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Thread: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

  1. #1
    Purple's Avatar
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    Default How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    Hi guys, did a quick search but couldn't find anything on the forums. Just wondered how you guys cook your rice. My rice always seems to come out quite sticky.

    What are your tips for the best most authentic indian rice? Do you guys wash your rice first, or do you pour freshly boiling water over the rice when you drain it to wash away some of the starch?

    My rice is always a bit crap and I'm cooking for my gf tomorrow night and I want to do the perfect rice

    Cheers guys!
    Last edited by Purple; Dec 7th, 2006 at 03:16 PM. Reason: forgot to say thanks ;)

  2. #2
    maya's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    I have a rice cooker it always cooks my rice perfect.
    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

  3. #3
    Purple's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    Cool, thanks Maya (that was a fast response ). Not sure I have time to get a rice cooker in time though Plus I quite like boiling it in a pan.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    I always wash the rice first. Bung it in the pan and pour enough boiling water on it to cover it, plus a wee bit more. If you have some saffron put a few pieces too. Put the lid on it, let it cook up for a few minutes and then turn off the heat. I leave the rice for about 20 mins and the rice soaks up all the hot water so that it cooks up in it's own heat. It always come out really nice, the grains don't seem to stick too much at all.

    I cook in glass saucepans (oh, if only I could find some more of them. I've had them for many years and love them to bits). They hold the heat a lot better than metal so you may have to take this into consideration.

  5. #5
    Vegan Traveler howdawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    I rinse the rice, then put it in a pot.. Turn the heat all the way up, (for Indian style rice I) add some oil, garlic, ginger, curry spices, and basil... cook the rice for a minute in the oil, then add the water while the pan is hot.. I typically use about 2 1/4 parts water to 1 part rice... Add the lid, let it come to a boil, and then turn the heat way down.. Let it simmer for a half hour or so, remove the lid, stir, and if there's no water left, it's done.. Sometimes I check it before a half an hour and add a little water.. It seems that different rice cooks differently Good luck!
    - The Duck
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  6. #6
    Seaside
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    Hehe! This is funny. I never rinse my rice. I put it into the bottom of the pot, put in cold water until the water level is one inch above the rice, bring to a boil without stirring, then turn down the heat to low, put a lid on the pot, and let it simmer until all the water is absorbed.

  7. #7
    Purple's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    Haha, cheers for the replies guys. Well, I just tried again, and it was still really soggy/mushy. Can't quite understand how they get it so dry and fine in indian restaurants.

    Basically...

    -rinsed rice
    -used 2 cups of water to 1 of rice
    -boiled said 2 cups of water in kettle, and added to rice and left boiling for a few mins
    -turned down the gas to simmer until all the water had gone
    -drained the rice, there was still a bit of water. Is that what I'm doing wrong?

    I don't get it

    lol. please pity me. all of you!

  8. #8
    Vegan Traveler howdawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    When you're done, there should be no water to drain... First, I'd recommend you use my posted strategy , but other than that, you might want to raise the temp or lower the water.
    - The Duck
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  9. #9
    Purple's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    Yeah, I used a mish-mash of what everybody said, plus was being lazy tonight

    Okay, I think I've got it for tomorrow. Cheers Howdawg, I'll let you know how it goes

  10. #10
    Vegan Traveler howdawg's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    Good luck!
    - The Duck
    Let's do something about it!

  11. #11
    flying plum's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    this is the recipie i use, adapted from a delia smith one:

    small frying pan, that will hold, when dry, a complete covering of rice, one grain deep or thereabouts.

    first, i dry-fry a few whole cloves, then add two teaspoons of oil (groundnut is best, or some other flavourless oil) and the rice (no need to rinse it first). make sure each grain of rice glistens with the oil, then add just-boiled water to the same volume of the rice, plus a tiny bit extra. stir, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. i add a teaspoon of tumeric, but that's entirely to taste/appearance. then, put on a tight fitting lid, and leave to simmer for 15 mins. that's usually the exact time needed for all the rice to be cooked and all water absorbed, but it's best to check at 11 mins. if, when you tip the pan slightly to the side, there is some liquid, leave it.

    once 15 mins up, tip the rice into a bowl, fluff it with a fork and put a tea towel over it, and leave it for another 10-15 mins. don't eat it straight out of the pan, or it will still be a little sticky and starchy.

    sorry for the slightly random first post, but i was talking to my flatmate aobut this today, and so it was fresh in my mind hi everyone!

    amanda

  12. #12
    JustMe's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    A Tupperware Multi Server is useful for cooking rice, also pasta and vegetables... also good for keeping items like baked potatoes warm if you're going on a picnic. You can usually find one listed on eBay. (If you buy one without the instruction leaflet then let me know.)

  13. #13
    Good sperm
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    I eat only brown rice, but I get it perfect every time by:

    Put rice in pan and warm pan while kettle boils (make sure rice doesn't burn, stir it around) add biling water from kettle.

    Boil for a few minutes, give it a stir then turn down and simmer with the lid half on. Cook for 25-35 mins depending on the rice (test it) then drain excess water away. Leave lid on for a few minutes, give it a stir and serve.

  14. #14
    wandering.... snufkin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    my rice cooker is one of the best kitchen appliances I've ever invested in. Perfect rice every time. Other than that I find it helpful to wash the rice beforehand.

    P.S. I made brown basmati rice the night before last for the first time and it came out wonderfully.

  15. #15
    cedartree cedarblue's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    i must admit to investing in a rice cooker recently - perfect rice every time.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    i have bought one in a japanese goodies store, it's a microwave version. perfect

    when i cook my rice, i basically put some water in a saucepan (i don't care how much, just enough so when you put the rice in, it's entirely covered by the water). i add some salt and put to boil. then i add the rice in it and let it cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. then i put it in a strainer to get rid of the excess water and rinse it.

    to get a rice sticky like in a japanese restaurant, i prefer using my rice cooker, but if you do this with a saucepan and a lid, rinse the rice a few times and strain well. then put the rice in a saucepan. for the water, take the measure of rice and double it, that gives you the amount of water you should use. cover with the lid and put it to boil for a few minutes ( about 3 to 5 minutes), then lower the heat to medium and let cook.
    for a small quantity, i noticed it takes about 10 minutes. a tip to know if all the water has been absorbed is to hear a sort of cracking sound. then take off the heat and wait ten minutes again before taking off the lid.

  17. #17
    nomadbamon Burntfruit's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    Quote Seaside View Post
    Hehe! This is funny. I never rinse my rice. I put it into the bottom of the pot, put in cold water until the water level is one inch above the rice, bring to a boil without stirring, then turn down the heat to low, put a lid on the pot, and let it simmer until all the water is absorbed.
    Thats how I cook my rice too. You can half-tsp of tumeric to make it a nice colour, add crushed garlic for taste or even some cashew nuts.
    Thanks,

    Burntfruit

  18. #18
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cook decent basmati/pilau rice?

    I follow the method that Cherry taught me - add 1 mug unrinsed rice to a hot pan with a tsp oil and allow it to fry for up to 2 minutes, stiring/shaking every now and then so that it starts to release a nutty flavour and all grains are coated. Add 2 mugs boiling water, cover and cook over a medium heat for 16 minutes. It should have no water left and be ready to serve directly from the pan. Serves 2 and works every time.
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

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