I was so frustrated for many years when I cooked rice and got sticky, clumps of rice clinging to the serving spoon… sound familiar? And I kept thinking.., it can’t be that hard… and it isn’t!
It just took me a long time to come across the right answer! I was working at a Food And Drink show – of course, I was manning the wine booth! The booth beside me was an Indian restaurant serving up portions of Butter Chicken on beautiful white fluffy rice. The smell was amazing… all day long!
As trade show comradery goes we were soon trading wine and butter chicken samples, so I asked how they got their rice like that… all the individual grains…not sticking together in the least… my dream rice…. I am talking basmati rice here. I have to confess I may not have mastered ordinary long grain white or brown rice! But this one is so good I don’t usually use any other kind now- arborio excepted!
The answer – Part I – rinse it and soak it to reduce the starch content. It makes it easier to digest too. Part II – Bake it in the oven. This works every time.
Put your rice in a strainer and sit it inside a bowl of cold water. Swirl it around to get it all moving. The water will go cloudy. Drain the water from the bowl keeping the rice in the strainer. Repeat this rinse, swish process 3-4 times until the water stays clear. Then, still leaving the rice in the strainer, fill the bowl with water so the rice is submerged in the strainer in the bowl. Let this sit at least 30 minutes. If I am working in the kitchen I have been known to leave it longer…much longer (!)
Drain the water off the rice grains. Proceed to cook it according to the recipe.
You can add green peas, onion, chopped celery, green onions (think of what you see in stir fried rice). Or you can leave it totally plain. I have written the recipe the way I like it best. You don’t actually taste the garlic, siracha or saffron outright but they add a very subtle depth of flavor.
This rice is the perfect base for the Roasted Za’atar Chicken you can see here.