Making perfect plain rice is an important part of Indian cooking. Finding a way to get the balance of flavour and texture is key. You can add a variety of spices to your rice to give it a more aromatic flavour (my favourites are 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds and 4 cloves) but this is a simple recipe on how to make rice for Indian dishes. I’m showing two methods of cooking rice – both are based on the absorption method of cooking, which relies on a precise amount of water being completely absorbed by the rice.
1 Cup of Basmati rice – the better the quality, the better the final product. Find a high quality, long-grain Basmati – you can argue with people for hours about which region produces the best Basmati – my family always go for rice from Dehradun – but others will have their own opinion (which are wrong ;))
1 tablespoon of oil
1 1/2 cups of cold water (stovetop absorption)
1 3/4 cups of cold water (microwave absorption)
Note – the amount of water will vary on the exact type of rice you’re using – check the method on your rice packet
Wash your rice in cold water – you want the water to run clear – this will ensure your rice stays loose and fluffy once cooked
Add in 1 1/2 cups of water and a tablespoon of oil and put in a large saucepan – put over a high heat and bring up to the boil
When the water starts to boil, give the rice a good stir to ensure none is stuck to the bottom, then reduce the heat and put a lid on your pot. Don’t be tempted to take the lid off!
After about 8-10 mins of simmering, most of the water will have evaporated – you should be left with little tunnels of bubbles coming up through the rice – this means it’s done – take off the heat and leave to rest – the remaining water will continue to cook the rice whilst inside the saucepan – keep the lid on! Taking it off will release all the steam and undo your hard work
All going well, you should end up with lovely, fluffy rice. If it’s too stodgy, then reduce the amount of water next time. Each batch of rice can be different, so don’t be surprised if it takes a couple of goes to get it right! Enjoy!
Add 1 3/4 cups of water and a tablespoon of oil