Basmati rice is long grained aromatic rice which is traditionally grown and cultivated in India and Pakistan. The aroma of basmati rice is typical and is due to the aroma compound 2-acetyl-1 pyrroline. Basmati rice contains about 0.99 ppm of this aromatic chemical compound naturally which is about 12 times more than the content of this compound in other non - basmati varieties of rice. There are several varieties of basmati rice that are produced in India as well as Pakistan.
Cooking basmati rice is not an easy task though it is a basic task. Basmati rice is said to be perfectly cooked when all its grain stand out separately and no grain is left uncooked. There are a few tips that can ensure that basmati rice gets cooked perfectly. It is recommended to soak basmati rice before cooking. This expands the length of the rice grains. When rice is being cooked, it must be covered with a lid so that the rice is steamed when it is cooked. Also stirring of rice must be avoided when rice is being cooked. When rice is stirred while being cooked, it releases starch from the rice that makes the rice sticky and stodgy.
There are different ways in which basmati rice can be cooked. A few of the most commonly used methods are described below.
- Cooking basmati rice in apressure cooker: Before cooking basmati rice in a pressure cooker, the rice must be thoroughly washed and soaked for at least half an hour. Next, the water must be drained out completely. Water and rice must then be put in pressure cooker in ratio 2:1 and cooked for three whistles. The pressure cooker must not be opened immediately. In fact, the pressure must be allowed to subside and only then the cooker must be opened. The rice so prepared will be long and fluffy.
- Cooking basmati rice in apan over stove top: This is perhaps the most common method used to cook rice. Before cooking rice, it must be washed and soaked. In a pan, you need to boil two cups of water and then add the completely drained rice. Next, turn the flame to low and cover the pan with a lid. Once the rice is cooked, put off the flame and let the rice stand for five minutes before using it. This will ensure that in case there is any grain of rice that is uncooked, it gets cooked within the steam that is collected in the pan during the rice cooking process.
- Cooking basmati rice in a rice cooker: Rice cooker is a special appliance that is used for cooking rice. For cooking basmati rice in a rice cooker, wash and soak the rice. Next, drain out the excess water and add it to the vessel that comes along with the rice cooker. Now, add the required quantity of water and switch on the rice cooker. The rice cooker will switch off automatically once the rice is completely cooked.
- Cooking basmati rice on stove top with excess water: This method of cooking basmati rice is followed in many households. It is believed that cooking rice with excess water removes all the starch from the rice. The starch in the rice contains all the fats and if this gets removed, rice can be eaten like any other healthy dish. To cook basmati rice by this method, after washing, soaking and draining the rice, you do not add the exact quantity of water but excess water along with the rice. Keeping the flame on low, cook the rice till its done and then drain out excess water.
Cooking basmati rice in microwave: Cooking basmati rice in a microwave is the quickest method. Before cooking the rice, it needs to be washed and soaked. The rice is then put in a bowl that can be used in a microwave and boiling water is added. The bowl is covered with a lid that has a small opening to allow air to escape. The rice is cooked with full power of microwave for 6-7 minutes or till all water has been absorbed. Before using the rice, let it stand for five minutes so that it is perfectly cooked and ready for use.