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Bagara rice served on a white plate with ghee roasted cashews on top, cilantro on the side, raita in a white bowl on the side and a fork on the side of the plate on a black surface.

Bagara Rice (Instant pot & stove top)

  • Author: Yamini
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Bagara rice is a delicious rice delicacy from Telangana region in South India which is frequently found in special event menus. It is famous for its simplicity and delicious flavor and and comes together pretty quickly in around 30 mins. 


  • 2 cups Basmati Rice soaked for 20 mins
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee ( use up to 3 tablespoons for authentic taste)
  • 1.5 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 5 green chillies ( adjust as per your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/3 cup packed mint leaves chopped
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro leaves chopped ( also called dhania or coriander leaves)
  • Salt to taste (around 2 to 2.5 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 10 to 15 cashew nuts

Whole Spices

  • 1 teaspoon shah jeera (black cumin seeds)
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 6 cloves
  • 6 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 Mace (Javetri)
  • 1teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves



  • Wash Basmati rice for 3 to 4 times until the water runs clear and soak it in water for 20 mins.
  • Chop onion into thin slices, split green chillies, clean and chop mint leaves, coriander leaves and keep all the whole masalas, ginger garlic paste and lemon juice ready.

Procedure for Instant pot

  • Turn on the Sauté mode on low (press Sauté button and then press adjust to select low heat), once it displays hot, add ghee(clarified butter). When the ghee is hot add all the whole garam masalas i.e. shah jeera(black cumin seeds),cinnamon stick, cloves, green cardamom, black cardamom, pepper corns, bay leaf, star anise and cashew nuts, sauté until you get nice aroma.
  • Now add thinly sliced onions and split green chillies(adjust to your spice level) and stir well. Sauté them for 4 to 5 mins while stirring in between.
  • Now add ginger garlic paste and mix well. Sauté for another 2 to 3 mins until the onions are golden brown.
  • Now add chopped mint and cilantro leaves and mix well. Sauté for a minute or two until herbs release their aroma.
  • Now drain the soaked rice and add it to the pot and mix well. Sauté for a minute.
  • Then add water, salt, lemon juice and mix well. Deglaze the pot using a wooden spatula to make sure nothing is stuck at the bottom.
  • Close the Instant pot lid, turn the vent to seal, cancel the sauté mode, press on manual and choose 6 mins on high pressure.
  • Once the Instant pot beeps and turns off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 mins and then do a quick release. Remove the steel insert from the Instant pot and set it on a heat proof surface for 5 mins to avoid burning on the bottom from the Instant pot left over heat.
  • Fluff it with a fork after 5 mins and serve it with your choice of vegetarian or non vegetarian dish or just raita.

Procedure for stove top pressure cooker

  • Follow the same procedure in a stove top pressure cooker until you add everything to the pot including water salt and lemon juice. Then close the lid and cook on high until 2 whistles
  • Then remove it from heat and let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid after all the pressure is released, let it rest for 5 mins and then fluff it and serve it.

Procedure for stove top pot

  • Follow the same procedure in a stove top pot until you add everything to the pot including water salt and lemon juice. Add 3&1/2 cups of water instead of 3 cups.
  • Now keep it on medium high until the water comes to boil. Then reduce the heat to low and let it cook covered until all the water is absorbed. Open the lid and check if the rice is cooked to your satisfaction. If not add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water more and cook it covered on low until completely cooked.
  • Remove from the heat, let it rest for 5 mins before you fluff it gently and serve it. Do not stir immediately after removing from the heat as this will break the rice and result in a mushy rice.


  • The cook time and prep time given here are possible when you soak rice as the first step of the recipe, thus giving rice enough time to soak while we do the chopping and sautéing.
  • Make sure to sauté onions on medium to low heat until they are nicely golden brown and not burnt.
  • When cooking in Instant pot, if sauté mode on low feels too slow for you, you can cancel and switch to sauté mode on high but make sure the onions are not sticking to the bottom or burning.
  • Spice level : Adjust the number of green chillies to your spice level. For low spice, use 1 to 2, for medium spice, use 2 to 3 and for high spice use 4 to 5.
  • How to make it Vegan : To make it a vegan dish, skip ghee and use oil. ( But please note that the real authentic taste to this dish comes from using the ghee )
  • Lemon juice helps reduce the stickiness and results in separate grains. 
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Instant pot/Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Bagara rice, Bagara rice recipe, Bagara Khana, Bagara annam