If the reason for me having this food blog is to enable my sons and daughters and their sons and daughters to have a family collection of recipes to refer back to, then we really must have a basic recipe for cooking rice well.
I know it’s not glamorous, or fun, but there really is an art to cooking rice well. I mean, who likes gluey, gummy, gloopy rice? It’s all about individual grains, perfectly cooked.
And while we’re talking rice, my children, just one word for you to remember.
Basmati. My favourite rice.
Basmati is a beautifully fragrant long grain rice, primarily from South Asia. Luckily we can get it almost anywhere. 😉
I’ve recently taken to cooking rice in the microwave, experimenting each time with the amount of water needed. I now know that the perfect ratio for my 850 watt microwave, is 1 cup of rice, to 1 1/4 cups of water.
Therefore if you are cooking rice for 4, you will need 2 cups of rice and 2 1/2 cups of water. I know this doesn’t sound like enough water, but for some reason, the water doesn’t evaporate as much as if you are cooking rice on the hob.
So, wash the rice well! I’m saying this because I remember Yiayia saying that Basmati rice should be washed 7 times.
Yes, seven times.
Don’t worry too much though, you know me, I have lazy days and I’m assuming you will too.
Just place the rice in a large sieve if you prefer, place it under running water and keep swishing the rice about with your fingers until the water runs clear.
Place the rice in a large bowl, add the water and a pinch of salt and cover with a plate.
Cook on full power for 12 minutes.
When the 12 minutes are up, don’t move the rice, don’t peep, or open the microwave door. Just leave it alone for at least the next 10 minutes.
This is what produces the perfect rice, time to rest. Trust me. 😉
And there you go, you should now have perfectly cooked rice.
Of course, you may not want to cook rice in the microwave, or even own a microwave, so here is my adapted version of the way Indian cooking legend Madhur Jaffrey cooks her rice:
Plain Basmati Rice (serves 6)
Basmati rice measured to the 15fl oz (425ml) level in a measuring jug
1pint (570ml) water
3/4 tsp salt
Put the rice in a bowl and wash well.
Pour 2 pints fresh water over the rice and let it soak for half an hour.
Combine the rice, salt and water in a heavy bottomed pan, bring to a boil, cover with the lid, turn heat to very, very low and cook for 20 minutes.
Lift the lid, quickly mix lightly with a fork, cover again and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until tender.
Take off the heat and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes.
Again, you should now have perfectly cooked rice.
Oh, by the way, sons and daughters of mine – avgolemoni soup is better made with plain long grain rice. Not Basmati. This is the only exception. Trust me.