Basmati rice is a long-grain rice that is known for its nutty flavor and delicate aroma. It is a widely used method of rice cooking in various cultures all over the world. Steamed basmati rice is a simple and healthy way to cook this delicious rice.
Few foods can compare to the simplicity and adaptability of perfectly steamed Basmati rice in the realm of culinary arts. Whether you’re a experienced chef or are just beginning your culinary career, learning the essential skill of steaming Basmati rice will take your food to a whole new level. This thorough tutorial will walk you through every step of the procedure, from grasping the fundamentals to serving a fluffy bowl of flavorful rice suitable for any occasion.
About Basmati Rice
Basmati rice is a long-grain rice variety known for its distinct aroma and delicate flavor. It originates from the Indian subcontinent, particularly India and Pakistan. The name “Basmati” itself translates to “the fragrant one” in Hindi, a nod to its wonderful fragrance.
This rice has a rich history that dates back centuries. Its name, “Basmati,” is derived from the Sanskrit word “vasmati,” which means fragrant. This rice variety originated in the Indian subcontinent, primarily in the foothills of the Himalayas and the regions of India and Pakistan. The unique combination of climate, soil, and geography in these areas contributes to the exceptional qualities of Basmati rice.
This rice is cherished for its unique combination of nutty aroma and fluffy texture. Due to its versatility in enhancing a variety of meals, from curries to stir-fries, it is a common ingredient in Indian, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cuisine.
This rice is a good source of carbohydrates and fiber. It has a fair amount of calories as well. People who are attempting to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight should choose this rice.
A good source of vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc is also found in this rice. For those who have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, this rice is an excellent option because it is also gluten-free.
Methods of Cooking
- Boiling method – To boil rice, simply place the rice in a pot and add water. The ratio of water to rice is 1.5 parts water to 1 part rice. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Absorption method – In this, rice is cooked in a precise amount of water. This method is a simple and effective way to cook basmati rice. It results in fluffy and flavorful rice that is perfect for serving with a variety of dishes.
Rice and Water Ratio
When cooking rice, the ratio of rice to water is crucial since it impacts the dish’s texture and flavor. Rice that has received either too much or too little water might become mushy or dry and hard.
Use 1 1/2 cups of water for every cup of rice, according to the usual rule of thumb. However, depending on the kind of rice being used, this ratio may change. Rice with a long grain, like basmati or jasmine, needs more water than rice with a short grain, like arborio or sushi rice. Additionally, because the bran and germ have not been removed, brown rice needs more water than white rice.
How to cook Basmati Rice – In a Pan
Rinse and Soak Rice
1. Take 1 cup basmati rice in a bowl.
2. Rinse the rice in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear. This will remove any excess starch from the rice, which will help to prevent it from becoming sticky.
3. Then, soak the rice in 3/4 to 1 cup water for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking, it can result in fluffier grains. If using more quantities of rice, add more water.
4. After 30 minutes, strain the rice well using a strainer. Drain all the water and set aside.
Cook Basmati Rice
5. In a deep thick bottomed pan, add 2 cups water. Use a wide deep pan so that the water doesn’t spill out while cooking. The amount of water to be used depends on the quality of rice. Usually aged rice require more water.
6. Add 1/2 lemon juice, it makes rice more whiter. This is optional you can skip this step.
7. Add 1 teaspoon ghee. You can also use butter or cooking oil. This step is optional and you can skip it too.
8. Add the soaked and drained rice.
9. Add salt as per your taste. Mix well with the spoon.
10. Cover the pan with its lid. You can check once or twice while the rice is cooking. If the rice is not cooked, stir gently with a fork.
10. On low heat simmer the rice till all the water has been absorbed and the rice grains have cooked well. It took 10-15 minutes for the rice to be tender, soft and fluffy.
11. Once the rice grains are cooked, turn off the heat and let the rice sits, covered, for an additional 5-10 minutes. This allows the rice to steam and finish cooking.
12. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains gently. Your perfectly steamed Basmati rice is ready to serve!
Steamed basmati rice is a simple and delicious dish that can be enjoyed on its own or used as a base for other dishes. It is also a very healthy way to cook rice.
Pro tips to cook Basmati Rice
- For best results, use medium-grain or long-grain rice. Short-grain rice is too sticky for steaming. You can always first try cooking the rice plain and see if the grains get cooked fluffy and separate. Try to use a good quality and aged basmati rice.
- Rinse the rice really well until most of the extra starch is washed off. This does help in giving non-sticky and fluffy rice grains after being cooked.
- Adding a bit of fats like oil, butter or ghee helps to make the rice grains non-sticky and separate.
- To add flavor to your steamed basmati rice, you can add herbs, spices, or vegetables to the water before cooking. For example, you could add a few sprigs of coriander, a bay leaf, or a few slices of ginger.
- Once rice is cooked, it’ll double it’s quantity. Use a sauce pan or pot big enough to hold that quantity of rice.
- It’s important to let cooked rice rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before you open lid and stir. This will help rice absorb all moisture and cook to soft texture.
What is the best way to rinse rice?
To rinse rice, place it in a fine-mesh strainer and run cold water over it until the water runs clear. This will remove any excess starch from the rice, which will help to prevent it from becoming sticky.
Can I add other seasonings to the rice while steaming?
Absolutely! You can add spices like cinnamon or cardamom for added flavor.
How long can I store leftover steamed Basmati rice?
Leftover steamed Basmati rice can be refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days.
What dishes pair well with steamed Basmati rice?
Steamed Basmati rice pairs beautifully with a variety of dishes, including curries, stir-fries, and grilled meats.
Basmati Rice Recipe | How to cook Basmati Rice
- 1 cup Basmati Rice
- 2 cup Water
- ½ tablespoon Ghee/Butter/Oil (Optional)
- Salt as per taste
- Start by rinsing the Basmati rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This removes excessstarch and ensures the grains remain separate during cooking.
- Then, soak the rice in ¾ to 1 cup water for 30 minutes to an hour before cooking, it can result in fluffier grains. If using more quantities of rice, add more water.
- In a deep thick bottomed pan, add 2 cups water. The amount of water to be used depends on the quality of rice. Usually aged rice require more water.
- Add 1 teaspoon ghee. You can also use butter or cooking oil. This step is optional and you can skip it too.
- Once the water is boiling, add the rinsed Basmati rice to the pot. Stir briefly to prevent sticking.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice simmer for 10-15minutes.
- After simmering, turn off the heat and let the rice sits, covered, for an additional 5-10 minutes. This allows the rice to steam and finish cooking.
- Finally, fluff the rice with a fork to separate the grains gently. Your perfectly steamed Basmati rice is ready to serve!
- Serve steamed basmati rice with your favorite curry like dum aloo, chicken curry, matar paneer, dal tadka etc.
- Use high-quality Basmati rice for the best results.
- If you want extra flavor, consider adding a cinnamon stick or cardamom pods while steaming.
- Leftover Basmati rice can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days and used for various dishes like fried rice or rice pudding.