You know how some seemingly easy to cook food, just throw you off! Rice can be one those! You even wonder if the times you ever cooked it right were a fluke!
Growing up, I learnt many tips ranging from adding oil, butter or margarine to rice to prevent it from over cooking and turning mush. I bought a rice cooker that I’ve only used twice in 10 years. I cook my rice in pot.
With Rice you find that it can either be undercooked or overcooked. The brand of rice can also be a factor. Buying rice from an open market, you’d be prone to all sorts of inconsistencies. In Nigeria the most popular form of rice that is the staple in every home and in the markets is “Long Grained Parboiled Rice”. I would be focusing specifically on those. These tips I’d be sharing, also apply to the local rice like Ofada and Abakaliki rice.
Tips for cooking rice.
- Wash properly
- Don’t cook with excessive water.
- Cook on medium heat
- Trap steam
Let me break it down.
• Tip 1
Wash rice properly. I don’t use the parboiling method of first boiling rice and then rinsing. I wash the rice till the water is clear.
• Tip 2
Do not start cooking your rice with an excessive amount of water. There is a high tendency you will end up with over cooked soft mushy rice if you do. Cook with just about double the amount of rice. Say you are cooking one cup of rice, cook with 2 cups of water. I recommend you start with already hot water.
• Tip 3
Cook on medium heat. It’s important not to start cooking rice on high heat, it would just boil too fast and burn. On low heat, it would cook too slowly and absorb water.
• Tip 4
*My most important tip*
Once the water has reduced remaining and you can no longer see it on top of the rice, turn the heat down to low, not all the way low but lower than medium.
Next you want to trap the steam. The steam will cook the rice through. Usually towards the end of the cook, the rice may still seem hard and there is usually a temptation to add more water to help the rice cook through. Don’t be tempted, but trap the steam in the pot to cook the rice through.
To do this, you can use Foil, Banana leaves or moinmoin leaves. I won’t recommend plastic shopping bags, I’ve used then I the past and they did the job but it’s not very safe health wise.
Place foil or leaves over the rice and place the lid on the pot to cover it. Remember you have turned the heat down, so the steam will slowly cook the rice through.
This might take any where from five to ten minutes.
Take the lid off, stick a bottom of a spoon or fork into the rice to check for water, if the comes out without water on it, the rice is ready to be taken off the heat.
I use this method to cook all rice dishes that i use Long Grain Parboiled Rice for, Jollof Rice, Fried Rice, Yellow (Turmeric) Rice , White Rice, and Ofada Rice . And you will observe a constant through the images I’ve shared, the rice keeps intact, it’s not soggy and its properly cooked through.
Try these tips and feed me back.