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Old 06-30-2006, 12:21 AM   #1
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Mastering Basic Rice

I'm trying to master basic white rice. Here's the recipe I have so far, but unfortunately the flavor isn't just delicious its lacking something. I'd like to stick with only these basic ingredients:

Rice (Extra Long Grain/Basmati)

I use
1 TSP Salt
1 Cup Uncooked Rice
1 TBS Oil (Canola or Soybean)
1.5 Cups Water

I add all ingredients into a pot and cook on high heat covered, until the water begins to boil, then i set to low heat and let simmer for 20 mintues.

Please help, I'm really looking to make just basic rice with these ingredients that has a long and delicious flavor. Thank you.


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Old 06-30-2006, 12:36 AM   #2
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20 minutes for basmati is too long... they cook much faster than that.
I also use plenty of water so the rice will swim around.
Toss in the rice when the water comes to a fast boil. No oil necessary.
Turn down the heat a bit as soon as the water returns to a boil, but keep it boiling on a slower pace.
Test the rice after about 10 minutes for the doneness, if it is still too tough, let it go for a couple of minutes. My basmati usually cooks within 12 minutes.
As soon as it acheives the desired consistency (al dente, not too soft), drain immediately.

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Old 06-30-2006, 05:56 AM   #3
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Rice 101

Different types of rice require different cooking times depending on the bran that remains on the kernel. That being said, 20 minutes is appropriate for your basic medium or long grained white rice.

Last night I happened to stumble on Alton Brown's program on Food Network (personally, one of possibly three that might be worth watching any more, but that's another subject and opinion). He was doing basic rice pilau/pilaf 101.

Rice, when the recipe is doubled or increased, does not necessarily require the same liquid increase ratio. In fact, as the rice amounts increase proportionally, the liquid decreases in ratio. Anyway... your 1-1/2 cups is about right for 1 cup dry rice.

I prefer making rice starting with the pilaf method of lightly toasting the grains in oil on stovetop. Add your oil, add the rice. Toast, shaking or stirring occasionally, until the grains are lightly golden and a 'nutty' smell emits. After that, add your liquid, salt, cover simmer until the water evaporates.

But.. to make really GREAT rice, continually?? Get yourself a rice cooker. There are many models out there. Some cheap, some not so. I've got a couple. I keep one on my counter all the time. Using that saves stovetop time and allows you to, in the words of one of those infomercials, "Click it and forget it."


PS - Alton had a pretty cool method of doing a rice pilaf too. If you want that you can find it at this link Rice Pilaf, Alton Brown.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:01 AM   #4
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I use the instructions on the packaging and mine always comes out fine.
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:52 AM   #5
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Have been cooking for more years than I can remember and always Basmati. Here is the technique that I use:

1 cup basmati rice (soak for an hour in water)
1.5 cups of water
1 tbsp of pure ghee (try it and the nutty flavor it adds to the rice is invaluable)
pinch of salt

First rinse the rice several times (like 5). Then add a lot of water to it and let the rice soak in the water for an hour.

Now strain the water from the rice. Add the rice to a clean pot and add 1.5 cups of water. Add the salt and ghee and bring it to boil. Stir it once and then reduce the flame to low. Cover and let it steam for 15 minutes or so.

No need to fluff, the rice should be perfectly cooked and the individual grains should be nicely seperated.

This along with dahl, pappadums (baked) and a spicy and sweet pickle on the side and my dinner is made
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Old 06-30-2006, 06:53 AM   #6
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Leave out the oil and the salt is optional.

Rince the rice until the water runs clear. Add rice to pot and add water up to the first knuckle of your middle finger. This means that you just touch the top of the rice in the pan with your finger and add water until it is at the level of the crease ofyour first knuckle. Basmati is an Indian rice and this is the method that every Indian I know uses. It works, however if you have unusually long fingers you may want to use your ring finger which is usually shorter. Bring the water to a rapid boil then turn down to a simmer for about 18 to 20 minutes then turn off the heat and let rice sit for at least 5 minutes,(10 would be better). Should be perfect. I use a shorter cooking time on an electric stove and a longer time on a gas stove.
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Old 06-30-2006, 03:26 PM   #7
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I just use the 2 cups water
1 cup rice (method)
salt to taste
bring to boil,reduce heat
to simmer.
tightly cover for 20-25 minutes.
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Old 07-01-2006, 09:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ErgoErgun
Please help, I'm really looking to make just basic rice with these ingredients that has a long and delicious flavor.
Basic long-grain white rice (as you have described it) doesn't have any "long and delicious" flavor. Look at your ingredients ... where are you expecting amazing flavors to come from? The rice doesn't have much flavor, and a neutral flavored oil will contribute nothing, water is usually tasteless, and the only thing you are adding for any flavor is bit of salt. What kind of flavor are you expecting it to have using those flavorless ingredients?

About the only way you are going to add any flavor using the ingredients you want to use is to do what Steve A suggested - start the rice off like a pilaf (add the oil and toast the rice before adding the salt and water). It will add a little flavor from toasting - but not a significant WOW factor.

But, basic white rice really isn't intended to be a WOW experience - it's just a foundation, a meal extender, a filler, that will pick up flavor from what it is served with. It's also the foundation for fried rice ... but that's a different story.

Making rice flavorful isn't a problem - but you will have to change the recipe a bit so that the rice cooks in a flavorful liquid. Instead of a neutral flavord oil use something like lamb fat, or use a broth (chicken/beef) or stock in place of the water. Herbs and spices help, too. And, a pilaf is always a good option. But, then again, a flavorful rice like Jasmine always adds a bit more flavor.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:17 PM   #9
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I always use chicken broth instead of water for added flavor. I use long grain par-boiled rice; twice as much liquid as par-boiled rice always results in nice, fluffy rice.
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Old 07-13-2006, 04:45 PM   #10
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Using broth instead of water is a great trick. I also play around with adding other seasonings to the water, like saffron, red pepper flakes, and even ramen noodle seasoning packets!

You can get a bang (and some nice color) out of using herbs and seasoning powders.

Also, I'd forgo the oil. It's not really necessary at all.

What exactly is "not good" about the way your rice is coming out?

It's also really important to get a good seal on your pot. Try putting a towel under the lid and closing it tightly. That will help seal in any steam AND prevent moisture from dripping off the lid of your pot beack into the rice.

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