Basmati Rice and Rice Pilaf
1 part Indian basmati rice
1 1/2 parts water for cooking
water for soaking
If making a pilaf:
small amount vegetable oil for sauteing
vegetables and herbs as desired, onion, mushrooms, peas, carrots, dill, cloves, cardamom, etc.
pinch of salt
Wash the rice. Put raw basmati rice in a large bowl, fill with water and swirl gently with your hand to release the white starchy dust from the rice. Strain off the water and repeat until most of the dust has been washed off the rice. Add more water to the bowl and set aside. Allow the rice to soak for 30 minutes. When you have about 10 minutes or so of soaking time left, bring water to a boil in a nice heavy pot with a lid tight fitting lid.
Pilaf Version. If you are making a rice pilaf, prior to boiling the water, saute all the necessary herbs and vegetables in the rice pot until half cooked. Then add water and bring it all up to a boil. Drain off any remaining soaking liquid from the rice and add the soaked rice to the boiling water. Allow the whole thing to come back up to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Simmer the rice on low heat for exactly 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove the pot from the stove, keeping it covered and allow it to sit undisturbed for 20 minutes. Check the rice after 20 minutes. It should be perfectly cooked. If it is still a little uncooked. Just recover the pot and allow it to sit 4 or 5 minutes more, off the stove. When the rice is done to your liking, transfer it to a serving dish or fluff it well up with a spoon or rice paddle and leave uncovered to cool it and stop the cooking process.
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