Do you wash your rice??
White rice, I mean. I realize this is somewhat contraversial subject, in that, some vitamins and minerals are leached out in the washing process; and I've also heard that North American rice doesn't really need to be washed because of it's particular preparation process.
Nonetheless, I do like to wash it 3 times, then soak in water for 30-60 minutes, strain and let dry. It really does make a BIG DIFFERENCE in taste and texture with the washed rice, I just can't deal with that whitish talc/baby-powder like material that is washed away. And since I nearly always prepare my rice pilaf/Mexican style, I figure that with the addition of vegetables, spices and broth, I'm not really losing that much nutritional contenet by washing, but may well even be adding more!
Whether you wash that rice or not, the addition of herbs, spices, veg. and broth will certainly up the nutritional content since rice has very little - the amounts you'd have to eat to receive a significant amount of anything but potassium and carbs is just huge. So if nutrition is the agenda, brown rice would serve you better as it would add fiber and bran to the meal. But on the washing; yes, I do rinse my rice until the water runs just about clear, because I find that if I don't, I end up with a glued-together ball of something that looks like something that might have been rice once, but isn't anymore. I like mine fluffy and separate.
Used to, but no longer.
Same goes for everything if I think I can get away with it, despite what the instructions may say. On top of the list is mushrooms - Washing means washing away flavor and that ain't gonna happen if I can help it.
Back to rice, I think it may have to do with the processing and maybe the liability. Some rices do say wash, but others make it a point not to wash. Go figure.
I recall way back rice labeled "talc free", so I suppose some was not talc free and there was a good reason to rinse it. These days I rinse medium and short grain rice, but not long grain or basmati.
I never heard of soaking and then drying the rice. It may give the cooked rice a nice texture, but no way I'm going to add a 30-60 minute soak the prep time if I'm happy with how my rice comes out now. And for me pilaf style means sauteing the dry rice (not rinsed) at high temp in a small amount of oil (just enough to coat the grains) before steaming. That keeps the grains separate and adds a slight toasty flavor. Try it.
I always wash my rice because I buy them in big bags, even the highest grade has the occasional pebble in the mix (even if there's only one in the bag, not looking means that chewing a pebble later).
I wash my jasmine rice by adding water, rubbing it between my hands in water, draining it quickly, removing any matter that's not supposed to be there. Repeat once. Once cooking is complete, I always fluff it or it will stick together in a cake once it's cooled.
Glutinous (sticky) rice must always be washed with two rinses before soaking. There is a danger of over-rinsing because if you have completely taken out all of the gluten, the sticky rice won't maintain its characteristic stickyness anymore.
Having said that I probably wouldn't wash it if I had purchased a specific product that said to not rinse the rice.
I usually don't rinse my rice but if I had an application that required individual fluffy rice that didn't stick at all, like your Mexican rice, I would rinse it and then go the extra step of sauteing it in butter before adding the liquid.
The fat coats the starch and prevents it from sticking and most of the starch was rinsed away in the first place.