"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Pasta, Rice, Beans, Grains...
Click Here to Login
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-12-2008, 07:47 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1
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?

curiouscook2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2008, 08:09 AM   #2
Head Chef
David Cottrell's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Norwalk, Ohio
Posts: 1,193
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. :)
David Cottrell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2008, 08:16 AM   #3
Certified Pretend Chef
Andy M.'s Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 47,716
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.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2008, 11:17 AM   #4
Executive Chef
miniman's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Basingstoke, England
Posts: 4,687
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.
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela
miniman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2008, 11:56 AM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
jennyema's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,196
That's the way you cook just about any rice. Cover and leave it alone.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2008, 10:12 AM   #6
Treklady's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Hurricane Central
Posts: 97
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.
I cook what I like because I like what I cook!

The Cooking Lady
Treklady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2008, 10:26 AM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
kitchenelf's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 19,725
Send a message via MSN to kitchenelf
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

"Count yourself...you ain't so many" - quote from Buck's Daddy
kitchenelf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-13-2008, 11:10 AM   #8
Master Chef
expatgirl's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas girl living in Kazakhstan
Posts: 5,577
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..........
The only difference between a "cook" and a "Chef" is who cleans up the kitchen.
expatgirl is offline   Reply With Quote

basmati, don't stir, rice

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:51 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.