At the end of almost every Indian main dish recipe, you will come across the sentence – “serve it hot with roti or rice.” Very often, this rice is white long grain basmati rice. This is the fool proof recipe to cook the best Basmati rice, each time. It is simple and quick.
Plain Basmati rice is the most common accompaniment in Indian food menus and also used in many Indian rice recipes. The beauty of basmati rice lies in its fragrance and look — each grain cooked to its full length and separate from other. In Hindi we say “khila hua chawal” which would translate to “blossomed rice”.
While for our regular everyday cooking we have moved to the healthier brown and red rice; an Indian kitchen cannot keep Basmati rice away. Now, I mostly cook white Basmati rice only while hosting at home or in specific dishes like pilaf, biryani and sometimes for sweet dishes like kheer.
How to cook the perfect Basmati rice? Rice being the staple food for more than half the world’s population, there are many ways of cooking rice; but this recipe is the no-fail recipe to get perfectly cooked Basmati rice.
The trick to get the perfect Basmati rice, is to wash it multiple times before cooking. Rice has a lot of starch that makes the grains stick to each other, by washing the rice in multiple changes of water helps remove this starch. Removal of starch also makes the rice easier to digest.
Follow the steps below and every time that you make rice, it will bring a smile. Especially when I am hosting a lunch or dinner at home, I cook rice as the last item when the guests are already in. It takes only about 15-20 minutes and fills the home with its beautiful fragrance which kind of builds up everyone’s appetite :-). Normally, I cook rice in a cook and serve pot, so the pot directly goes from the cooktop to dining table. As soon as you open the lid, the steam escapes bringing the aroma to everyone. And even though plain rice is only an accompaniment, at that moment, it takes the centre stage when everyone exclaims “Wow!”
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Beautiful long-grain aromatic Basmati rice can take the lime light away from any main dish in an Indian menu! The trick to cook perfect Basmati rice lies in removing all the starch. Follow this simple recipe to cook the best Basmati rice, every time.
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp ghee
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves optional
Take the rice in a big bowl and fill it with regular water. As you swirl your hand through the rice and water, the water will go cloudy with all the rice starch.
Drain the water through a sieve and repeat washing the rice until the water runs clear. This usually takes 3-4 changes of water.
Fill up the bowl with water and let the rice sit for 10 mins. If you have time, let them soak for about 30 mins.
In a pot, bring 2 cups of water to boil. Reduce the heat to low. Drain the rice and add to the water. Add ghee, salt and 2 cloves. Give everything a mix. Close and cook on the lowest heat for 15-20 minutes till all the water has been absorbed by the rice and the rice is cooked through.
Remove from heat and let the rice stand for 5 mins.
Open and take in the beautiful aroma.
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