Plain rice should be cooked properly to make the food more inviting and interesting. The grains should be separate as well as cooked.
Choosing the rice : There are variety of rices avaialble in the market. One major thing which we should keep in mind is not to buy new rice. New rice cooks faster and mostly it will end up becoming paste. Also they are not good for stomach. New rice will look bright in colour, easily breaks/powdered. So always buy little Old Rice. But best suited for health is boiled rice. and red rice especially for dieters. It will not taste so good like raw rice, but it will give you a filled feeling quickly, less consumption of rice and will not make you feel hungry for long time. The red rice is the healthiest rice as the outer skin is not removed. But it's taste is not so good but very very healthy.
Plain rice can be cooked in different ways :-
- Pressure cook method (slow cook method)
- Draining method (fast cook method)
- Drying / Absorbing method
- Rice Cooker
Pressure cook : For this method the amount of water required vary according the variety of rice used. So this is a trial & error method. Always cook some sample rice in case you are going for a new variety, to know the required water. Normally i take rice and water in 1 : 2 to 1 : 2 1/2 sratio for pressure cooking.
Pressure cooked rice when kept outside for long time will become dry, if you like to reheat it, sprinkle little water on top to make it soft, close the vessel with a lid.
Draining method : It is the traditional method where the excess starch is drained and this method is very good for dieters as it removes the excess carbs. Those who want extra noursihment can add milk & sugar or butter milk & salt and drink the water or can use it in making soups.
Take a big vessel (which should be able to hold the cooked rice as well as the water upto 3/4th of its capacity). Fill nearly 3/4th of it with water and boil it. In the meantime, take the required quantity of rice, wash , fill fresh water & keep aside. When the water starts boiling, drain the water from the rice and put it into the boiling water. Stir it. when the water after adding rice starts boiling again, reduce the flame and cook till the grains are almost cooked. (to save gas consumption, remove it from fire when 3/4th done, keep it covered for 10 minutes. check a sample if done to your preference, drain). To drain the excess water, i have a holed plate with which I cover the vessel, put clips on both sides and let it drain.
Absorbing / Drying method :
For 1 cup rice, take 2 cups water. Boil the water, then add rice, cook on medium falme. When you see no water on top and bubbles appearing out of holes on the surface, put off the flame. Keep it covered for 15 minutes. The rice will be ready and the grains will be separate. This method is best suited fo rmaking pulao.
This method also like pressure cook method the amount of water varies with the variety of rice used. To get dry rice, (i.e.) grains separate, add 2 or 2 &1/2 cup water. Always do sample cooking to get to know the exact water required for the variety of rice you use.