Rice is a must-have for any Indian kitchen and for most of us, cooking rice is second nature. But did you know that boiling it on the stove isn’t the only way to get perfectly separated fluffy rice for dinner. Read on for some unique rice hacks.
Rice is one of the most widely consumed grains in the world, and in Asia especially, it’s a fundamental part of the daily meal plan. But even though it seems simple, sometimes making rice can be a hassle, especially if you’re in a rush or making it in large quantities. Luckily, we live in an age of technology and there are dozens of tools at our disposal to help make cooking rice easy, quick and foolproof so you can end up with beautifully fluffed rice every time.
It may seem impossible to achieve perfect rice in a microwave but it can be done! The high heat in the microwave can sometimes lead to uneven cooking but as long as your ratios are right, you’ll master it in no time. Just add the washed rice to a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a wet towel. This will ensure the pressure doesn’t build up and keeps the rice moist. Microwave for 12 minutes on a medium setting and then fluff with a fork.
Most of us look at the oven just as a baking accessory, but it has so much hidden potential. Cooking rice in an oven is perfect if you’re looking to make it in bulk and it allows room to flavour it with different types of stock and herbs too. Just coat the bottom of an oven-proof dish with oil add the dry rice, salt, some butter and some warm stock, stir it all together, cover the dish with foil and then set it and forget it at 180 C for half an hour.
If you have an instant pot on hand, this could be one of the most direct ways to make a large batch of rice. Since it cooks in a regulated pressurised atmosphere, it requires less water or stock than other methods and instead utilises steam to ensure the perfect cook. Just add a cup of rinsed rice and 1¼ cups of broth or water along with a spoon of oil and some salt. The water needs just about to cover the rice. Then let it cook for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure.
The classic stovetop method is the one we all know but maybe don’t love. Until you have a practised eye and a good sense of timing, it’s very easy to end up with overcooked mushy rice or grains that are still raw in the centre. Rinse your rice till the water runs clear and then add it to your pot in the ration 2:1. Twice the amount of room temperature water than rice. Bring it up to a boil and cover it with a tight-fitting lid before turning the heat down to a simmer. Let it cook for 8-10 minutes and then rest with the heat for another 10 before fluffing it with a fork.
If you eat rice every day and in small portions, the rice cooker is a no-brainer. It takes all the mystery out of making perfect rice so you can get on with making the rest of the meal. Rinse your rice and then add it to the cooker. The rule of thumb is about 1½ times the amount of water or stock as rice. Add a little salt and then just turn it on. Most rice cookers take about 30-40 minutes to perfectly steam your rice.
In much the same way as an instant pot, pressure cookers rely more on the pressure of built-up steam to cook, and it’s more likely that you’ll have a pressure cooker lying around so this method might be simpler. Just wash and add your rice to the pot with 1½ times the amount of water. Then cook for 2 whistles and leave it to sit for 15 minutes before opening and fluffing with a fork.