Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:22 PM
Atomic Mama is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 837

Best Method To Cook Basmati Rice


My basmati rice always comes out TOO DAMP & somewhat sticky / clumpy. What am I doing wrong?

I've tried using less water, but it always seems like it'll go into that undesirable brown-crusty-stuff-on-the-bottom-of-the-pot phase ...

The rice I've had in Indian restaurants is always so long, separate, elegant, dry-ish, and never crunchy.

Can I cook basmati rice in a Japanese-style electric rice cooker? Would that improve my results?

All recipes, methods, suggestions appreciated! I've still got four pounds of the real stuff to experiment with. Thanks.
  #2  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:32 PM
Curiosity Kills Her is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: PNW
Posts: 531
First vote for a rice cooker. I haven't done the cooking I used to for a couple of years now, but I pretty much exclusively used brown basmati rice, and never cooked it in anything but my rice cooker.
  #3  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:37 PM
Morgyn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: In the time stream
Posts: 5,767
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic Mama View Post
My basmati rice always comes out TOO DAMP & somewhat sticky / clumpy. What am I doing wrong?

I've tried using less water, but it always seems like it'll go into that undesirable brown-crusty-stuff-on-the-bottom-of-the-pot phase ...

The rice I've had in Indian restaurants is always so long, separate, elegant, dry-ish, and never crunchy.

Can I cook basmati rice in a Japanese-style electric rice cooker? Would that improve my results?

All recipes, methods, suggestions appreciated! I've still got four pounds of the real stuff to experiment with. Thanks.
I've found that using 1 cup of water and a dollop of butter to a cup of basmati rice works. Put the butter in the water and bring to a boil (you want the butter all melted). Once it's boiling, add the rice and stir it really well with a fork (the fork is apparently important, so said the Indian lady who told me how to do this). Bring to a boil once more. Once it's boiling, cover and turn down to low heat (between 1 or 2 on an electric stove top) for 25 minutes. I cook it in an enameled cast iron casserole (Pfizerware, if you're curious, a hand-me-down from my mom and the best rice cooker). I like to add a bit of salt and turmeric for flavour and colour.

This is for white basmati. I'm told brown takes longer to cook; something I'm likely to find out, as when this runs out I plan to switch to brown for the higher fiber content.

[NB: the Indian lady also told me to rinse the rice well before cooking, but I've personally not found it making a difference, so I skip that step.]

Last edited by Morgyn; 09-09-2012 at 03:38 PM.
  #4  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:40 PM
Malacandra is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: England, Britain, UK
Posts: 18,480
To make enough for two people: One cup of rice and two of cold water in a microwaveable bowl. Cover. Two minutes on high and 15 on defrost (650W oven). Remove and serve. Or on the stovetop, same proportions, bring to boil and simmer very slowly under cover. Don't meddle with it. A clear cover will help you see when all the visible water has disappeared (have the occasional brief peek if you like) and when it has, give it another minute or so before removing from heat. If you don't stir it, you will not leak starch into the water from broken grains and there is much less risk you will end up with anything sticking to the bottom, never mind burnt.
  #5  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:43 PM
Lavasoap is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 11
I was born in Sri Lanka, so rice is a staple food in our family. Mom cooks rice all the time; she uses an electric rice cooker. It comes out slightly moist but not waterlogged, crisp but not hard.

Mom has cooked rice without an electric cooker too, and really the all natural way isn't better.
  #6  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:46 PM
Gagundathar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: East TN Mtns USA,NA,Sol3
Posts: 4,101
Dang. I came here with my helpful suggestion to use 1.75 cups of water and a dollop of butter for every cup of rice, and got ninjaed.
Then I learned something, so the effort wasn't wasted.

Hmmmm... I need to cook some rice tonight.
  #7  
Old 09-09-2012, 03:53 PM
Johnny Bravo's Avatar
Johnny Bravo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: The Swamp
Posts: 7,774
I use a rice cooker and my basmati always comes out fluffy and delicious.
  #8  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:04 PM
Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,459
Aged Basmati rice, 1 cup to 1 3/4 cup water.

Put a big dollop (1T or more) of butter in a pan. Add the rice, saute until the rice begins to brown. You can also add other whole spices at this point - cumin seed, coriander seed, etc.

Add the water, cover.

