Cooking Basmati rice

I have seen people in that past who struggle cooking rice. Although rice should be simple to cook, it is quite difficult to perfect cooking it the first time. I have seen people who over cook rice until its like risotto, under-cook rice, use rice cookers, put the rice in the oven to dry it out or even pay money for 100g of pre-cooked rice which costs the same as buying 1kg of the dry stuff.

Buying rice

Like many items, if you purchase them in bulk they work out cheaper per serving. This is true for rice too. Due to the amount of rice I use during the week and because rice will store and last a long time, then I buy either a 5kg or 10kg bag every 6 months. I then store it in a large plastic sealed container and dish out the portions I need when I need them.

Working out how much rice you need. 

The method I use is 1.2 a cup or 80g of rice per person.

This means 1 cup or 160g for 2 people.

320g or 2 cups for 4 people.

Preparing the rice

When you have worked out how much you need, place it in a saucepan.

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Rice has a lot of starch on it which gives it a sticky texture. Fill the bowl up with water.

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Here we can see the effect of the starch. Pour the water out, and repeat this process 3 times until most of the starch has been washed off. I use my hands while I do this to ensure the starch gets released from the rice.

After you have done this, fill the bowl up with enough water to cover the rice by about 2cm.

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If you put any more water in, you will end up with overcooked rice. Cover the pan and place on a high heat for a few minutes.

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After a few minutes the rice will start to boil. It is important to leave the lid on throughout this process. The whole idea is to keep the steam inside of the pan.

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At this point, turn the heat right down to its lowest setting. Leave the rice to simmer for about 5 minutes.  It should look something like the following image.

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Get a tea-towel, hold the lid on with the towel and give the pan a good shake to move the rice around.

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Leave for a further 2 minutes, and repeat the shaking process again. Leave for another minute and if you have a glass lid like I use, check the bottom of the pan by tipping up the pan. If there is no water which runs to the base of the lid, then check the base of the pan to determine if any rice is sticking to the bottom.

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So there is no water dripping out from the lid here but there is some rice stuck to the bottom of the pan. At this point it is time to turn the heat off and leave the rice with the lid still on for 10 minutes. This enables the steam to still cook the rice inside.

If you don’t have a glass lid then just assume to turn the heat off.

After 10 minutes, take the lid off and give the rice a stir to ensure the consistency is fine.

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Serve the rice on a plate to accompany your main dish.

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