Instant Pot Sona Masoori Rice

Note: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This foolproof recipe for Instant Pot sona masoori rice is fluffy and perfectly cooked in under 30 minutes! Ideal for serving with Indian dals and curries.

A bowl of Sona Masoori Rice.
Instant Pot Sona Masoori Rice

As a South Indian, I can’t recall a day of my life that has passed without enjoying rice in some form or another. Rice is a staple food in India (and in much of the world), and it’s important to me that it’s prepared properly and it’s perfectly cooked.

Basmati rice is often prepared for special occasions, but it is not common to use Basmati for everyday use. While I have shared with you my easy recipe for Instant Pot Basmati rice, I figured it was time to share how to prepare other types of rice using a multicooker.

Making any rice in the Instant Pot is failproof, provided you follow the right ratio of rice to water and nail the cooking time. This post will help you make fluffy, perfectly cooked sona masuri rice that you can serve with your favorite Indian curries and dals.

What is sona masoori rice?

Sona masoori rice is a rice that is the result of a hybrid between two popular aromatic rice varieties (Sona and Mahsuri). This rice is a medium-grain (although sometimes referred to as short-grain rice) that is widely used and very popular in South Indian cuisine. Most famously, it is used as an integral ingredient in Pongal (such as my Instant Pot ven pongal), but it is also used to serve with curries and dals or to make fragrant coconut rice.

Alternate names include:

  • Sona masuri
  • Samba masuri
  • Bangaru Theegalu
  • Puzhungal Arisi
  • Parboiled rice
  • Half boiled rice

Health benefits

Rice is widely consumed throughout the world, and it’s a staple food for Indian households. It’s important to make such a popular food as healthy as possible. Sona masoori rice is a great choice for serving daily thanks to its many health benefits:

  • Unpolished, leaving more fiber and nutrients in place.
  • Lower in the glycemic index, making it perfect for those who are sensitive to insulin or are trying to limit their carbohydrates.
  • Lower in calories and starch than popular rice varieties such as basmati.
  • If you select brown rice, there is a marked increase in protein, fiber, and overall nutrients.

Sona masoori rice vs. Basmati rice

While both sona masoori and Basmati rice are popular choices, there is a significant difference between the two. Sona masoori is unpolished, medium-grain rice, while Basmati is long-grain polished rice.

Basmati rice has a nutty, floral aroma, while sona masuri rice has a less pronounced fragrance.

Since sona masoori is less refined than basmati, more nutrients are still intact, and it is a healthier choice. It is lower in starch and carbohydrates. It is also lower on the glycemic index, making it a good choice for everyday use.

Brown vs. white sona masoori rice

Sona masoori rice is available in both white and brown options. Like all brown rice, brown sona masoori is higher in fiber and protein while being lower in carbohydrates and also lower in the glycemic index.

Both the brown and white sona masoori options are delicious, versatile, and great for everyday use. Like all brown rice varieties, it will require a slightly longer cooking time to cook perfectly in the Instant Pot (about 22 minutes compared to just 6-8 minutes for white).

An Instant Pot filled with rice.
Instant Pot Rice

Reasons to love this recipe

  1. Foolproof – cooking rice in the Instant Pot is an easy way to get perfect rice every single time.
  2. Nutritious – higher in fiber, lower in carbohydrates, and lower in calories than many popular rice varieties.
  3. Goes well with anything – Perfect for serving with your favorite curries or as a simple side dish for almost any meal.
  4. Perfect for pot-in-pot cooking – It can be made using the pot-in-pot method, making meal prep effortless.

Here’s what you need to make the recipe

Ingredient notes/swaps

  • Sona masoori rice – Royal sona masoori or Organic tantra is the brand I recommend. If you live in the US, you can find it in Costco, and most Indian stores also carry it.
  • Water – The ratio for cooking this style of rice in the Instant Pot is 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice.
A jar filled with Sona Masoori Rice.
Sona masoori rice

Tools

Here’s what you need


TIPS

  • Rinse the rice – Rinse the rice in a few changes of cold water to remove dirt and extra starch (which makes it easier to digest). 
  • Let the rice rest  – Once cooked, let the rice rest  –  this allows the steam to redistribute, and all the layers of the rice are evenly cooked. That is why it is important to wait 10 minutes before releasing pressure.
  • If not serving immediately, remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot to prevent the rice from drying out and sticking to the bottom.
  • Sauteeing the rice along with oil or ghee helps build flavor.
  • Fluff the rice once it is cooked to prevent it from sticking to each other.
  • The cooking times will vary depending on the texture you desire – 6 minutes for al dente rice (perfect for fried rice) and 8 minutes for softer texture (pairs well with dal and curries). To make curd rice, cook the rice for about 12 minutes and use 2.5 cups of water for every cup of rice.

Cooking pot-in-pot

If you would like to prepare this Instant Pot parboiled rice using the pot-in-pot method, you absolutely can. This method works great for anything with less than 2 cups of rice. This saves time, makes for a quicker cleanup, and is so much easier.

You can cook sona masoori with dal or water in the inner pot. See my complete guide to Pot-in-Pot cooking for detailed instructions.

A bowl of Sona Masoori Rice.
Instant Pot Indian Rice

Prep ahead and storage tips

Freshly cooked rice does have a better texture, but if you need to meal prep, reheating rice works well in a pinch!

To prep ahead, follow the recipe below and cook it through. Once the rice is cool, transfer it to an airtight container and reheat it as needed.

Refrigerator: Your leftover white rice will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge.

Freezer: Store it for a month in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.

Storage tips

Reheating leftover rice – Add a tablespoon of water for every cup of leftover rice. Mix well and pressure cook for zero minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, move the valve to ‘venting’ to release pressure immediately.

