Rice is one of the staple foods across the world. Allegedly there are 20,000 types of rice, some say 40.000 types and it is easily one of the most consumed foods.

Rice is filling and nutritionally good for you. It is low in cholesterol and low in sodium.

Rice can be divided into short grain and long grain and they will absorb water in the cooking process at different rates and will differ in taste and texture. Choosing the right rice for the right dish can be important.

A good all round rice is Basmati rice, a long grain rice and my favourite is the white Basmati rice which is grown mainly in India and Pakistan. It is, as we said, a long grain rice and the flavour can be enhanced by allowing the rice to “age”. This ageing process is achieved by taking the harvested rice and storing it for a year or so before consuming it. This allows the subtle flavours within the rice grains to develop and mature in the same way that cheese is stored before being made available.

Different rice types tend to go better with the traditional foods of the area in which they are grown. Because Basmati rice is from the Indian and Pakistani areas, this rice goes well with curry dishes of all types. The rice compliments the curry and the curry enhances the flavour of the rice.


I make my basmati rice using this method every time. It is incredibly quick and remarkably consistent in taste and texture. I like my rice al dente, that is with a little bite to it, with the centre of each rice grain just cooked perfectly. Follow this recipe and you are well on your way to making a perfect Basmati rice. With practice, the recipe can be tweaked slightly to suit your palate but don’t move too far away from the original.


10 minutes for preparation and cooking

10 minutes resting time


For one large portion of rice or two moderate portions you will need.

180 ml (¾ cup) good quality white Basmati rice

240 ml (1 cup) cold water


You will need a saucepan with a good fitting lid.

Measure out the rice and put in the saucepan. Cover with cold tap water.

Meanwhile, take the pan lid and wrap in cooking foil so that it will form a good seal on the pan.

Return to the saucepan and rinse and drain the rice two or three times using a sieve so that all the water is out of the pan.

Place the rice in the pan and add the measured water

Bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down to the minimum possible, put the foil covered lid on the pan and press down to make a good seal.

Time exactly 6 minutes then turn the heat off and remove the pan from the hot cooker ring.

Leave with the lid on for 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the lid and gently tip onto a large plate, spread out the rice to stop it forming clumps.

The rice is now ready for serving.

Rice can be allowed to cool and kept in the refrigerator for consumption the same day.

Do not store rice overnight, it should always be made fresh.

Basmati rice goes well with most dishes such as curry, chilli con carne, salmon dishes, mixed in with salads etc.

It is not suitable for paellas, risottos, sushi or puddings, these all require a different rice type.

You may need to adjust the timing of the cooking to allow for different cooker temperatures.



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