Cook at medium high for 13-15 minutes, until the water is gone but the rice is not burnt. You can open the cover and look occasionally - all that stuff about "never uncover cooking rice" is wrong.

After the water is gone, fluff with a fork, then cover and let sit another 10-15 minutes or so.

Perfect every time.
  #9  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:16 PM
Leaffan's Avatar
Leaffan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 24,539
I follow the package directions and it works out perfectly every time. I think that simmering temperature is the key. I turn mine down to about the second lowest spot on the electric dial and leave it alone while it simmers according to the time on the package. Remove it from the heat and leave it alone again for about 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Works out perfectly every single time for me. The rice-to-water ratio is not approximate either. Measure this almost precisely.

Last edited by Leaffan; 09-09-2012 at 05:17 PM. Reason: Superfluous period.
  #10  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:18 PM
ThelmaLou's Avatar
ThelmaLou is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 16,372
I never started getting perfect rice until I got a rice cooker. They are fantastic. They also keep the rice warm for hours. If you eat a lot of rice (or even if you don't) get one. They're cheap.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 09-09-2012 at 05:19 PM. Reason: spelling
  #11  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:31 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28,734
I don't use a rice cooker or butter but this is what I do. First, rinse the rice until the water runs clear. Then put it in a saucepan with half again as much water (so for four ounces of rice, use six ounces of water). Bring to a boil and then stir once. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for ten minutes (don't remove the cover during this time). Then, move the pan off the heat and leave alone for five more minutes (again, without disturbing the cover). The rice should be cooked nicely, without excess water. I got these directions from the back of a bag of basmati rice.
  #12  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:51 PM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 85,197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Aged Basmati rice, 1 cup to 1 3/4 cup water.

Put a big dollop (1T or more) of butter in a pan. Add the rice, saute until the rice begins to brown. You can also add other whole spices at this point - cumin seed, coriander seed, etc.

Add the water, cover.

Cook at medium high for 13-15 minutes, until the water is gone but the rice is not burnt. You can open the cover and look occasionally - all that stuff about "never uncover cooking rice" is wrong.

After the water is gone, fluff with a fork, then cover and let sit another 10-15 minutes or so.

Perfect every time.
If I were to cover the rice and cook at Med High, it would boil over like crazy. Med High... really?
  #13  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:52 PM
zombywoof is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 2,266
The cooks (grandmother and mother) in an Indian family I know cook it like pasta (in an excess of boiling water).
  #14  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:52 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
For basmati, where you want individual grains, I rinse the rice 3 or 4 times until it runs clear (and then sometimes soak it for another 15 minutes and drain before cooking.) Then I follow the ratio of 1 cup rice to about 1 3/4 cup water. Put in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cover. Let cook 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Fluff. I find there is absolutely no reason to uncover the rice at any point in the cooking process.
  #15  
Old 09-09-2012, 05:53 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
If I were to cover the rice and cook at Med High, it would boil over like crazy. Med High... really?
I agree. I even have to move my rice to the small burner, as the big burner's lowest setting is still a tad too high.

Anyway, here's a more detailed description from Aarti Sequeira.
  #16  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:01 PM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 85,197
I use this method, and I generally get the same results as the OP:

1.5x the water (2 cups rice, 3 cups water)
A good pour of olive oil
salt
bring to a boil
cover and simmer for 20 minutes
let stand for 10 minutes.

It's OK, but a little sticky and not like what I'd get at an Indian restaurant.
  #17  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:03 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
It's OK, but a little sticky and not like what I'd get at an Indian restaurant.
That's where the rinsing part comes in. (Though I suspect you know that.)

Also, the real foolproof method is just to cook it up like pasta. Rinse the rice a couple times and cook it in WAY more boiling water than you need. Like, say, 4 cups or more for one cup of rice. Cook it at a full boil for 12-15 minutes, pour through a strainer, cover it with a towel for five minutes, and serve. You really cannot screw it up this way, and you get nice, individual grains of rice. I know that at least some (perhaps most) of the Indian restaurants around here do it this way.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-09-2012 at 06:07 PM.
  #18  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:06 PM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 85,197
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
That's where the rinsing part comes in. (Though I suspect you know that.)
I do now!

But here's the thing... If you rinse it, the rice is going to absorb a lot of water. If you still go by that ratio, won't there be too much water? And some folks here use even more than that.

