Basmati rice is an aromatic rice originating from India; in the Hindi language "basmati" means "queen of fragrance", to emphasize the taste and fragrance of this rice with a long and thin grain, rich in nutritional and healthy properties. So let’s see how to cook basmati rice in a perfect way both in the pot and in the oven.
Basmati rice is rich in starch, so it is good to rinse it carefully, if you want to obtain fragrant grains that will remain divided and compact. Especially if you will use basmati rice as a side dish or salad, pass it under cold water, until the water is clear; just rinse it 3 or 4 times. Then the soaking phase will be fundamental; it will be necessary to leave the grains to soak in cold water for a while, at least half an hour. In this way the basmati rice will strengthen, remaining compact during cooking.
To cook basmati rice in a perfect way it is important to respect the right ratio between water and rice, this is because the cooking of basmati rice takes place by slow absorption. The ratio should be 1 to 1.5 or, when you put the rice in the pot, make sure there is at least a couple of centimeters of water to cover the grains. The cup is a good method of measurement; one cup of rice corresponds to 1.5 cups of water. For cooking basmati rice, prefer a thick-bottomed pot, preferably a ceramic one. Once ready, you can use basmati rice for your exotic preparations; basmati rice is ideal for making Cantonese rice, or you can enjoy it without seasoning, for the preparation of pilaf rice, ideal to accompany meat dishes, fish or to be enjoyed with vegetables, with the addition of sauces and spices.
To cook the basmati rice in a pot, boil the water; you will need 250 ml per 100 grams of rice, and add a pinch of salt. Pour in the rice, cover with a lid and keep the heat high for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat, keep the pot covered and cook for another 10 minutes; avoid lifting the lid, so the rice will be cooked perfectly thanks to the steam. Once ready, let the rice cool inside the pot with the lid on; alternatively you can pour it into a container and let it cool at room temperature.
If you do not want to turn on the stove, you can cook the basmati rice in the microwave oven, always keeping in mind the proportions between water and rice; pour them into a deep dish or into the microwave oven container, and cook for 6 minutes holding the temperature to the maximum. Then cover the rice with cling film suitable for microwave cooking and cook for another 15 minutes at medium temperature. Once ready, let the basmati rice rest for at least 5 minutes and divide the grains with a fork.
For baking in the traditional oven, boil the amount of water you need to prepare the rice on the stove. Then pour it into a container with the rice and a pinch of salt, cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for about half an hour. Take the rice out of the oven, remove the aluminum foil and divide the grains with a fork.
Once cooked, basmati rice can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, in an airtight container. If you want to keep basmati rice longer, choose wholemeal rice.