White rice is a staple on Indian tables. And Indians cook it differently in different parts of the country. In the south, the rice is shorter and coarser, it’s cooked to be stickier, reminiscent of Chinese rice. In the North, in the Persian influenced Kashmir, the pilaf is moist and each mouthful is a collection of perfectly cooked, long, elegant, fragrant grain of Basmati rice.
Cooking basmati is easy, and for a minimalist, an elegant statement of simplicity and flavour at the dinner table. Here’s how you do it.
Soak the basmati in hot water. In 15 minutes, strain. Add as much water as you have rice. That is, if you soaked one cup rice, add one cup cold water. Bring this to a boil. Now turn your stove to it’s lowest setting and put the lid on the pan. Let it sit there for 10 minutes. Now turn off the stove and let it sit there for another 5 minutes.