Last edited by John Mace; 09-09-2012 at 06:07 PM.
  #19  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:10 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
I do now!

But here's the thing... If you rinse it, the rice is going to absorb a lot of water. If you still go by that ratio, won't there be too much water? And some folks here use even more than that.
There doesn't seem to be to me. About 1:1 3/4 still seems to work for me. I might go down to 1 1/2 cup water if the rice is really fresh, but usually 1 3/4 works. But, if you don't want to stress yourself out, really, try the boiling/pasta method. It works really, really well. I do use that method when I'm making large batches (for like dinner parties) of rice and don't feel like measuring everything exactly. You just can't screw it up.
  #20  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:12 PM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28,734
No it won't absorb too much water. (I use the same ratio you do.) The rinsing doesn't result in more absorption, just less starch on the surface.
  #21  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:16 PM
Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,459
Really guys, saute it first. That will get rid of the stickiness and add some great flavor. I'm not right on everything cooking, but on this, I'm right.
  #22  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:26 PM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 85,197
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Really guys, saute it first. That will get rid of the stickiness and add some great flavor. I'm not right on everything cooking, but on this, I'm right.
No washing?
  #23  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:54 PM
Leaffan's Avatar
Leaffan is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 24,539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
I follow the package directions and it works out perfectly every time. I think that simmering temperature is the key. I turn mine down to about the second lowest spot on the electric dial and leave it alone while it simmers according to the time on the package. Remove it from the heat and leave it alone again for about 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Works out perfectly every single time for me. The rice-to-water ratio is not approximate either. Measure this almost precisely.
Quoting myself.

The instructions on my rice include rinsing and soaking, I don't know what kind of rice you're buying, but following the instructions on my President's Choice Basmati Rice works perfectly every single time.

President's Choice is a store brand in Canada, meaning it's made by someone else with (presumably) the same instructions for their rice.

Follow the instructions.

I've never had a bad rice experience once I realized that simmering temperature is low, low, low,. Let it stand for 10 minutes afterwards, and leave it alone! No peeking.
  #24  
Old 09-09-2012, 06:58 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Really guys, saute it first. That will get rid of the stickiness and add some great flavor. I'm not right on everything cooking, but on this, I'm right.
That's more Mexican-style rice, isn't it? I don't think I've ever come across basmati rice instructions that require frying in oil. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, it's just that I'm not familiar with it.

ETA: Actually, I see there are some recipes that have frying included, but there is a soaking or rinsing step as well. I was taught the simple boil method, no fry.

Last edited by pulykamell; 09-09-2012 at 07:01 PM.
  #25  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:11 PM
Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
No washing?
Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
That's more Mexican-style rice, isn't it? I don't think I've ever come across basmati rice instructions that require frying in oil. I'm not saying it doesn't happen, it's just that I'm not familiar with it.

ETA: Actually, I see there are some recipes that have frying included, but there is a soaking or rinsing step as well. I was taught the simple boil method, no fry.
Y'know, I don't know where I got it, but I'm pretty sure it's not Mexican as I believe the original recipe (that I can't find) calls for ghee, which I use if I have it. Butter works just about as well.

I never rinse.

It always turns out perfect, to the point that I've had more than one person who claimed they weren't really all that into rice call me the next day and ask me for the recipe.

I *do* think part of it is the quality of the rice. I always make sure it's aged Basmati, which is not all that hard to find nor is it especially expensive. The local co-op carries it in bulk, and the local bulk grocery stores has 20 pound bags that last me forever.
  #26  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:21 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Y'know, I don't know where I got it, but I'm pretty sure it's not Mexican as I believe the original recipe (that I can't find) calls for ghee, which I use if I have it. Butter works just about as well.
No, you're right. I did find a few recipes that seemed legit that had a step where the rice is fried in oil. Still, they all seem to involve washing and/or soaking. I find it works fine without the oil, but I would use oil if I were adding spices to the rice (like cinnamon, cumin, cardamom or whatnot), as the oil dissolves and distributes the flavors of the spices better.

Also, like I said, if you're a complete dunce with rice (and a lot of people are challenged with rice, for whatever reason), do try the boiling-as-pasta method of making rice. You really have to try hard to screw it up.
  #27  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:32 PM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 85,197
I've "toasted" the rice before in oil, and it does give it a nutty flavor.
  #28  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:47 PM
Jaledin is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Athena View Post
Aged Basmati rice, 1 cup to 1 3/4 cup water.

