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Old 08-29-2009, 09:50 PM   #1
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Help with rice. Beside myself :(

I keep messing up an otherwise awesome Persian dish because of my rice. I have authentic Persian basmati rice, and I live at about a mile elevation (if that changes things).

Here is the recipe that I use:

The problem is my rice is still soggy and clumpy at the end of the 30 minutes. I know this sounds stupid, but does that mean it is being overcooked or undercooked? Technically if it is undercooked it should be hard and not cooked I would think, but I guess it seems "watery" despite using none or all of the suggested water for the second part, so we thought maybe it had to be cooked longer to get the water out.

Should I reduce the time the rice boils or the time it's cooked in the pot?

EDIT: Darn it, I can't use URLs. Just google "persian rice recipe" and click the first one, it's the one I tried to post.

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Old 08-29-2009, 09:58 PM   #2
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Is this the recipe you mean? I've never made rice this way. I'm oldfashioned and stick to the 2:1 ratio of water:rice. Boil water, pour in rice, turn the pot to low for 15 minutes then turn it off and serve 5 minutes after that. Perfect rice every time.

Edit: Sorry, gooey and clumpy means your rice is overcooked or the ratio of water to rice is wrong.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:06 PM   #3
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Rice is generally cooked 1-to-1 Water to rice for Sushi. For fluffy rice, 1 1/2 cup water to 1 cup of rice will work.

In cooking pot, add water and rice, cover with lid. Cook at medium heat until water boils. Heat on high for one minute after reaching boiling. Do NOT lift lid! Turn heat to medium low for 4-5 minutes, then reduce heat to lowest for 10 min. Turn off and let stand for 10 min. For high altitude, you should probably add 1 min. to each step beginning when you turn it down from high to medium low, for a total of an extra 3 minutes cooking.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix View Post
...I'm oldfashioned and stick to the 2:1 ratio of water:rice...

I also use a 2:1 water to rice ratio. that seems pretty standard. As yo have seen, there are other methods.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:28 PM   #5
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Yes, 2:1 for long grain, but medium or short grain is different, and we are talking about Basmati. According to USA Rice Council & Calrose:

How to Cook Diamond G Calrose Rice
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
Yes, 2:1 for long grain, but medium or short grain is different, and we are talking about Basmati. According to USA Rice Council & Calrose:

How to Cook Diamond G Calrose Rice
Basmati is a long grain rice.
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Old 08-29-2009, 10:40 PM   #7
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Duh!! For some reason I had it in my head that Basmati was medium grain, for some reason! But the cooking method still applies as one option.
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Old 08-30-2009, 05:43 AM   #8
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I never had consistent luck with rice until i got a rice steamer, and now a microwave rice steamer. Works perfect for me every time, every grain type ..
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:06 AM   #9
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I use the 2:1-Method with the microwave, but no extra steamer.
Just a pot with a lid, rica and water & some herbs and salt, full power for about 8-10min (depends on how much full power is..), then another 10min at about 400-500 Watt - do your micros work with Watt?
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Old 08-30-2009, 07:21 AM   #10
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2:1 ratio, and mine cooks for 30 minutes, then sometimes I take the lid off, if the rice is the texture I want and there is still a bit of water. But, 30 min is only an approximation. I rarely cook to a timer. Yes, you should keep the lid on l, but looking at it at 30 minutes isn't going to hurt.
I find that living at a mile (actually, I'm just over 5000 ft), cooking times for rice and especially potatoes, are longer.
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:04 PM   #11
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I have my own problems with rice, and one of them is that I use several types of rice (really, I use basmati, jasmine, short grains, and, yes, uncle Ben's for salads and other uses). The main "trick" to cooking rice is to get the water to rice ratio right, but the biggie is this: Put the darned lid on the pot and let it go. It is so hard to do, really it is. We grew up picking and stewing and turning and squashing. Leave the lid on the pot and let it go. I still have a problem with this, but the rice turns out far better if I just let the residual heat finish cooking the rice.

It just occurred to me; I mean that after you bring the rice to a boil, turn off the burner and let the residual heat finish the job).
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Old 08-30-2009, 12:23 PM   #12
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Based on the link to the recipe given above, here are a couple of things you might
consider....

1. The first step is to cook the rice for 10 minutes or until "half cooked".
What does the directions on the rice itself say? If they say cook for 25 minutes, then 10 minutes might not be long enough.... or too long!
2. You might be using too much water during the buttery steaming stage. Cut back,
and add as needed.

Sounds interesting, might have to try it sometime soon!
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Old 08-30-2009, 01:45 PM   #13
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Have you been rinsing your rice? Basmati has a large amount of loose starch and the directions call for rinsing it untill the water clears to get rid of the excess. If you don't, your rice gets sticky. So this and water ratio could be compounding the problem.
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Old 09-12-2009, 12:25 PM   #14
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There are a bazillion ways to cook rice successfully. My experience is that different kinds of rice need different ratios for water.

As to rinsing, that depends on who packages your basmati. If you're using an American packed brand you probably don't need to rinse it. The issue with rinsing is that you then need less water to cook it as the rice absorbs some water during the rinse. And every particular rinsing technique impacts how much water is absorbed.

I too live at 5000 ft and when i cook basmati I use 1 1/2 cups water for every 1 cup of unrinsed basmati. Works well.

When I cook basmati in my rice cooker, I reduce the water amount a little more or its too wet.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:54 PM   #15
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If you use the same equipment/method/process each time, cooking your own preferred rice grain/situation/elevation should take just 3 tries to get it near perfect, with simply adjusting water ratio.

Sushi rice is rinsed and soaked for water absorption. I would add to thymeless and bigdaddy that rinsing is also about: 1) possible contaminants *eww*

I first learned how to cook rice, not in a kitchen, but on a boyscout campfire: add rice and water into a pot, place in red hot embers, stick a long stick into your ear, touch the other end of stick in contact with the pot, as soon as you "hear" that it's no longer boiling, remove and rest for 10 minutes on a campfire rock without removing its lid, eat rice, then bully another tenderfoot scout to scour the pot with sand and wash clean.
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Old 09-12-2009, 11:13 PM   #16
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I live slightly above sea level and I follow the directions on my bag of Basmati rice for 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice.
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:57 AM   #17
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I have found that my rice cooks differently when I use a non-stick pot. Comes out much better in plain old stainless steel cookware. I rinse and soak Basmati rice (for about 15 minutes) and then cook with a little less than 2:1 water/rice ratio.
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