This recipe is from Meera Sodha's Made in India. —Kenzi Wilbur
Test Kitchen Notes
Making a perfect pot of rice is one of those cooking skills everyone should learn, like scrambling an egg or boiling pasta. Some folks swear by their intuition, saying there’s a magic ratio of 1 cup rice to 2 cups water, always; others swear by the finger trick, where you add a desired amount of rice to the pot, then add water just until it reaches your first knuckle. Some simply use a rice-cooker, because, well, why not? But if you don’t have a rice-cooker or a non-recipe method. Though some recipes for cooking rice can sometimes be finicky, this process for basmati rice, from Meera Sodha's Made in India, is actually quite straightforward.
Sodha recommends washing the rise several times, until the water runs clear, then soaking the rice in cold water for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, you’ll boil water (1 1/2 cups per cup of rice). After the rice soaks, Sodha drains it and pops it into a heavy-bottomed pot slicked with a bit of canola oil. Coating each grain in oil before adding the boiling water helps keep each grain of rice separate, instead of clumping together—which you may want when making, say, sticky rice, but don’t want with basmati.
Make sure to turn down the heat to low after pouring in the boiling water, and no peeking for ten whole minutes… and then turn off the heat, and let it sit for another ten! Sodha recommends dotting the top of the rice with a few pats of butter before fluffing with a fork and serving. —Rebecca Firkser. —The Editors
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 20 minutes
- Serves 4
of basmati rice
1 1/2 cups
of just-boiled water
- Wash the rice in a few changes of cold water, until the water runs clear. Let it soak in a bowl of cold water for at least 20 minutes. Put the kettle on to boil.
- Put the oil into a wide-bottomed, lidded frying pan on medium heat. Add the drained rice and the salt, stirring a couple of times so as to coat each grain in the oil.
- Pour in the boiling water and bring the rice to a fierce boil, then pop the lid on and turn the heat down to a simmer. Leave to cook for 10 minutes without lifting the lid.
- If you have a clear lid, you'll see craters start to form in the rice where the water is bubbling through. Over time the number of bubbles will reduce, which is a sign that the water is being absorbed. If you're worried about there not being enough water, you can tip the pan. If the rice slides, you will know there's still water left on the bottom.
- When the 10 minutes is up, turn the heat off and let the rice and let the rice rest for a further 10 minutes. Just before serving, dot the rice with a couple teaspoons of butter if you like, and gently fluff it up it up with a fork.