Basmati Rice help from a seasoned rice maker...
I buy my white basmati rice from my local Indian Market. I always used Swad, and NEVER rinsed it. Put 1 cup of uncooked rice in a pan, with 1 & 1/2 cups of water. It came out perfectly every time. But the last time I was there, I bought a more expensive brand that begins with a "z". The owner (Indian), tells me to make sure I soak it for 1/2 hr. (I smile and leave, shaking my head yes)
So, tonight I soak my rice, because I think she must know better than me. And after I cook it the same way, it's like sticky rice. It's all stuck together?
Help please? I like my basmati to be a bit crunchy. This one is near awful. Should I just go back to no rinsing/soaking?
I think you should cook your rice the way you like it cooked as opposed to the way your grocer likes her's cooked.
I like my brown basmati rice crunchy also and this is what I do, I put a cup in a pot and cover it with water, and note how high the level is by putting my finger in and noting where the water hits it, i know this sounds crazy but I read it online somewhere, followed the directions and got the best rice ever, NOW after noting that, add water, swish the rice around, drain and do it again and again,,,three times rinsing!! I would swish it around , put it in a strainer, then back to the pot with more water, etc,,, lots of rinsing, After that, i added water to the right level , brought it to a boil, turned the heat down and simmered till done, it was great. No measuring . All that rinsing made an enormous difference
In general Indians do not eat undercooked rice.
So advice from and Indian will yield fully cooked rice.
Rinsing washes away and external starches and yields a fluffier rice.
I find soaking unnecessary unless the rice is very old and I only let it sit for 10-15 min.
I don't know how to guarantee crunchy/undercooked rice except to use less water. No one in my house likes crunchy rice, but I have never gotten basmati to be sticky, even if soaked.
I thought soaked rice requires less water than unsoaked rice. But I would rinse the rice thoroughly whether you soak it or not.
To be scientific about it, though, you should try cooking the new rice in the old way to see if there is something different about the brand, first.
The first poster is right - cook it the way *you* like it!
But the grocer is right in how it is "supposed" to be cooked. Basmati is rinsed/swished in several rounds of water, to get off all the starch. Indians want each grain separate. (So... sticky would be the opposite of their goal.)