The magic of Basmati!
Many may have heard of the phrase, "Basmati - the queen of rice!" And all those who have had a perfect bowl of Basmati know what I'm talking about.
Basmati literally means, "Queen of fragrance" in hindi. And thats what is. Lovely long grained rice, with a beautiful fragrance and delectable flavour..... if cooked to perfection, it can be an awesome companion to any gravy, curry, soup and superb just by itself!
Today I share with you some well known and some *may be* not so well known tips and tricks to get your basmati the best!
Basmati rice has a lot of starch stuck to the grains and so it needs to be cleaned thoroughly before cooking or you'll end up with sticky grains.
Try washing it 2-3 times with your hands rubbing the grains to get the starch off, till the water stops becoming milky/pearly and instead stays clear. And when you think you're done - wash it one more time!
We all make rice in lots of ways. Four most common ways are -
- In a pressure cooker.
- In a rice cooker.
- In a microwave.
- In a deep covered pot.
- Add a teaspoon of ghee / butter / olive oil / vegetable oil while cooking to ensure that the grains don't stick.
- If making rice for savouries (not sweets),
- add 2 teaspoons of lemon juice to the water and rice, that way the grains cook longer!
- try adding a teaspoon of cumin seeds (raw) if making rice to accompany curries. Boiled/steamed cumin tastes yumm.
- try adding inch long strips of ginger (raw) when making rice for Rajma/Chhole, if you're a ginger lover - the crunchy ginger will taste divine when cooked.
- Always consider whether you're cooking just rice or adding vegetables as well, becuase that will increase the quantity of water and spices/garnish.
Some tips for each method of rice preparation =>
- Pressure Cooker -
- When measuring water for the rice, dip your finger till your finger tip just touches the rice and if the water just reaches over the first line on the finger (eg out of the three lines that we have on each finger! :P) - then thats enough.
- Usually 2 whistles should be enough if rice has been pre-soaked the rice for an hour. Or 3-4 if not.
- Rice Cooker/Microwave -
- Usually equal quantities of rice and water are used. Please read the instructions from the manufacturer - incase the power of the instrument requires a different measurement.
- Make sure to stir the rice half way through the cooking to ensure that the grains cook evenly.
- Deep covered pot(The oldest way, and also one with many variations)-
- Start with equal quantities of rice and water and you can add warm water as the cooking goes on if you think the rice have become too dry.
- Stir occasionally to ensure rice dosen't stick to the sides. If it does and rice is still uncooked then that will indicate that more water is required.
Two choices -
- Stir-fry/Add rice to the fried spices + vegetables after cooking rice separately.
- Fry the spices + vegetables and then add them to the rice and water thats ready waiting to be cooked.
So the choice is upto you! =)
Try fried rice or yogurt rice. And hopefully I'll have more rice delicacies for you in the future!