Put a big dollop (1T or more) of butter in a pan. Add the rice, saute until the rice begins to brown. You can also add other whole spices at this point - cumin seed, coriander seed, etc.

Add the water, cover.

Cook at medium high for 13-15 minutes, until the water is gone but the rice is not burnt. You can open the cover and look occasionally - all that stuff about "never uncover cooking rice" is wrong.

After the water is gone, fluff with a fork, then cover and let sit another 10-15 minutes or so.

Perfect every time.
This is about my method. Depends on stove and pan, but I use a 3 or 4 quart (can't remember) old AllClad pan, on high heat with fat fry the salted rice for a while, then add 1.5 cups water for 1 cup rice, or 2.75 cups of water for 2 cups rice. Bring to a vigorous boil for a while, then put the lid and turn down to medium-low (my burner runs a little hot) and let it cook for about 15-20 minutes.

You're the only person who agrees with me that it doesn't really matter as in OMG it's ruined if you take a peek or two. The rice should look done when you open the lid -- little dimples on the surface, but not smell burned. In practice I usually get by with 13-15 minutes cooking, but this all depends on your pan and your range, I expect. I shoot for twenty to be safe, though.

Just like Athena says, I've never, ever ever had rice using this method that was anything but fluffy, distinct in grains, perfectly cooked, and never burned on the bottom.

I don't bother cooking brown rice unless it's the only thing I have left (the flavor is OK, but I eat about 150% of the RDA of fiber daily), because I can't always predict the way it will turn out. Don't know why, but sometimes it's just a little watery -- not enough practice perfecting it.
  #29  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:52 PM
anu-la1979 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Currently Californian
Posts: 3,594
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
That's where the rinsing part comes in. (Though I suspect you know that.)

Also, the real foolproof method is just to cook it up like pasta. Rinse the rice a couple times and cook it in WAY more boiling water than you need. Like, say, 4 cups or more for one cup of rice. Cook it at a full boil for 12-15 minutes, pour through a strainer, cover it with a towel for five minutes, and serve. You really cannot screw it up this way, and you get nice, individual grains of rice. I know that at least some (perhaps most) of the Indian restaurants around here do it this way.
This is the method all my Persian friends use and I totally vouch for its efficacy. I use the rice cooker but I didn't get my rice to taste like Persian/restaurant rice till I started doing this.
  #30  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:54 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaledin View Post
You're the only person who agrees with me that it doesn't really matter as in OMG it's ruined if you take a peek or two.
A peek doesn't matter, but I really don't see the need to peek. I used to do it when I first did rice, and it didn't seem to affect the final product at all, but there's just no good reason to check on anything. I literally just boil, cover, set the timer, and walk away until it starts beeping.

As for the brown rice, that's where I always do the pasta method.
  #31  
Old 09-09-2012, 07:59 PM
Jaledin is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,061
You're right -- there's no need to peek. I find you can pretty much smell when it's done, or once you know your stove burners and pan, just go by time.

But still, if you *must* peek (going on a limb that a lot of cooks might tend towards the obsessive), IME it doesn't hurt. Certainly doesn't help, but, hey, maybe you forgot to check the time or something.
  #32  
Old 09-09-2012, 11:21 PM
Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,459
I never peek anymore, but I did when I was figuring out just exactly how much time I need. Now that I know it, I don't need to peek.

It never hurt to peek, though, that I could tell.
  #33  
Old 09-10-2012, 04:39 AM
Grrr!'s Avatar
Grrr! is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 16,422
LOL. I remember when I was a kid I used to get so PISSED if anyone dared to open my rice while it was still cooking. My Mother was the worst offender. She was the type of person that would walk in to the kitchen, lift up the lid and then ask "Whacha' cook'n?"

AARRGGG!! Put the lid back on! Jeez!

Also, I don't understand all the love for rice cookers. You cook with a rice cooker, you're gonna have sticky rice.

I've done the pasta style method. It wasn't sticky but it had zero flavor. Despite me salting the crap out of the water. My next attempt, I'm going to try it pasta style again. Then I'm going to stiry fry it in some EVOO with some seasoning and see how that works.
  #34  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:08 AM
Atomic Mama is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 837
Wow! I have lots of different methods to try

More questions: Do I measure the rice in an American measuring cup?
(16 liquid ounces to a cup) = "1 cup of rice" ?

