Basmati Rice

It was always a mystery to me how everyone else’s basmati rice seemed to come out loose and fluffy? Our rice cooker and the absorption method never really did it justice. Sushi rice loves being sticky; basmati rice loves being free, and my basmati rice was looking decidedly stuck together.

Ironically, on all the packages of white rice in the (Dutch) supermarkets, the instruction is always the same; bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop in the rice and simmer until tender. Drain well and cover for ten minutes. I was always in doubt whether this was a good way to cook rice. However, I decided to give it a try after a veritable Indian cookbook Benares recommended the same procedure. At last! My basmati rice was ever so fluffy 🙂 Yes! And from this step forward it’s just one more to make a biriyani…

I wish I had known this twenty years ago when I was cooking white rice for forty in the Utah desert during an outdoor retreat – such a large amount of rice on a small burner was having utmost difficulty in coming out right!

230 g ( 1¼ cups) basmati rice
2 litres (2 quarts) water
Little sea salt
Optional: a few green peas 

  • Place the rice in a sieve and rinse in several changes of water until the water runs clear. Cover and soak in cold water for ten minutes.
  • In a large pot bring 2-3 litres (2-3 quarts) of water to a rolling boil over a high flame.
  • Drain the rice, drop into the boiling water and stir to prevent sticking. Add the salt. Return to a boil. Reduce the flame and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  • Drop the cooked rice into a sieve and drain well. Cover and let it rest 10 minutes.
  • Fluff before serving.
  • Optional: add a few green peas for colour.

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