Many people find plain rice difficult to cook, and they usually make the same mistake.

  • First use Basmati rice. We find that a little over a mug (300g) of rice does well for four adult servings.
  • Unlike Pilau rice (Pilau is a method of cooking by absorption) you do not need a specific amount of water, just lots of it.

OK, here’s how.

  • Rinse the rice in cold water a couple of times in fresh cold water. Bring a large pan of water (about 2.25 Ltr should do it) to the boil, then add to the boiling water and bring the water back to the boil, reduce the heat so that you have a gentle rolling simmer.
  • Basmati rice takes about 12 minutes to cook but this is not an exact science! That said, basmati rice is very forgiving and a minute or two over this should not ruin the rice.
  • When the rice is cooked the boiling water changes appearance so that the bubbles look ‘silky’ and the aroma changes.
  • I like the rice to have a bit of firmness to it, so at about 12 minutes of cooking, take out a spoon full and try a few grains for texture, if the texture is too hard cook a little longer, but you don’t want it really soft or it could end up mushy.
  • When the rice is as cooked as you like it, drain the rice in a colander and pour about a quarter to a third of a litre of cold water in the pan, swill it around to remove the remaining rice and pour the now cool water over the rice in the colander, distribute it evenly over the cooked rice, this knocks back the temperature of the rice and stops it from cooking in its own heat (this is the part that most people leave out and their rice overcooks and sticks together) and washes some of the starch off the rice.
  • Cover and allow to drain for a couple of minutes.

That’s it, it sounds complicated but is really quite simple and straight forward.
If the rice has cooled to much when serving time comes just pour boiling water through it to bring the temperature back up. Cooled rice should be kept in a refrigerator, not at room temperature - unless you like tummy bugs! Cooled rice freezes well, and can be reheated by putting frozen rice into boiling water and stirring until heated through, then drain and treat as freshly cooked - but don’t refreeze after that: either use it or throw it away.