Tuesday, 10 September 2013

How To Make Simple Basmati Rice

Take away rice (and bread) from me and you might as well take away my reason of looking forward to eat food.  Rice (and bread) bring my taste buds joy and happiness.  And it's not just me, but rice is the most consumed food in the world!  And because it is the most consumed rice in the world, we have an obligation to show you how to make it.  Wait! STOP! I see where you're going! Do NOT even think about busting out with your electric rice cooker.  Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against rice cookers...truth be told, I don't even know how to use one...but anyways....a rice cooker is nice to have as an OPTION and not as your ONLY solution!  I repeat, a rice cooker is NOT your only solution. Basmati is one of my favorite of the rice varieties because it's so aromatic and goes with just about everything.  There are different ways to preparing different kinds of rice, some call for a prolonged soak, some call for toasting (light saute in oil or butter), but we can get into those later. For now, let's go on to making a simple and perfect batch of Basmati rice.

Now, come back and gently turn your back away from your rice cooker and follow me...

Bring water and salt to a boil (high heat)

Rinse your rice through a sieve until the water runs clear from underneath.  Forgot to show you this step, sorry. This releases the excess starch and will make your rice fluffier and leave you with a less heavy feeling.
Add your rinsed rice and vinegar to the boiling water. Give a quick stir, twice or three times, to make sure everything is incorporated and then LEAVE THE RICE ALONE AND DO NOT TOUCH IT AGAIN.

You'll see a starchy film but LEAVE THE RICE ALONE AND DO NOT TOUCH IT. 

If you stir too much the end result will be mushy. 
Reduce heat to medium and leave it gently boil uncovered for 1-2 minutes. Cover, then reduce heat to low and let it cook for about 12 minutes. 

See, wasn't that easy?

Basmati Rice
Feeds 2-3 if in a main meal like curry

1 C Basmati Rice
1 3/4 C water
1 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon plain white vinegar (optional -see note)

1/2 tbsp butter or 1 tsp olive oil (or a bit more if you want)
1 tsp chicken broth paste

Rinse rice well in a sieve till the water runs clear underneath.  Set aside and get the water boiling on med to high heat.  Once the water boils, add salt and vinegar. If you decide to use butter and chicken broth paste add it now too.  Now that the water is boiling add the rice (be careful not to splash hot water on yourself as you add the rice).  Give a quick stir, twice or three times, to make sure everything is incorporated and then LEAVE THE RICE ALONE AND DO NOT TOUCH IT AGAIN.  If you over-stir or fuss with it too much it will be mushy.

Now let the rice continue to boil uncovered on med heat for about 1-2 min then reduce the heat to low and let it boil and do its thing while the pot.  Once the water level is just above the rice to where you see the rice grains, cover and leave it alone for about 10-12 minutes.  Uncover and fluff with a fork. If you see that it is cooked but a bit moist, let it sit uncovered for about 5 minutes so it can dry a bit. Then serve.  If you’re not serving immediately within the 5 min, cover it back until ready to be served.

Don't worry if you see some starchy film as the water level goes down. It's ok as it will eventually dissipate. Do not be tempted to stir it!

If you cook 1 C of rice the cooking will be quicker than if you are cooking 5C for example, that would take about 15-20min.

NOTE: By the way, the vinegar makes the rice fluffy and does not affect the taste.