Can basmati white rice be cooked a day or two ahead of time and reheated?



jbenhaim September 29, 2010
My parents cook white basmati rice almost every night, and usually parboil a large portion first, store the parboiled rice in the refrigerator, and then cook it as needed.
This is how they do it:

To Parboil: Fill pot w/ 2 quarts water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, take 2 cups rice, rinse 3 times in stainless mixing bowl, discard rinse water. Put rinsed rice in boiling salted water. Stir immediately so won't stick to bottom of pot. Cook medium boil for total 7 1/2 minutes from time rice put in boiling water. Drain in colander. Rinse lightly + quickly, Let drain. After the rice has drained and isn't sopping wet, they put it in a container in the refrigerator.

To cook parboiled rice: Put 2 tablespoons of oil on bottom of pot, tilt pot to distribute evenly. Put rice in by cupfulls covering bottom then mound up remainder into a pyramid. Put about 1/2 cup water all around bottom edge of pyramid. Cover pot lid w/ dish towel (dish towel goes under the lid to absorb the steam so the rice doesn't get soggy. I put a mug over the top of the lid so the ends of the towel can go underneth it instead of hanging over the sides of the pot). Cook 6 or so minutes on medium fire then about 10-14 minutes on lower fire till you see steam from under the towel. Remove lid carefully check + see if rice is done, or cook 1-2 minutes more if needed. The oil that was put on the bottom of the pot will cause the rice on the bottom to sort of "fry", it becomes crispy and is really good, but be careful it doesn't burn. Make sure you use enough oil in the beginning so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pot.

This method can be a little tricky to master, but it is worth it and I tried to be as specific as possible!
phenanthrene September 29, 2010
Thanks, everyone! This is such a great site!
luvcookbooks September 28, 2010
Mix it with the curry before reheating. Also good (actually better than using fresh rice) if stirfried. Many recipes for stirfried rice, start with oil, garlic, and ginger, add vegetables and then rice. Mark Bittman has a recipe in the NYT archives for Jean Georges Vongerichten's Stir Fried Rice with Leeks, Ginger Shreds, and Fried Eggs. Topped with sesame oil and soy sauce. Whole family adores this recipe!!
JenBowers September 28, 2010
Brown rice is better reheated than white rice if you're up for a substitution.
Serene September 28, 2010
Sure; I do it all the time. I wouldn't worry about it, but I'd add a tiny bit of oil to the rice when cooking if you're doing Indian food with it.
AntoniaJames September 28, 2010
Sounds like perfect conditions, i.e. the perfect menu, for rice to be reheated without a microwave. The curries will have a lot of sauce, presumably, which will help re-hydrate the rice. Plus, the temperature of the curries will also help to warm the rice. Heat the rice gently with the lid on, and a tablespoon or so of hot water, and you should be just fine. ;o)
phenanthrene September 28, 2010
thanks. i should have specified - won't have microwave access, just a hotplate for reheating. will be serving with indian curries, so maybe it's not a big deal if it dries out a bit?
AntoniaJames September 28, 2010
I agree, but be sure to rinse it several times in cold water before cooking it, to remove as much starch as possible. It heats up much better when not glued together by the starch (which tends to get stickier after it's been in the fridge for awhile). I also find that it helps to sprinkle on a few drops, or even up to a teaspoon or two of water, while reheating, to restore some of the moisture lost during overnight, or longer, storage. ;o)
Bevi September 28, 2010
I have made double batches of rice, and it does heat up nicely in the microwave.
drbabs September 28, 2010
It's definitely better fresh, but whenever I make rice, I make a large portion and freeze it. It defrosts nicely in the microwave.
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