I was listening to the Radio program for cooking the other day and someone asked the Host- how to cook Rice. Rice should always be washed in cold water. Take a bowl of water, add rice and wash with your hands, rinse and repeat a couple of times. Then soak. Since Rice come in many varieties-sizes- aged- broken, flavored, parboiled, brown-white-red-black and more- it would be appropriate to say that cooking time and the amount of water depends on the type of rice you use. Rice is a staple food for many coastal and other communities in the world, and cooking seems easy for most. I remember while growing up that my mother always drained the starchy water from Rice when it was cooked-similar to Pasta.Many people now use rice cooker and follow directions. In India, many families now have a cooker-Steam Cooker where in many items are cooked at the same time. It has small containers inside. So small families can cook -steam many items at one time.
Rice is one of the items cooked in the Steam cooker. I remember as a young girl, Rice was cooked like Pasta. Soak Rice, Boil a lot of water in a large pot, add rice and they cooked in just a few minutes. Then strain it and put it back in the pot. Rice if soaked in water cooks faster.It is best not to stir rice except just before done-only stir very lightly. Cook it covered if possible at low heat. I have tried cooking rice by soaking and then sauteing in a little oil with Cumin seeds and then adding water and a little salt. For Basmati Rice you may need about one and a half times amount of water. For Brown Rice- about two to two and a halftimes water. For pearl rice-sticky rice- about two times the water. Adding a little oil and salt while cooking and keeping it covered helps cook faster. Basmati Rice: This type of Rice is excellent for Pulav ( Pillaf), or Biryani. The grains are long and do not stick. I use this Rice for many rice dishes. Red Rice from Shri Lanka or Kerala flavorful and are not sticky. Use about two and a half times water as the grains have not been polished and takes more water and a little longer time. I went to an Indian Market and found the Kerala Red Rice. It is also known as Kerala Rose Matta Rice. I brought some home and cooked it-The grains were separate and very flavorful and tasty. I did not add anything to it . Just washed and soaked it for 10 minutes. Added 2and a half the amount of water and cooked it at low speed without stirring. When almost all the water was gone, I checked the grain to see if it is cooked by taking some grains in a spoon and pressing them gently. Once almost done, turned off the stove and covering the pot. Add a little oil, salt and cilantro and it makes a great Rice dish. Remember, not all rice use the same amount of water- you may need more for thicker quality of Rice. Use the kind of Rice depending on the dish you are making. Khichari( mixture of Rice and Daals cooked together) . Jasmine Rice grains are slightly sticky. Broken Rice is used for many Oriental dishes. This type of Rice is also good for Khichari. Kheer-a sweet dish made with Rice and Milk – great if made with Broken Rice. Rice will double in size when cooked. About one cup makes two cups. Serves 3 to 4 depending on how much rice one eats. In the Meal from South India, Rice is a main item and a Big pot is cooked for a meal.
Rice cooks fast -for best results wash and soak rice for about 10 minutes first. Boil water, add rice, turn the heat to low medium. Let rice cook partially covering with lid. check in 5 to 7 minutes, water will almost be evaporated. Add salt and fluff with fork. Cover and turn off heat. Rice will cook for a few minutes. If you wait till all the water is gone then Rice may become sticky. Basmati has very long grain and can fluff easy. When buying Rice, use your judgement and buy what kind and the amount you need if you are trying it for the first time., Rice will more then double in quantity- one cup of uncooked rice will make more then 2 cups of Rice when cooked. You can also wash them once cooked -like Pasta.
when cooking, keep the pot slightly open to keep it from boiling over. I have used Roasted Cumin as I like the flavor but it is an option.
In Northern part of India, Rice is made with a Lot of Cumin seeds-this is called Jeera Rice.
I have not added other images of soaking Rice as it has no contrast.
How to Cook Rice
Wash Rice in cold or warm water-use your hand to wash. Rince and Soak for about 10 Minutes
Use the same pot and the water-do not rinse once soaked- and cook on medium- low heat. cover the pot leaving a little space open.
Rice cooks in about 8 to 10 minutes. You can rense the rice in cold water if you want to remove some starch like Pasta or cover and let it sit for about 3 to 5 minutes. Add oil, salt and fluff before serving and sprinkle with Roasted Cumin.