The other day, a friend and I were discussing making rice. I get the impression that rice is often touch and go for a lot of people. They have heard lots of different versions of what works and what doesn’t work and often don’t understand why it never turns out quite right. Even on Masterchef, a cooking TV competition with super-skilled contestants, I have seen rice fail.
Because I cook it often, over the years I managed to perfect a way to make a loose, fluffy and tasty rice that doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, without thinking too much about it (even though my skills do not come close to any of the talented people that cook on TV!).
This is very useful to accompany dishes like curries and chilli con carne. It’s nothing special, it’s plain rice but it really never fails. One important aspect is the size of the pan as the larger the area in contact with heat in relation to the ‘height’ of the rice inside the pan , the quicker it will cook, the more it will stick to the bottom of the pan and the drier it will be.
You can make more interesting rice dishes using the same technique by adding spices, fresh garlic or vegetables when you fry the rice at the start and let them boil with the rice. You can also add boiling stock instead of boiling water for a flavoured rice. For coriander rice, for example, just add a sprig of coriander to the top of the rice 5 minutes before it is due to be ready and when you loosen up the rice with a fork make sure you shred the now softened coriander leaves as you move the fork and remove the stalks if you prefer (although that’s where the flavour is). The rest is the same, though. I tend to estimate 75ml of dry rice per person and always add double the volume of rice in liquid. The more people, the bigger the knob of butter needed 🙂