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Help with my cooking nemesis - rice!

My mother gave me a huge container of basmati rice, which I love, but cannot seem to cook correctly to save my life. It always ends up gooey instead of fluffy.

What I did last time:
Rinse 1 cup rice
Bring 1.5 cups of water to boil
Stir in rice
Simmer about 20 minutes

What am I doing wrong?

Thank you!

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  1. You should lightly saute the rice in oil before adding the liquid next time (you can even add spices at this point)- enough to coat each grain of rice so that they separate once cooked. 1-1/3 to 1-1/2 cups water is about right. It also helps to let it sit with the lid on, heat off, for 5-10 minutes before serving.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TongoRad

      I would not saute the rice in oil before cooking in liquid if I was serving the rice in a Japanese or Chinese type meal. Love your avatar, btw.

      1. re: KTinNYC

        Thanks :)
        Yeah- I was thinking Indian all the way, should've made that more clear.

        wrt the peas- I have found that I prefer when they are added late in the process. I know that you shouldn't open the lid to peek at that point, but if you're really quick about it (make sure the peas are defrosted and ready to go)- pop the lid, chuck them in there, and put it back on, don't stir- there aren't real adverse effects on the rice and the peas retain their green peaness.

    2. I make Basmatic rice all the time in the microwave and it comes out perfect: one cup of rice (I don't rinse) to slightly less than 3 cups of water. Cook 5 minutes high, 10 minutes medium. (May have to adjust depending on microwave -- I think mine is 700 watts.)

      1. What are you doing wrong? Trying to cook it yourself...I finally gave up and went to Walmart and bought a Rice Cooker, and I simply do not have these problems anymore!

        1 Reply
        1. re: jinet12

          I totally agree. I bought my first rice cooker years ago at Costco finally killed it and now am on my second. I love that you can set it early and it will keep the rice warm for five hours. I think I spent about $25.00 on it.

        2. I learned the following procedure from a Thai cookbook, but I use it with basmati and all types of rice. Rinse rice. combine with about 1.75 water to 1 rice ratio. Bring to a boil uncovered. After 10 to 15 minutes, the water level should be below the level of the rice, and you will steam holes throughout the top. Then reduce to the lowest heat, cover, and let sit about 10 minutes. Then turn off heat and put a towel under the lid, and let sit 10 minutes. It can sit much longer.

          I also often saute the rice and do more of a pilaf or pulao.

          1. First of all, I would not bring water to boil before stirring in the rice. Put the rice and water in the pot all at one. Turn the heat up to high. Once the water comes to a boil give the rice a good stir, turn the heat down to the lowest setting on your range and leave it alone for 15-20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave alone for a few more minute. Fluff and serve.

            One question, where are you buying your rice? "Fresh" rice has more moisture and takes less water to cook.

            2 Replies
            1. re: KTinNYC

              It is from a big bag that my mother bought at Costco. Sure mom - 4 people (not Asian) absolutely need to buy rice 25 lbs at a time!

              It is probably not too fresh(a few weeks old), but now that I know how to cook it, I'll go through it much faster.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                KT's method is the easiest method, and foolproof, with one caveat: use a heavy pot for best results. A thin pot may scorch your rice. And if after 20 minutes the rice is not dry enough, leave it for a few more minutes.

                This is how I learned to cook rice before I purchased a rice cooker, and it works!