I have been cooking basmati rice like white rice. Just plain and uninteresting. Over time I learnt to cook basmati rice in a number of ways and I find this is the best method for me.
If you are cooking basmati rice in a closed lid pot then the appropriate proportion would be 1 cup of basmati rice to 2 cups of water. However do follow the instruction on the basmati rice package, if any.
Just as important is to wash the basmati rice until the water is clear. This is to wash off the starch that makes rice sticky. Then soak the basmati rice for at least 45 minutes.
In addition you will need a few other ingredients to make your basmati rice taste better than plain and aromatic. The following are a few ingredients you will need.
- 2 cups of basmati rice, washed and soaked earlier, drained
- 4 cups of water
- (a) 1-2 pieces of cinnamon stick
- (b) 3-4 pieces of cloves
- (c) 3-4 pieces of cardamom
- (d) 1 teaspoon of salt
- (e) 2-3 pieces of bay leaves
- (f) 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- (g) 1/2 teaspoon of coriander
- 2 tbsp of cooking oil
- 1 tbsp of fried shallots
- A pinch of saffron, soaked with 2-3 tbsp of warm water, for color
- Heat the 4 cups of water in a pot. Next add the ingredients (a) to (g) in the pot of hot water. Add the cooking oil.
- Next add the washed and soaked rice into the pot. Close the lid.
- It should take about 10-12 minutes to cook. If the steam from the pot has greatly reduced this may mean it’s almost cooked. Add the saffron and water into the pot. DO NOT MIX OR STIR as this will break the long basmati grains and that’s the beauty of basmati rice.
- After a couple more minutes check by biting a grain or two to see if it’s fully cooked. If so you can turn off the heat and add the fried shallots for garnish before serving it hot.
If you ask me which basmati rice is the best, I would say the basmati rice that gives the longest grain when cooked. One particular brand I recently discovered is India Gate, see picture below. So far, it’s the best.