How to cook starch free rice

How to cook starch free rice

Rice is a staple food of India and is composed of carbohydrates and some essential nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, iron, potassium and many more. But for some people, eating rice on a regular basis may be of a concern. If cooked in the right way, you can reduce the starch/ carbs from rice and enjoy it guilt free. Learn how to cook starch free rice that is soft fluffy and non-sticky.

My dad was a diabetic patient and was advised to cut back on high glycemic foods like rice, potatoes, breads etc. But my dad LOVED white rice, so his dietitian advised us to cook rice in a certain way. The process involved washing the boiled rice and draining its liquid to reduce most of its starch content. But a minuscule amount of healthy nutrients is lost by washing the cooked rice. So, she advised us to compensate the lost nutrients with healthy veggies and lean protein like eggs, tofu, paneer, beans and soy products. 

I prefer to cook my rice the same way and balance the lost nutrients with protein rich dals, paneer, tofu and nutritious vegetables. Recipes like – chana dal with lauki, kofta curry, kadi pakoda, sweet and sour honey lemon paneer and more… Besides loosing some of its nutrients, one advantage of draining water from rice is – soft fluffy rice with every grain separated, no clumps and non sticky rice. 

Will the calorie count go down by reducing starch? Not really. If it was that easy we could just wash all the high calorie food and enjoy them guilt-free. But I strongly believe in portion control, one can eat anything he/she wants, as long as you eat it in moderation.

Remember if cooking rice this way, then compensate the lost nutrients with healthy vitamin rich greens and protein foods. Now on to the recipe – 


1 cup Basmati Rice or any kind of rice

3 cups of water

5-6 pieces of cloves (optional)

1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (optional)



1. Measure 1 cup rice.

How to cook starch free rice

2. Wash rice thoroughly under tap water by stirring the rice in circles with your fingers or by gently rubbing the grains in between your fingers. This will remove the dirt as well as some of the starch. How to cook starch free rice

3. In a pan boil 3 cups of water with 5-6 pieces of cloves. How to cook starch free rice

4. Add rice to it.Cook rice on a medium flame for about 5 -6 minutes.

How to cook starch free rice

5. Once the rice starts to boil, a foamy and thick creamy liquid will start to float on top.

how to make non sticky white rice6.  Remove and discard this starchy foam. Repeat this process for a couple of times. 

How to cook starch free rice

7. Until the starchy content will start to fade away. 

how to make non sticky white rice

8. Allow the rice to cook until the water is reduced in quantity and rice grains start to float on top.

How to cook starch free rice

9. Spoon out some rice and check the grain. The grain of rice should feel soft and tender. 

how to make non sticky white rice

10. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully sieve it through a strainer.

How to cook starch free rice

11.  Run under cold water. All the starchy and cloudy liquid will wash away from the boiled rice. Wash for a minutes and very gently run your fingers through the rice to wash away any remaining starch without crushing the grains.

How do i make rice not sticky?

12. Transfer washed rice back to the same pan.

How do i make rice not sticky?

13. Add 1/4 cup of water and maintain the flame at medium low. If you prefer add salt and cumin seeds at this point.

Now the question here is – why drain and steam cook the rice again if the rice is already cooked? The answer is simple- at this point the grain is still sticky, to make them look fluffy-  rice needs to be steam cooked for another 3-4 minutes and the end result will be separate, fluffy grains with no clumps.

How do i make rice not sticky?

14. Bring the rice to boil. Lower the heat to the “LOW” setting and cover the pan with a cloth* and place a lid over it. Keep the flame at low otherwise the cloth may catch fire. On a low flame cook for another 4-5 minutes. If you are not comfortable keeping a cloth over a pan than skip this part and just place a lid that covers the pan completely. 

* Keeping cloth on top of the pan will avoid the steam to escape and this way the grain will fluff up with no clustered clumps. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE FLAME ONCE PLACING THE CLOTH OVER THE VESSEL- MAINTAIN IT AT LOW OTHERWISE THE CLOTH WITH CATCH FIRE.

How do i make rice not sticky?15. Take the pan off the heat and let it sit covered and undisturbed for 5-6 minutes. After the desired time, carefully remove the cloth and the lid. 

How to cook starch free rice

16. Underneath you will find fluffy- long- white -starch -free -grains of rice.

rice puffed up

17.  Use a fork to fluff up the rice.

How do i make rice not sticky?

18.  Enjoy with your favorite dal or curry. 

How to cook starch free rice




Veg Manchurian Rice



Moti Pulao – Pearl Pulao


Sweet and Sour Honey Lemon Paneer


Paneer Shashlik


Paneer Tikka Pulao

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22 Responses

  1. Sanjay says:

    Excellent article with pics.

  2. mamta says:

    starch free rice recipe is really good ..I like it..

  3. Neha says:

    I realy likec the recipe

  4. Shazia says:

    I want to ask that this rice will b completely starch free or some will still b there???

    Beside this I also want to ask that how much rice ( that is cooked in above mentioned way) is allowed per day while following weight loss plan????

    And what will be the calorie difference among this rice and normally cooked rice????


    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for stopping by Shazia! I am not a dietitian so can’t comment on the calorie part. It’s clearly mentioned in my post that draining will reduce most of the rice starch content. Also, if reducing calorie was that easy than we could just wash all the high calorie food and enjoy them guilt-free. But I strongly believe in portion control and one can eat anything he/she wants, as long as you eat in moderation.

      Please contact a dietitian for all your diet related questions.

  5. Jhoey says:

    If i use brown rice,would it also lose the fibers in it? Thanks

    • Ruchi says:

      Thanks for stopping by Jhoey! Yes, you are going to lose some nutrients if you drain the water from the cooked rice. But if you are just rinsing the uncooked brown rice then you will not loose anything. Brown rice is the healthiest and the nutritious one, I prefer to enjoy it as is (no water drained). Hope that answers your query!

  6. AR says:

    Wont it lose all the nutrients in the process?

    • RK says:

      Yes, rice will lose its nutrients. To add nutritional value to the drained rice, you can always add extra veggies, beans and other form of proteins.

  7. Atu says:

    Tried it your way and got good results. Thanks

  8. Agatha says:

    Wow, superb blog structure! The overall glance of your website is wonderful, as smartly as the content material! Browsing through the pics and each one of them is worth looking. Quite well explained I must say. Will try this recipe today!!

  9. Mamta Jain says:

    Market does not have big sized filters, so how to drain the excess water out of the cooked rice when quantity of uncooked rice is say more than 1 KG ?

    • RK says:

      Hello Mamta,

      Do you have a pasta strainer or any other kind of channi, if so than place a muslin cloth over it and drain rice. If not then I would suggest draining rice in batches.Hope that helps.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Devraj says:

    Prepared starch free rice and was very easy. Foe the first time eating light fluffy rice made by me. Thanks for the easy recipe.

  11. Dipa says:

    Made it for my Diabetic father and he loved it. So light and fluffy.. Thanks Ruchi. your blog is super yummy and very creative recipes.

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