Serve it with

This Instant Pot sona masoori rice is so easy to prepare and makes a great side for various dishes. Here are a few of my favorite recipes to serve with it:

  • Chettinad chicken curry – This fiery curry is right up your alley if you like spicy chicken curries. It is so delicious that you’ll want to lick your plate off!
  • Mung dal – If you are looking for a comforting, healthy, and easy weeknight meal, you’ll love this flavorful recipe for moong dal (yellow lentil soup)
  • Baingan bharta (fire-roasted eggplant curry) – A popular North Indian dish, this pairs very well with sona masoori rice.
  • Authentic Indian Butter Chicken – I guarantee that once you make this popular dish at home, it will soon be part of your weekly dinner menu.
Pink circle with light bulb

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to cook Sona masoori rice?

If you are preparing Sona masoori rice in an Instant Pot, the total cook time is as little as just 6-8 minutes (or 10 minutes for a mushy texture). You will also need to allow time for the pressure to build and wait for the pressure to release naturally, but the rice should be completely cooked in less than 30 minutes (with little hands-on time).

Is Sona masoori rice better than Basmati?

Sona masoori rice has a better nutrient profile than standard Basmati rice, but the two types of rice have very different textures. Which type of rice is better depends on personal preference and what dish you’re preparing.

Do you need to soak sona masoori rice?

There is no need to soak the rice before cooking, but rinsing the rice in a few changes of cold water will help to remove dirt and excess starch. This makes it easier to digest, and the texture is also greatly improved.

How healthy is sona masoori rice?

Sona masoori rice is unpolished, meaning more nutrients are intact than polished rice (such as Basmati). It is also lower in carbohydrates, lower in the glycemic index, and higher in protein.

Is sona masoori rice boiled rice?

Sona masoori rice is parboiled, and commercially, parboiled rice is also referred to as boiled.

Other Instant Pot rice recipes to try

If you love making Instant Pot Indian rice, you have to try a few more easy recipes for cooking rice in the Instant Pot. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Instant Pot Basmati rice – The texture is fluffy, with each grain distinct, and so much faster than a rice cooker.
  • Instant Pot Black rice – Rich in fiber, protein, and antioxidants, this nutty whole-grain rice makes the perfect side dish.
  • Instant Pot Palak rice – This filling and flavorful Spinach Rice is packed with warm spices and fresh vegetables for a gluten-free dish everyone will enjoy!
  • Instant Pot Vegetable biryani – This flavorful one-pot vegetarian meal comes together in just under 30 minutes!
A bowl of Sona Masoori Rice.

Instant Pot Sona Masoori rice

No ratings yet
This foolproof recipe for Instant Pot sona masoori rice is fluffy and perfectly cooked in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Pressure Building Time + Resting time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 8
Diet : Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Course : Main Course
Method: Instant Pot
Cuisine : Indian

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups sona masoori rice
  • 4 cups water

Instructions
 

  • Rinse the rice using a strainer till the water runs clear.
  • Add water to the inner pot. 
  • Drain the rice and add it to the inner pot. Mix well.
  • Close the lid and set the steam valve to sealing.
  • Pressure cook for 6 minutes for al dente rice (perfect for fried rice) and 8 minutes for a softer texture. If you want to make mushy rice for curd rice, cook for 10 minutes.
  • When the cooking cycle is complete, wait 10 minutes before moving the valve to 'venting' to release pressure.
  • Open the lid and let the steam escape. Wait for a minute or two and then fluff the rice gently with a fork and it is ready to serve.

Brown Sona Masoori Rice

  • Follow the same process as above just cook for 22 minutes.

Pot in Pot Cooking

  • You can cook sona masoori rice along with dal. Place a trivet over the dal.
  • Place the bowl with rice and water over the trivet.
  • Pressure cook the dal and rice for 10 minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, wait 10 minutes before moving the valve to 'venting' to release pressure.
  • Carefully remove the rice using tongs. Wait for a minute or two and then fluff the rice gently with a fork and it is ready to serve.

Notes

  • I used a standard measuring cup for the recipe, not the rice cup that came with Instant Pot.
  • If not serving immediately, remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot to prevent the rice from drying out and sticking to the bottom.
  • Reheating leftover rice – Add a tablespoon of water for every cup of leftover rice. Mix well and pressure cook for zero minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, move the valve to ‘venting’ to release pressure immediately.
  • If you are making sona masoori rice pot-in-pot, pressure cook on high for 10 minutes and release pressure after 10 minutes.
Tips for perfect sona masoori rice
  1. Wash / Soak the rice Rinse the rice in a few changes of cold water to remove dirt and extra starch (makes it easier to digest). 
  2. Let the rice rest  – Once cooked, let the rice rest  –  this allows the steam to redistribute, and all the layers of the rice are evenly cooked. That is why it is important to wait for 10 minutes before releasing pressure.
Variations
  1. Saute the rice in a tablespoon of ghee and add about 1/4th teaspoon of salt to make it more flavorful.

Pantry EssentialsGetting the right tools for your kitchen makes cooking more enjoyable and less frustrating. Here’s a list of kitchen essentials I own and recommend.

Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition

Calories: 169kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 3gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 8mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.1gCalcium: 16mgIron: 0.4mg

Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.

Did you make this recipe?Take a photo and tag @simmertoslimmer on Instagram for a shoutout!
Keyword : easy, Fluffy, perfect

Get dinner on the table faster!

Learn my meal planning + prepping secrets to make fresh Indian food without spending hours in the kitchen.

An overhead shot of Gujarathi kadhi along with rice, rotis and a side of lemon

FREE EMAIL COURSE

Simmer to Slimmer Logo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating