Plain rice is a staple for millions of people all over the world yet some still struggle with this simple dish. I’ve seen the bottom burned off a plastic dish when rice was being microwaved, I’ve seen rice burned on to the bottom of a pan on a stove top, and I’ve seen still crunchy rice come out of a rice cooker.
I cooked rice professionally every day for years – from single cups of the grain at home, to literal tonnes for food distribution programs. There are a few simple, yet key, principles to follow when preparing rice. Stick to these and your rice will be perfect every time.
Fancy-up your rice
There are plenty of small adjustments you can make to “fancy-up” your plain rice. Some are:
- Add some turmeric to make your rice yellow. The rice accompanying my Vegan Palak Paneer has turmeric for this reason.
- Add some spices that suit your main dish if you’re serving rice as an accompaniment. A couple of cardamom pods adds a beautiful and delicate floral element, kalonji (black onion seeds) adds almost no flavour but has a great colour contrast, and cumin seeds add a great earthy element that goes well with many Indian and African dishes.
- Instead of salted water, use stock of your choosing. This will add a more robust flavour to your rice and is great if you’re serving the rice on its own.
The best, most simple, foolproof rice recipe
The best, most simple, foolproof rice
- 2x saucepans
- 1 cup long grain rice Jasmine or Basmati preferred
- 2 cups later
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp fat Nuttelex, or butter/ghee if you take dairy
- Add the salt and water to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Whilst the water is coming to the boil, in another saucepan melt the fat and gently fry the rice until the grains begin to become translucent.
- Slowly poor the boiling salted water over the rice. Be careful as the hot water will cause the fat to spit.
- Put on a tight-fitting lid, turn the temperature down to the lowest setting, and cook for 20 minutes.
- 1 part rice to 2 parts water is the key.
- 1 tsp of salt per cup of dry rice, or 25 grams of salt per kg of dry rice
- 1 tbsp of fat per cup of dry rice, or ~70 grams of fat per kg of dry rice