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Monday Meal: Perfect Basmati Rice



For last week's Monday Meal recipe, I offered up some spicy shrimp vindaloo. Of course, the common accompaniment for Indian curries like vindaloo is basmati rice. After years of experimenting with different techniques --- for cooking basmati, I finally settled on one that's just about foolproof, not to mention quite simple.

You can find basmati rice at Indian markets and health-food stores, as well as most supermarkets nowadays. 

This recipe makes fluffy basmati rice, but it helps to cook the rice in a heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid.

Figure on about 1/2 cup of rice per person. For four people, I begin with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of uncooked rice, and usually have leftovers.


Place the basmati rice into a large bowl or pot. 


Rinse the rice in numerous changes of cold water, until the water runs nearly clear. 



Place the rice into a heavy pot and add water until it comes to about 3/4 inch above the surface of the rice.


Or, add water until your index finger just touches the rice and is submerged to the first joint. (I find this simply technique to be quite reliable.)


Add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp. vegetable oil to the pot and bring the water to a boil. 


Stir the rice and lower the heat to your stove's lowest setting. Then, cover with a tight fitting lid. To ensure that no valuable liquid escapes, I cover the pot with tinfoil before putting the lid on.



Cook the rice for 12 minutes.

After 12 minutes, remove the rice from the heat and leave it to stand, off the heat and still tightly covered, for another 10 minutes.


Before serving, gently fluff the rice with a fork or slotted spoon, being careful not to break up the grains.


Enjoy with your favorite Indian or other dishes!


Photos by Ted Scheffler