How to serve the best cooked rice?

Rice is one of the most common staple food items across the world. Due to its widespread use, the production of rice has grown over the years. India today holds the coveted position of world’s largest rice producer next to China. There are numerous rice producers and exporters in India who offer multiple varieties of rice. The export numbers have phenomenally increased in the last few decades and these companies keep adding new countries to their client list very frequently.

Cooking rice is not easy as it sounds. In spite of it being one of the most used cereals in the world, not many can cook it to perfection. More often than not, they boil it for too long, or at times, under cook it. So how do you make the perfect rice? Well, there is a science behind cooking rice and we are going to tell you about it.

Did you know that there are well over 50,000 varieties of rice worldwide? However, in any given geographical location, this number comes down to a manageable figure. Broadly, rice can be classified into

  • Long grain rice
  • Medium grain rice
  • Short grain rice

One thing to keep in mind is that the cooking process and time required varies with different types of rice. For instance, the time required to cook white rice is much less than the time for cooking basmati rice. So let us see the ideal method to be following for cooking white rice as well as any other rice.

  • You may want to begin by soaking the rice for some time. Again, the soaking time required varies with different rice varieties. Ideally, it has to be soaked for 15 – 30 minutes.
  • Now, to cook the rice, you can follow two options; steaming or boiling. Let us consider each of these individually.
    • Steaming: This requires the use of a rice cooker. Place the soaked rice and water in the cooker. The quantity of water needs to be approximately 1.5 times that of the rice. Keep in mind that during steaming, the rice volume almost triples and hence make sure there is sufficient space in the cooker for that. Most rice packets come with the steaming time printed on them. Steam the rice for the specified duration on a medium flame. Once done, you can wait for some time and then serve hot steamy rice with a curry of your choice.
    • Boiling: This involves the soaked rice in a considerable amount of water. This process is in vogue in most households in India. The left over water which is rich in starch needs to be drained and it can be used as a separate beverage. Unlike a rice cooker, you need to boil it in a pot with a lid and keep checking it intermittently to ascertain whether it is adequately boiled or not. Boiling rice is risk-free, but might consume more time when the rice quantity is more.

By following the above methods, you can definitely become an expert in cooking rice.

– Written by Jaga Salai, a food technologist, working as Production Manager in Alobha Exim

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