Cooking @ Govindas Maroochydore

Cooking 40kg of rice @ Govinda’s Maroochydore

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.

General Principles


Use long grain rice

For daily use I prefer jasmine rice, and I use basmati rice for special occasions of if I'm after something a little more sturdy as an accompaniment.

Always add fat

Rice is sticky, and sticky rice burns. Always fry your dry rice in a fat of your choosing prior to adding the water. At home I use Nuttelex as it's vegan and works well, however butter and ghee are popular.

Always add hot water to hot rice

Always have your hot water ready to add to your hot rice. Never add cold or luke-warm water to your rice.

Never check your rice whilst it's cooking

Don't be tempted to lift the lid to "see how the rice is going" or to "give it a little stir". There's no need, and you need that heat to stay trapped to help with the cooking.

Cook for 20 Minutes

20 minutes is the standard cooking time for plain rice, whether you're cooking 1 cup or 100 cups. As you get familiar with your favourite rice brand you can experiment with adding or subtracting a minute or two on either side to obtain the texture that you like, however 20 minutes is the foolproof standard.

Fancy-up your rice

Always fry your dry rice in a fat

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

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people


  • 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.


To make more or less you simply multiply the quantities.
  • 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
Keyword Comfort Food, staple

One Comment

  • Rice lover says:

    Thank you, this is amazing! I always burn my rice, or it sticks to the bottom of the pan. I’m trying this out tonight.

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