Cooking Basmati Rice

basmati rice cooking method rice cooker open pan
Cooking rice is not as easy as it looks - I for one struggled for years to get fluffy, separated grains, the way it should be. Out of desperation, I worked out my own method. But first, let's have a look at the conventional method:

The Open Pan where rice is cooked in lots of water just like potatoes or pasta, then drained in a colander. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (optional). When boiling, tip in 250g/300ml (for 4 servings) of rice. Return the water to the boil then stir well. Lower the heat to a fast simmer and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain in a colander and allow to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork and adding a little butter or oil (optional).
Should you rinse or soak the rice prior to cooking? it's not necessary but rinsing rice make the grains of rice "fluffier". Though soaking, make things much more complicated as the cooking time has to be reduced accordingly.
A few years back, a friend visited with his Thai-lady-friend, she was appalled that nobody, she had visited in London, had a rice-cooker. Allegedly, in Thailand that's the first thing one would get when starting a home. A rice cooker works on the same principle as a pressure cooker, it's electrical and it turns itself off when the rice all the water is absorb. The rice keeps for a hours.
My full proof cooking method
 60 to 80g per service. Get a large frying pan, we are going to fry the rice first in a little oil.
When the rice turns white and "pop-corn like" add the liquid broth or bouillon, a glass at the time. Stir. Repeat until the rice is cooked which takes about 15 minutes.
The advantages of using this method are:
  • The grains stay separated
  • Spices can be added before the rice
  • Rice is cooked in a bouillon which gives it a nice flavour ( I use organic Marigold)
  • You are in charge of the cooking, it is not going to go mushy or overcook as you will stay around to add water.

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