Management practices need to be developed for successful cultivation of good quality aerobic basmati rice. Field experiments were conducted at Ludhiana, India during the summer seasons of 2011 and 2012 to ascertain the optimum irrigation schedule and dose and timings of nitrogen application to direct seeded basmati rice cultivar Pusa Basmati 1121. Three irrigation schedules (irrigations at 30, 50 and 70 mm CPE), three nitrogen levels (40, 60 and 80 kg N ha–1) and two modules of nitrogen splits (3 splits, i.e. application at 3, 6 and 9 weeks after sowing and 4 splits, i.e. application at 0, 3, 6 and 9 weeks after sowing) were tested in randomized block design with four replications on a loamy sand soil. The maximum grain yield, protein content, brown, milled and head rice recovery were obtained with irrigations at 30 mm CPE and these were significantly better than 50 and 70 mm CPE irrigation schedules. Among nitrogen levels, the significant increase in grain yield as well as quality parameters, viz. protein content, brown, milled and head rice recovery was recorded only up to a nitrogen dose of 60 kg ha–1. In Indian Punjab, good quality direct seeded basmati rice can be produced by following the irrigation schedule of 30 mm CPE and with the application of 60 kg N ha–1 applied in 3 splits (3, 6 and 9 weeks after sowing).