Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cooking Rice

I meet so many people who are intimidated by cooking rice and I frequently see bad advice about it with unnecessarily complex procedures. You know, rinse the rice twice in cold water before letting it stand and dancing around the bowl three times naked before draining it and so on and so on – all laced with dire warnings balanced with reassurances that by following the author’s method, you’ll never cry again.

Here’s how I cook rice. It works for me every time and doesn’t involve more steps than a visit to the Priory. It can’t go wrong.

Sling basmati rice in pan, around 60g per person. Boil kettle. As kettle comes to boil, turn on gas under pan so that when you slosh in the boiling water, it froths and bubbles in the pan as it hits the hot metal. There’s no particularly good reason to do this, I just like the drama of it all. Now half-cover the rice and let it boil for 12 minutes. Don’t let it boil over, otherwise you’ll have to clean up the hob.

Test a grain – go on, be a devil – it should just bite a little bit but not have a chalky core. Now drain it in a sieve (pour off any froth first before you drain it) and put the sieve resting in the pan with the lid on it. Do whatever else you need to do, it’ll wait there for you for a good hour or so quite happily. When you’re ready to serve it, refill the kettle and pour the boiling water all over the rice, tapping it a couple of times to help it drain and loosen up. It will do this quite easily.

Serve. No fuss, no messing, no tears, no drama.


the real nick said...

Not complex you say? If it works for you, but here is how I cook Basmati: (recipe for four people as a side dish)

Two "katoree's" (cups) rice in a pot. wash and rinse (yes!). Add one "katoree" water, add a drop of oil, pinch of salt (and optional: thyme or caraway seeds), swirl once, bring to boil, then half cover and wait until the water is totally "reduced". Total time elapsed: approximately one ciggie length and two sips from the wine glass. Done, eat, be merry.

the real nick said...

Are you doing a Delila next? How to cook an egg, by Alxander McNabb...

Media Junkie said...

i do something similar to the real nick, although the rice:water ratio is 1:2, not 2:1.

but keeping the water hot is an interesting method. shall try it once and see if there's a difference.

Media Junkie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mita said...

I make it even less complex - use a rice cooker and follow instructions. No washing, rinsing. No cleaning the hob. Rice, water, switch. Done

the real nick said...

Media junkie,

you are right of course - it's one measure rice to two measures water!

Silly mistake.

giasi said...

This is my approach... but ive only done it with Tilda Basmati rice and cannot guarantee anything with other rice... sue me...

Washing the rice just makes it less starchy so I do it but it isnt essential.

Place rice in pan.
Place identical amount of cold water over rice.
Add salt.
Bring to the boil.
Once boiling, cover with lid and turn down cooker to simmer.
Simmer for exactly tem ninutes.
Turn off heat and leave covered for 5 minutes.
Lap up applause from your guests.