Or by weight, on a scale: "8 oz. [1/2 a POUND] of rice" ?

I'm assuming water should be by liquid measure ... "8 oz. = 1 liquid cup/half a pint of water" ?



I HAVE FOLLOWED THE INSTRUCTIONS on the India-grown bag of rice. Also washed it several times first. It still came out clumpy, not aristocratically enlongated, separate grains of rice ...

Keep the suggestions / instructions coming!
  #35  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:11 AM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28,734
Doesn't matter. I've made rice both by liquid and by weight measure and it worked both ways. BTW, what do the "INSTRUCTIONS on the India-grown bag of rice" say to do?

Last edited by Dewey Finn; 09-10-2012 at 09:12 AM.
  #36  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:12 AM
John Mace's Avatar
John Mace is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: South Bay
Posts: 85,197
All measurements are by volume.
  #37  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:28 AM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 28,734
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic Mama View Post
(16 liquid ounces to a cup) = "1 cup of rice" ?
Where do you live that a cup equals sixteen liquid ounces? It's eight ounces to the cup and sixteen ounces to the pint where I live.
  #38  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:44 AM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakes View Post
I've done the pasta style method. It wasn't sticky but it had zero flavor. Despite me salting the crap out of the water.
I usually make my rice with plain water (no salt), so I've never noticed a problem. However, you do point out one of the big disadvantages of the pasta method. If you do like cooking in broth or a flavorful liquid, it's not an effective way of getting all that flavor into your rice.
  #39  
Old 09-10-2012, 09:46 AM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomic Mama View Post
More questions: Do I measure the rice in an American measuring cup?
(16 liquid ounces to a cup) = "1 cup of rice" ?
Use any kind of cup you want, as long as you measure both the water and rice with it. The ratio is the important part.
  #40  
Old 09-10-2012, 10:44 AM
elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14,398
Quote:
Also, I don't understand all the love for rice cookers. You cook with a rice cooker, you're gonna have sticky rice.
You're not doing it right. Millions of Asian are not wrong. Rice cookers are all kinds of awesome. They make perfect rice every time and keep it perfect for up to 8hrs. It's the most used appliance in my house! My rice is never sticky. Are you washing the rice first?

(To make perfect rice in your rice cooker; Measure out any amount of rice. Wash it, just by filling with water, swishing until water is milky, then draining that water off. Do it twice. Now rest your hand, with the fingers spread wide, on top of the rice. Now fill with water until the water level reaches to the second knuckle on any of your fingers. Perfect water/rice ratio, no matter how much rice you're cooking, or what kind of pot you're using. This system will always make perfect rice in your rice cooker!)

Cooking Basmati rice in a rice cooker is also not that hard;

Wash rice. Then soak for 10mins, do not exceed. Drain, add water, (2 cups water to 1 cup rice) and hit 'cook'. When it says 'done', you need to let it rest. Remove the lid, letting the steam escape, then replace the lid and let it rest for 10 mins. Any attempt to 'fluff' the rice before 'the rest', it will break the grains.
  #41  
Old 09-10-2012, 10:46 AM
Dervorin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: London
Posts: 2,344
I'm from South India, where rice three times a day is standard, so I should know a thing or two about this (thanks, ma!). My mother's method for cooking rice in an open container:

Rinse the rice (at least twice)
Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes
Add 1.5 times the volume of hot/boiling water (2 cups rice, 3 cups water)
Bring to the boil over high heat (should be very quick since the water is already hot)
Cover
Lower the heat to a very gentle simmer for about 10 mins
Take off the heat and let it stand for about 5 mins

Voila!

You can also reduce the quantity of water slightly if you want more grainy rice, but I prefer mine well done.

