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How to cook Basmati Rice

The essential guide on how to cook basmati rice.

Basmati is the classic Indian rice and is sold under many brand names. If you can find a bag or Basmati rice that says it has been aged then you are on to a winner straight away.

Cooking basmati rice is somewhat of an art from in the East and if you follow these simple steps your rice will come out looking perfect. Light, fluffy and soft!

Preparing Basmati Rice

Step 1 - Wash

Washing the rice before you cook it is an essential part of cooking rice but is always overlooked.

Find a big bolw and fill with cold water and the rice this will cause all the empty husks to float to the top, remove them as they come. The rice then needs to be rinced a couple of times to remove the excess starch.

Step 2 -Soak

Soaking the rice for as long as possibly is always a good start to cooking rice. Anything from 20 minutes to an hour and a half is fine).

This causes the rice to absorb water so they become long and thin. It will also stop the rice from breaking up when you cook it.

Step 3 - Oil

To get a nice fluffy tecture andd some butter or oil, just a little. Half a teaspoon of lime or lemon juice also helps to stop the rice from sticking together.

Add when the water is hot.

Step 4 - The water

How much? Good question, it is a very important thing to get right. It kind of depends if you like your rice soft or thin.

As a general rule add one 1 3/4 of water for each cup of basmati rice. Maybe reduce this amount by a quater of a cup if you like your rice firm.

Step 5 - Do not disturb

It is a very important NOT to touch your rice once it is cooking. Many a pan of rice is ruined by an eager wooden spoon. Just leave it untill it is ready.

Basmati rice, bowl

How to Cook Basmati Rice

Cooking Basmati rice on the stove

Once you have completed all fo the rpeceding steps, it is time to begin cooking your rice. How to cook basmati rice.

Place your pan with the cold water and rice on the stove (you can add a little salt if you like). Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 mins.

After fifteen minutes, set aside and leave to settle down for a few minutes before draining and serving.

Cooking Basmati rice in the oven

Although the classic way of cooking Basmati rice is on the stove, it is possible to cook it in the oven with, sometimes pretty surprising results!

Follow the preperation steps listed above. Boil in salted water for about 7 minutes and then transfer to a baking dish. Cover and bake slowly untill it is ready. About 130°C

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