Here’s one that my mum is always asking me how to make – perfect fluffy rice.
There are of course many ways to do this, but this is my usual method, and it’s pretty foolproof. I use the absorbtion method, which means that you need to have a certain level of accuracy in your measuring and cooking.
1) Select your rice: First things first, choose your rice. I generally buy a good quality basmati, although I also like Jasmine rice. However, standard long grain will usually just about work too. Don’t buy short grain or easy cook rice for this method – it will go all soggy as those varieties don’t need as much water and cook differently.
2) Ratio: The absorption method is based on a really simple 2:1 ratio – 2 parts water to 1 part rice, so whatever you use to measure your rice can be used to measure water (cup, mug, etc).
3) Rinse: Measure out how much rice you need. For example, let’s say you are cooking 1 cup of rice. Measure it and put it into a saucepan. Then rinse the rice carefully (for this part you don’t need to measure the water). I usually rinse the rice twice – you’ll see the water go all cloudy as a lot of the starch is rinsed off. This helps reduce the chance of gloopy soggy rice.
4) Measure: After rinsing, drain the rice as much as you can, to remove all the water, and then measure out your cooking water using the same cup you measure the rice in (2 cups of water in our scenario). This should be cold water, not hot or boiling.
5) Bring to the boil: Place the pan with a fitted lid onto the stove and put on a high heat to bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling reduce the heat, and simmer. Two important things to remember here:
1 – Keep the lid on as much as you can – if too much water evaporates it will not cook properly.
2 – Avoid stirring it as much as you can. The occasional stir to stop it sticking is fine, but avoid it if you can. Stirring will release the starch (as we saw in the risotto) and make it gloopy.
6) Sit: Keep an eye on it, and once there is only a tiny bit of water left in the pan, and it has mostly absorbed, take it off the heat and leave it to sit with the lid on for at least 10-15 mins. You don’t need to keep it on the stove until all the water is gone, as it is more likely to burn on the bottom. leaving it to sit for a while will allow the rice to absorb the remaining water, and as long as the lid stays on it will stay hot for a while, leaving you with perfectly cooked rice!
Tip – I usually put the rice on to cook before making anything else – curry, stir-fry or whatever, so that it has plenty of time to sit and absorb before eating.