I have a finicky Emirati husband. Basmati rice has started many wars in my house.
There were times my husband would refuse to eat the rice I cooked and would go to one of the public kitchens and buy a container of cooked rice to eat with the stews I cooked.
The rice was either overcooked in that it was mushy or undercooked and still crunchy. I used to just add water and cook it with the quick-boil method but the rice would stick together.
It has taken me years to learn how to properly cook basmati rice so that it turns out nice and fluffy. The secret is in the size of the pot you use and how long you let the rice soak. You need an extra-large pot to cook the rice in. The rice needs lots of room to move around when it is boiling.
Here is my recipe:
2 cups of Basmati rice (I use India Gate because the rice has been aged and the kernals of the rice are long…plus it has a delicious taste!)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Place the rice in a large bowl and fill it up with water.
Carefully wash the rice so that you do not break the kernals. Cup your hand slightly and slowly wash the rice. I turn my hand in the bowl 20 times.
Drain the water and repeat the above two more times.
Drain the water and then pour water over the rice again with enough water to just cover the rice by about an inch.
Now you let the rice soak for at least 30 minutes but better if you let it soak for an hour.
Meanwhile, fill the extra-large pot half way with water. A good guide is to use 3 liters of waters for every 1 cup of rice.
Add 1/4 cup of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil to the pot of water.
Bring the water to a full rolling boil.
Drain the rice in a strainer and add to the pot. Stir once.
Cover the pot with a lid and when the water starts boiling again remove the lid. This takes about a minute.
Have a large strainer waiting in the sink to drain the rice.
Let the rice boil for exactly 5 minutes. Trust me when I say exactly 5 minutes because if it is less time or more time it will greatly affect the texture of the rice.
Drain the rice in the strainer and gently, very gently, shake the strainer to get out all of the excess water.
Return the rice to pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
When you are ready to serve the rice. Gently fluff the rice with a large fork or large wide serving spoon.
Arrange on a platter.
An tasty variation:
At the end of cooking the rice you have the option of adding fried onions. It is very, very delicious! I do not do this often because it is fatty but try to at least make it this way once. You will need the following:
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup cooking oil
Heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot add the chopped onion and stir. Stir the onion every now and then until it becomes a nice golder color.
Now take a large spoon and scoop out the fried onion and scatter it over the cooked rice that is still in the pot. Drizzle the oil that you cooked the onion in over the rice.
When it is time to serve the rice. You will fluff the rice and the onion and oil will be incorporated into the rice. Yummy!
(No pictures available right now, but I will post ASAP)