Friday, June 8, 2012

Indian Feast Part 2: Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is a long grain rice grown in India (and also Pakistan and Bangladesh) that has a really lovely fragrance. It's readily available in my market in the regular rice section next to the white rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, etc. I've seen it cooked a few ways, some techniques involve soaking the rice and some don't. I find that soaking the rice pretty much guarantees that the rice will be fluffy and the integrity of the individual grains is maintained. But, if you're a risk taker, you can skip the soaking.

**HUGE note! I did not use basmati rice because we didn't have any left in the pantry. I ended up using a medium grain rice, but I went through the same process to make the rice. Sorry!!! This post is somewhat misleading.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups basmati rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
When the rice has been soaked for half an hour, it will look whiter and more opaque.
If you've soaked your rice, add just enough water to cover the grains plus 1 cm more on top. If you didn't soak your rice, use 2 cups of water.
Add salt.
And fennel seeds, if you like. I happen to like the flavor the fennel seeds add but it's just my preference. I don't think this is something that happens in traditional Indian cooking. Set on the stove over low heat and cook for 15 minutes until the rice is cooked through.
What you should be left with is lovely fluffy rice.
Next up: Part 3, samosas.

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