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How to cook rice

Simple to do once you know how, but a lot of people seem to feel it’s hard to get just right.

All you need to know are a few simple rules. I only cook basmati rice, so your mileage may very with other types.

  • Use a decent pan, preferably not a light stainless steel one
  • Use twice as much water as rice (eg: 1 cup rice = 2 cups water)
  • Keep it covered and don’t boil vigourously
  • Don’t stir or otherwise interfere with its cooking
  • Let the water evaporate entirely
  • If it gets to the end of cooking and you’re worried it will stick to the pan turn off the heat and uncover for the final few minutes

Note: The last few minutes of cooking are the make or break time. It may look cooked on the surface but the last bit of water in the bottom of the pan needs to get evaporated or you’ll get stodge when you serve it up.

After a few attempts it gets easier to judge. :)

The secret to not having rice stick or becoming a stodgy mess?

  • Firstly, it’s the don’t stir rule. Especially at the end of cooking
  • Wash, then soak your rice for 20-30 minutes before cooking
  • Use hot water to soak with some salt and a knob of butter or margarine (olive oil works too)

Adding flavour to your rice . . .

  • Add cinnamon bark, cardamom pods (bruise slightly in a mortar) and a teaspoon of turmeric
  • Or use a very mild vegetable stock (eg: a quarter cube dissolved in a pint of water) – hold the salt in this case as stock can be quite salty
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