Mama’s Fluffy Basmati Rice


When I was a child my mama was very concerned that I would turn into a large grain of basmati rice. This was because for many years it was largely all I ate. My mama’s fluffy rice served with toasted nuts, herbs and yoghurt was all I needed for much of my tiny years and even now, I am happy to eat just this. And I think that I now cook it just as tastily as she did. My husband always smiles when he comes home to find that we are having this dish because it tells him just the kind of day I have had.

You can eat it almost on its own if you like, but this dish is a fantastic accompaniment to almost any meal; vegetable chilli, roasted vegetables, grilled fish, veg, curry, or my favourite Mediterranean ratatouille ( I ate this portion with my grilled aubergines). As you will know from my other posts, I normally cook brown basmati rice and wild rice or rice substitutes like buckwheat or bulgar. However, occasionally I do like to eat white basmati and it does have good health benefits, so it’s a fine option to have with all the whole grains in the pantry! White basmati rice is a good source of selenium and magnesium and it slowly releases energy into your system once you eat it so it’s a good option to get you through the day.

rice is a funny dish to cook, so many people seem to struggle with it; at university my friends would beg me to teach them how my mama made it. All Middle Eastern kitchens can make perfect rice, and The Olive Tree Kitchen is no exception!

I buy organic basmati white rice and I am convinced that you can taste the difference. The ultimate tip is to soak and wash the rice well before cooking to give you that light fluffiness that can be so hard to achieve.


1 cup organic white basmati rice
2 cups filtered/ mineral water
1 pinch Himalayan pink salt
Small handful of parsley and mint, finely chopped
2 heaped tbsps pine kernels and almond slithers

1. soak the rice for 15 minutes in cold water
2. drain and rinse the rice a further two times with cold water and put in the pan
3. add the two cups of filtered water and the salt to the rice and put over a high heat until it reaches a rolling boil
4. once the rice is boiling, reduce the temperature to low and put a lid on the rice and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes
5. put the pine kernels and almonds into a dry pan over a low heat and toss regularly
6. once the rice is cooked, spoon into a dish and sprinkle with the fresh herbs and nuts
7. serve with yoghurt, salad and anything else you like!

Tip: do not drain the rice or disturb (stir) it while it is cooking. To see if it’s finished, push a spoon down between the rice and the side of the pan to see if there is any water left. If the bottom of the pan is dry and and the rice is soft, then remove from the heat- it’s cooked!

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