100 days of Homemaking Skills Series: Day 3 – Cooking the perfect rice

I feel somewhat strange writing down this post on how to cook rice. I mean, it’s just rice. Nothing so great about it. But you know what, there are a lot of People out there who struggle in making the rice perfect every single time. Rice is one of the stuffs that’s consumed by us on a nearly daily basis. So learning to cook it well is a skill that homemakers should master.

The two main methods in which rice is cooked are – the draining method ( where you cook rice in lots of water and then drain them in the colander) and the simmering method ( where the rice is cooked in just sufficient water and simmered on a low flame). I personally favor the simmering method. The reason being less water is used and I do not have to take out multiple vessels. My rice gets cooked in one pot itself.

Some important tips to be remembered while cooking rice ( Trust me, you will not have to look here every time. This will come to you naturally in just a few tries) :
1. ALWAYS rinse your rice well. Give it a good rinse 2-3 times and drain the water completely. You can also soak the rice for 20 minutes. Do not soak for longer time as the rice grains will break.
2. Use a tbsp or two of butter or oil in the pan while cooking rice. This will prevent the rice from sticking to each other.
3. DO NOT stir the rice while it is cooking.
4. Do not cook the rice on a high flame. Always use the lowest flame for simmering.
5. Use a fork to fluff the rice. This is an absolute necessary step.

To cook the perfect rice, you will need
1 cup long grained rice
1/2 tsp salt ( or as required)
1 tbsp oil
1 3/4 cups water

1. In a medium pan, add the oil, rice, salt and water. Bring it to a boil. I use 1 3/4 cups water for every cup of rice. This is a tried and tested measurement. I find that the amount of water needed remains of this order for most of the long grained rice .
2. Once it boils, reduce the heat to minimum. Cover with a lid and let simmer it for approximately 10-12 minutes or till the water is absorbed. You can check the rice if it’s fully cooked or not.
3. Switch off the heat. Leave the pan with the lid on for at least 5 minutes. Then open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Serve hot.

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