The problem with the pasta method (apart from being wrong and immoral in so many ways) is that, as other posters noted, you lose all the flavour. Also, if you're making any other sort of rice dish, like a pulao, you don't have the pasta option, so it's best to learn how to cook rice without any residual water.
  #42  
Old 09-10-2012, 10:54 AM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dervorin View Post
I(apart from being wrong and immoral in so many ways)
Funny thing is, I actually learned that method from an Indian. More than one way to skin a duck.
  #43  
Old 09-10-2012, 01:43 PM
ThelmaLou's Avatar
ThelmaLou is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 16,372
Re measuring: I used to watch a Chinese cooking program back in the early 70's. Maybe it was Joyce Chen? Anyhow, she poured uncooked rice in a pot so it covered the bottom. It doesn't matter how much. Then she put her hand on top of the rice, flat, and poured in water until it just covered her hand. IOW however much rice you put in the pot, add enough water so it's about an inch higher than the level of the rice. That's all. The point being that a precise ratio of water to rice apparently isn't that important.
  #44  
Old 09-10-2012, 02:06 PM
pulykamell is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 47,830
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
Re measuring: I used to watch a Chinese cooking program back in the early 70's. Maybe it was Joyce Chen? Anyhow, she poured uncooked rice in a pot so it covered the bottom. It doesn't matter how much. Then she put her hand on top of the rice, flat, and poured in water until it just covered her hand. IOW however much rice you put in the pot, add enough water so it's about an inch higher than the level of the rice. That's all. The point being that a precise ratio of water to rice apparently isn't that important.
That's often taught as the "knuckle rule." You place your forefinger so it touches the very top of the rice, and then you pour enough water until it reaches the middle of your first knuckle (or the fold on the inside of that knuckle.)
  #45  
Old 09-10-2012, 02:12 PM
elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14,398
Quote:
... Now rest your hand, with the fingers spread wide, on top of the rice. Now fill with water until the water level reaches to the second knuckle on any of your fingers. Perfect water/rice ratio, no matter how much rice you're cooking...
Huh, who knew it had a name? 'The knuckle rule'! I like it. I've taught several people how to make perfect rice, this exact way. It's great, no measuring cups!
  #46  
Old 09-10-2012, 05:40 PM
Morgyn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: In the time stream
Posts: 5,767
What if you have smaller than average hands, though? My knuckles are definitely not as long as most adult women's, so using that rule means I'd not have enough water. And what if you've got LARGER than average hands? Can you imagine Shaq using that rule?
  #47  
Old 09-10-2012, 05:43 PM
ThelmaLou's Avatar
ThelmaLou is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 16,372
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morgyn View Post
What if you have smaller than average hands, though? My knuckles are definitely not as long as most adult women's, so using that rule means I'd not have enough water. And what if you've got LARGER than average hands? Can you imagine Shaq using that rule?
Well, I think the point is that doesn't matter that much. I dunno.
  #48  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:02 PM
Jaledin is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,061
Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Use any kind of cup you want, as long as you measure both the water and rice with it. The ratio is the important part.
Here, here. I think my "cup" for the past few weeks has been a waxed-paper disposable drinking cup. Also, I said 2.75W<-->2C rice above.. Should have been about 3.75:2. Or something. Fuck it. All I know is I cook rice once qd and it's perfect -- once you know your instruments, no need to bother too much about the details. Wait. 1.5:1. yeah OK about 2.75:2. Now you all are getting me confused -- I just do what seems about right.

Knuckle method for all!
  #49  
Old 09-11-2012, 09:04 AM
elbows is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: London, Ontario
Posts: 14,398
It works because it's close enough. And there are literally a ton of ways to make rice. Some people would never lift the lid to check the rice - it'll ruin it! Some have this measure, or ratio, or that. But the truth is, if you travel in the rice eating world, every savage knows how to; make whatever rice they have, over whatever fire they have, in whatever pot like thing, they have on hand.

It straight up, cannot be a, 'one only', delicately exactly measure, sort of thing, too my mind.
  #50  
Old 09-11-2012, 09:41 AM
Athena is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: da UP, eh
Posts: 13,459
Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows View Post
It works because it's close enough. And there are literally a ton of ways to make rice.
There's a ton of ways to make everything; but if you want it perfect, it makes sense to pay attention to cooking methods. Gooey clumpy unevenly-done or overdone rice isn't as good as perfectly done rice.

Quote:
It straight up, cannot be a, 'one only', delicately exactly measure, sort of thing, too my mind.
Not for everyone, because rice brands vary, altitude varies, the pot you use varies, etc. But for me, it's practically a mathematical formula. 2 quart All-Clad pot. 1.75 cups water. 1 cup aged Basmati, the stuff that comes in the yellow bag. 13 minutes, turn off the heat, fluff, let sit for at least 10 minutes. Never fails.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017