- Rice cooker v. stove-top method
- Leave the lid on v. cooking without a lid
- Dry v. wet
- Brown v. white
- Short-grain v. long-grain
Z. is the rice master of our household and I only make rice under close supervision. Z. has some amazing recipes for dal (lentil curry) we eat frequently that I have been waiting to share until I had written about rice. Here is a little bit of information I have learned from the rice cooking master:
- Each variety of rice has its own water to rice ratio.
- Each brand of a variety of rice is slightly different and requires its own water to rice ratio. When we get a new brand of rice, Z. experiments until he finds the perfect ratio for that particular rice.
- The amount of cooking time also varies within each brand. Z. has noticed that cooking times for basmati can vary between 20 to 25 minutes.
- The size of the pot affects the end result. Z. tries to use the smallest pot he can.
- Z.'s basmati has the texture of the kind of rice you can get at an Indian restaurant: each grain is distinct and not too moist. One of the tricks to accomplishing these results is to let the pan sit on the warm burner with the heat off for at least 10 minutes before serving.
- Z. prefers different varieties of rice of different applications. We always have basmati with Indian food. We tend to use jasmine rice for everything else.
1 part water to 1 part rice
- Place a strainer (fine mesh sifter or a colander where the rice cannot fall through is fine) in a bowl large enough to hold the strainer up while allowing the bottom portion to be submerged.
- Measure rice and place in strainer.
- Cover with cold water, gently stirring with your hand or a spoon. Do not let the rice soak for more than 1 minute. Drain the water and repeat. Use at least three changes of water; 5 is preferable.
- After the last rinsing drain the water and keep the rice in the strainer in the bowl, allowing the rice to sit and drain.
- Bring the water to a boil in a pot.
- Add rice.
- String and bring back to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Once boiling turn heat to low (the lowest your stove will go). Continue to stir occasionally.
- Put lid on the pot when the boiling has reduced to a gentle simmer. Set timer at 23 minutes (remember, can vary by brand). Do not touch the lid!
- After the timer goes off, turn the heat off and DO NOT TOUCH THE PAN OR THE LID. Let the rice sit for 10 minutes. You may now serve your delicious rice. If you are not ready to serve the rice, turn the heat back on to the lowest setting and let the rice sit for 5 minutes then turn the heat off and it may sit for another 10 minutes.
- When you are ready to serve your rice, place the rice in a large bowl and fluff until the rice grains are separated.