Perfect Basmati Rice

Thursday, August 20, 2015

This recipe is 100% about the process, and not the ingredients.  Obviously.  It is only rice, water and salt.  Like many things in the kitchen, I can find 10 different ways to do one set of instructions incorrectly.  I'm really special like that.

In real time, I am about 10 recipes into the Aarti Paarti cookbook and I make this rice to go with every dish.  I really feel like I am a pro.  It is an unfamiliar feeling, being confident in the kitchen, but I can get used to this.
I have used several different cooking vessels while making all this rice and my favorite has to be the nonstick saucepan such as this: Simply Calphalon Nonstick 1-Quart Sauce Pan
It is just the right size for the recipe and the rice comes off the bottom without sticking.  I found when I used the dutch oven pot to make this recipe, the surface area of the bottom was just too large.  Much of the rice stuck to the bottom so there was less for eating. The water, while the same measurements in all the pots and pans, seemed lower to the bottom, so the water evaporated a lot faster than in the saucepan.  The result was rice that was undercooked and dry. This is all a moot point if you have a rice cooker, those make perfect rice without breaking a sweat!  I have a teeny city kitchen though, so I need to be prudent with my appliance purchases (but I'm not.) Without further ado, here is how you make Aarti's Perfect Basmati Rice:

You will need:
1 cup basmati rice
1 3/4 cups water
1 TSP kosher salt

Follow this process to the letter, and it should come out as soft pump little grains of tastiness.

In a separate bowl add your rice and cover with water.  With clean hands, run your fingers gently through the grains to help them release their starches.  The water will turn cloudy.  Drain the cloudy water off the rice and repeat until the water remains mostly clear when you are delicately jostling the rice. 
Once you have all the starch rinsed out of your grains, cover the rice with water and let sit for 30 minutes.  This time lets the grains soften and gives a head start on the water absorption.

When you are at about 25 minutes into the soaking process, put the 1 3/4 cup of water, and 1 TSP kosher salt on the stove to boil.

::Ding:: the 30 minute timer has gone off, your rice is done soaking.  Drain off the water from the rice.  I usually pour the whole bowl of rice and water into a metal sieve so it catches all the grains. 

By this time the salt water should be at a boil, you can now add your rice.  Stir for the rice to all be covered by the water.  Once the rice is in and the water has come back up to a boil, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes your rice should be perfectly done, and you will just need to maybe fluff with a fork before serving.

1 comment:

  1. I can eat Basmati rice 3 meals a day !! I'm serious! love that rice !!!