I am often asked how I make my so fluffy with each grain distinct and not mushy and full of flavour. Well here I am going to share my secrets.
450 g basmati rice
Cooking pasta, potatoes or spaghetti does not seem to present any problems compared to cooking rice which often results in sloppy clumps. There are a number of ways to cook perfect rice but for me this is the most reliable.
The first decision to be made is the choice of rice. I find that basmati is best and expands dramatically in length and becomes fluffy. It may be a little more expensive than others but it is worth it because it has a subtly nutty fragrance and flavour.
Next the question is to wash or not to wash? The main reason for washing rice was because it contained a lot of dust but if you buy a good quality basmati that will not be the case because it is thoroughly cleaned at the milling stage so the decision is based on other factors. On the negative side washing rice removes some nutrients but on the plus side it removes loose starch, making the rice less sticky and since we want fluffy rice I wash the rice in water for a minute or so until the water runs clear.
Soaking – If you have the time soaking the rice in water for an hour can help to soften the grains and thus help prevent sticking. Great if you have the time and inclination but in my opinion not necessary.
Find a large pan and fill with salted water and bring to the boil. Add the rice and bring to the boil again and then when the grains of rice start to dance around in the pan cover the pan with a lid and turn the heat down to low. Don’t take off the lid and continue to simmer for a further 5 minutes.
Drain the rice in a colander then retain just an inch of water in the pan and place it back on the heat and bring back to the boil and simmer. Place some foil or a lid on the rice in the colander and place on top of the pan of simmering water. Now leave the rice for about 10 minutes and do not tempted to remove the foil or lid. Turn off the heat and remove the foil or lid and fluff the rice with a a fork, and let it stand for a few moments before serving.
Now when you have mastered that you can start to experiment a little with some favouring. You can infuse the rice with any flavour you like in the boiling water. I particularly like coconut flavoured rice so I add a can of coconut milk to the water but you can also try herbs, cinnamon, cardamom pods or zest from citrus (lemon, lime, orange, etc).
Serving – Presentation is important try topping with some chopped fresh herbs, sour cream or some cracked black pepper.