pot! Here are the main methods, or scroll to the recipe below:

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How to cook jasmine rice

How to Cook Basmati Rice or Jasmine Rice

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3 cups 1x


Here’s how to cook basmati rice or jasmine rice that comes out perfectly fluffy! There are a few tricks to cooking this fragrant long grain rice.


  • 1 cup white basmati or jasmine rice
  • 6 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Using a strainer, rinse the rice under cold water, then drain it completely. (Here’s why.) If you have a pressure cooker, go to Instant Pot Basmati Rice or Instant Pot Jasmine Rice.
  2. In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the rice, stir once, and continue to boil uncovered for about 8 minutes for jasmine rice or 9 to 12 minutes for basmati rice, bubbling rapidly. Taste a grain of rice; if it is tender, remove the pan from the heat, then pour the rice into the strainer.
  3. Return the rice to the pot (without the heat). Cover the pot and allow the rice to steam for 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the kosher salt.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Rice
  • Diet: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Rama Jo says:

    Thank you for this recipe. All my life I cooked all rice at a 1 to 2 ratio believing it was correct. I love Indian food and always wondered why I could not get the rice lite and fluffy like theirs and found out that its because they cook it more like a noodle and strain it. Always learning :)

  2. Carlos Diaz says:

    The mixing ratio 1:6. Meaning 1 cup of rice ro 6 cups of water seems much excessive? I’ve cooked rice all my life and a mixture of 1:2 1cup of rice 2 cups of water!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      The method for this post is to boil like pasta a strain remaining water.