For a long time, I didn't like rice that much. In part, this had something to do with a moth infestation in the kitchen of my student residence where these pests preferred to live inside my rice containers. But aside from this nightmarish situation, I also never enjoyed the flavour. Because there simply wasn't any. And I truly don't see the point of eating something that literally tastes like nothing. But now the nightmares of moths in my rice have passed, and I discovered a new way of cooking rice, I actually quite enjoy eating it. So I thought it would be nice to share my findings with you.
I learned cooking by following the instructions printed on the backside of packets. These packets' main aim is to get food on the table as quickly as possible while still giving you the feeling that you cooked your own dinner. So in accordance with this main goal, I was taught to bring a large amount of water to the boil, add the rice, cook it for a while, then drain off the excess water. And that is where the flavour went: down the drain. A couple of years ago, I found a recipe for perfectly cooked basmati rice in one of my Indian cookbooks. This method takes a bit more time, but it's well worth the effort.
- Wash 1 mug / 220g rice under running water until the water stays clear. Then leave the rice to soak in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. You do this to remove the starch from the grains of rice so it cooks faster and doesn't become sticky.
- Put a kettle on to boil water.
- Heat 2tbsp of rapeseed oil in a large pan over medium heat. Drain the rice and add it with 3/4tsp salt to the pan. Stir a couple of times until each grain is covered in oil.
- Add 1,5 mug / 375ml water to the rice and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid (a glass one would be convenient). Turn the heat to low, but make sure the rice still cooks. Leave for 10 minute. Yes, you have to resist removing the lid all this time. That's why I'd recommend using a glass lid.
- After a while you'll see small dents form in the surface of the rice with the water bubbling through. When the bubbles disappear, you'll know the water is absorbed. If you're worried there isn't enough water, tilt your pan a little. If the rice slides to the side, there's still enough water in the pan.
- Remove the pan from the heat after 10 minutes. But don't remove the lid just yet. It has to sit for another 10 minutes before it's ready.
- Before serving, stir the rice with a fork to loosen the grains. Enjoy!
1 mug basmati rice (220g)
1,5 mug boiled water (375ml)
2tbsp rapeseed oil