Weeknight Cooking

Master Basmati Rice, Then Try These 10 Riffs

January 17, 2018

On our site we have a foolproof recipe for basmati rice gifted to us by Meera Sodha. It’s simple and foolproof and definitely lives up to its name Perfect Basmati Rice—I know because I’ve tried it. Sodha advises soaking the grains in water for 20 minutes before adding them to a hot oiled pan, then covering the whole thing with boiling water. After another 20 minutes, she promises fluffy rice, ready to serve.

Now that you’ve mastered basmati rice at its simplest, here are some riffs: Speckle it with herbs or stud it with lentils. Try your hand at a rich and comforting biryani or follow this Persian technique and shape it into an impressive mold with crisp outer edges. Take a look through these recipes for some suggestions.

How do you enjoy your basmati rice? Tell us your riff in the comments below.

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Valerio is a freelance food writer, editor, researcher and cook. He grew up in his parent's Italian restaurants covered in pizza flour and drinking a Shirley Temple a day. Since, he's worked as a cheesemonger in New York City and a paella instructor in Barcelona. He now lives in Berlin, Germany where he's most likely to be found eating shawarma.

1 Comment

Rebecca Z. January 18, 2018
My use basmati in a Moroccan Chicken dish I adapted from a recipe by Claudia Rodan; and though I've been married for 40 years, had men propose to me because if the dish. (I think they don't want a wife, they want a Dada (cook) in the house.) The chicken is browned and braised with saffron, cinnamon, ginger, and shallots, and the rice cooked in the braising liquid.

White basmati quicks so quickly that it cannot be in the pan for the entire cooking time that the chicken braise needs; but brown basmati works well and this greatly simplifies the preparation and a amplifies the nutrition.