It is, however, just as important as bad rice can ruin a dish. For a long time, I struggled with cooking rice. It seems like a no-brainer, but time and time again, I’d follow the instructions on the rice packaging and end up with mush. I decided mushy rice was no longer allowed in my kitchen!
After doing some research on the internet, I kept coming up with the instructions that were the same as my package instructions. Ugh!! Then I stumbled upon a YouTube video and a man was instructing people to cook basmati rice just like you would pasta! What? This, I had to try. And he was right! Mushy rice has been a thing of the past!
Basmati is usually my choice for rice. I fell in love with it when I was introduced to it at my favorite Indian restaurant. It’s really starchy and starch adds to mush, so I soak it for 30 minutes. This also reduces the cook time. Because I’m usually serving basmati rice with something, it gives me 30 minutes to work on the rest of the meal- so don’t fret about the soak time, will ya?
Brown rice takes a little more time. I soaked it for 30 minutes, then had to boil about 8 minutes. It requires more water since it’s boiling about 4 times longer.
Here’s the most important tip I can give you for successfully cooking this rice: Taste it while it’s boiling. If you overcook it you won’t be happy with the results. I suggest after you remove the lid when it reaches a full boil to fish out a grain with a spoon and check it. If it’s not ready, check it 1 minute later. You want it to be just “al dente” or almost completely done. It will steam after you drain it and finish cooking to perfection.
As I’m writing this I had a “duh” moment as in “Why have I been soaking the rice in a bowl and not the pot I’m going to cook it in?” Du-uh. Because I like to dirty up more dishes? No, actually I don’t. Ok. That stops. Now. And cooking rice just got even better! Hallelujah! Speaking of pots, make sure you use at least a 2 qt. saucepan or pot if you make the full recipe. I used a 2 qt. and it was a little crowded. It worked, but bigger would have been better I wasn’t paying very close attention when I chose my pot. Another “duh” moment for Jenn!
Some folks boil the rice and call it a day. I need it taste like something. So I add butter, salt, pepper, and cumin to give it a little umph! Here’s a quick how-to video of the rice coming together!
- 2 cups basmati rice
- Water for soaking rice, plus more for cooking rice
- 2 Tbsps. Butter
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Place rice in large (preferably non-stick) saucepan and cover with cool water. Allow rice to soak 30 minutes to remove starch.
- Drain rice through a large mesh strainer then rinse with cool water for 30 seconds to continue removing excess starch.
- Return rice to the sauce pan and add enough water to cover the rice at least 1 inch. Cover and bring to a full boil on high heat. Be careful water doesn’t boil over.
- Once water reaches a full boil, remove lid and boil about 2 minutes, but do a taste test about a minute into it.
- Turn off heat and drain rice. Pour rice back into the pan and return it to the burner (do not turn the heat on).
- Add butter and sprinkle in salt and spices. Cover and allow to sit 5-10 minutes.
- Stir gently and serve.