How to cook perfect rice

If you want to cook perfect rice, the kind that is always light and fluffy with every grain remaining separate, then fear not.

People are afraid of cooking rice which is why there are so many so called easy-cook, cook in the bag, pre-cooked rice products.

As always, if you learn how to cook rice properly you’ll save a lot of money and it will be so much better.

What you’re looking for is this magic word, Basmati. This is the best quality; it has slim grains with needle sharp points at each end. And, it has the very best flavour.

Use it straight from the packet, because if you wash it you risk losing some of its nutrients.

The number one essential rule is always to measure the rice by volume.

Always use a wide, shallow pan and for cooking rice for two people, the Delia Online Little Gem Frying Pan is the exact size you will need. Because it needs a lid, any one will do as long as it fits comfortably.

Heat the pan gently over a medium heat, and then add groundnut or other flavourless oil, swirl it round and when its hot add the rice and turn the grains over so they become lightly coated and glistening with oil.

Next, measure exactly double the amount of boiling water, pour it in, add ¾ teaspoon of salt. Stir once only, and put the lid on.

Turn the heat down to it’s very lowest and time the rice for exactly 15 minutes.

Now most important of all, the one thing you really mustn’t do is stir it. This is your enemy!

What happens is the rice grains break, they release their starch and this is what makes rice sticky.

Remove the lid after 15 minutes when the liquid will have been absorbed, and the rice will then be cooked. Take the pan off the heat and cover it with a folded tea towel for about 10 to 15 minutes. This will absorb the excess steam and keep the grains dry and separate.

After that, gently separate and fluff up the grains of rice with a fork.

And that’s perfect Basmati rice – no problem!

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