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Old 08-12-2008, 08:47 AM   #1
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WHY don't stir Basmati rice??

I've been reading up on how to cook perfectly fluffy Basmati rice, and all sources seem to recommend puting x amount of washed rice with y amount of water, bringing to the boil and leaving with lid on and undisturbed until cooked.

This seems to result in the desired fluffy results, but I don't understand and can't find any explaination of why!

WHY is it best not to stir the rice? Surely if it's not stirred the rice in the water at the bottom of the pan cooks differently to the rice at the top of the pan which is cooked in steam?

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Old 08-12-2008, 09:09 AM   #2
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A guess, to have fluffy rice the starch cominhg to the surface must be controlled - hence rinsing the rice until clear water is the result. Stirring probably would cause too much sticky starch to come to the surface of the rice and into the cooking water and ruin the result. Have you tried keeping everything the same for two small side by side pots - same rinsed rice divided but one pot stirred while cooking and the other not? Would be interested to hear about the results - me I'll just continue to rinse until clear water and then not stir. :)
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Old 08-12-2008, 09:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiouscook2 View Post
...bringing to the boil and leaving with lid on and undisturbed until cooked. ...

Leaving it undisturbed is about keeping the pan covered so the steam and moisture don't expcape. Stirring is not the issue, just a side effect.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:17 PM   #4
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As andy says, it is about exactly the right amount of water to be absorbed by the rice to provide the right texture - so you don't want any to escape. The water will cover the rice so you won't have some steaming and some boiling.
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:56 PM   #5
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That's the way you cook just about any rice. Cover and leave it alone.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:12 AM   #6
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I never stir my rice, wheter I use a rice cooker or stove top. You just set it and forget it...well not really, but you know what I mean.
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Old 08-13-2008, 11:26 AM   #7
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I would assume (risotto theory) that stirring releases starch. MOST of the time you don't want ooey gooey rice, but, individual grains. When left to cook on its own i.e., NO peeking and low simmer with lid on, fluff with fork gently, this results in individual grains of rice that don't clump. Mine comes out perfect every time - you just have to show restraint
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Old 08-13-2008, 12:10 PM   #8
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Don't worry about the reason and why.......just don't do it with any type of rice and not just Basmati.......you'll be glad that you did but the explanations so far as to why make sense........I always rinse my basmati thoroughly, though..........until the water runs clear..is a good rule. Just like with lentils..........
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