Thank heavens for this Perfect Rice Every Time recipe! 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, sriracha or saffron outright but they add a very subtle depth of flavor.
This perfect rice is the perfect base for the Roasted Za’atar Chicken you can see here.
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 yellow onion chopped optional
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp siracha (or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper)
- 1 pinch saffron optional
- 1 cup frozen green peas optional
- Fill a large sauce pan with cold water. Place the dried rice in a strainer and submerge the strainer in the sauce pan of cold water. Swish the rice around well. Water will become cloudy. Drain water and repeat the rinsing about 4 more times until water remains clear. Then refill the sauce pan with cold water and submerge the rice in the strainer for at least 30 minutes. It doesn't hurt it to leave it for even an hour or two.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9X 13" oven proof dish with cooking spray. Put the rice, onions and peas in the pan and mix well. Add the garlic and spices to the broth and pour over the rice. Distribute the butter in a few dots around the dish.
- Cover loosely with foil. Bake for about 45 minutes. There should be no visible water. If the rice is still moist let it rest tightly covered for about 10 more minutes. Remove foil and fluff with a fork to separate the grains of rice.