I don’t know when my relationship with white rice started. I just remember it being always present as I was growing up. Me and rice always had a relationship. But it was never smooth sailing. No. Not at all. Many, many times me and rice would… just… never “agree” with one another…
I remember this one time, when I was a kid, when my mum was preparing the food for dinner and we were going to have white rice, and as she was cutting some vegetables, and she asked me if I wanted to cook the rice myself. I obviously said yes, because I wanted to help her and I wanted to cook; I always liked doing things with my hands and I wanted to know what my hands could come up with when it came to food.
So there I was, very young and small kid, on a chair, close to the stove, stirring white rice in the pan and then covering it with water and let it cook by itself. I was excited, I wanted to see the final result, what MY rice that I prepared (with my mum’s supervision of course) was going to look like. And then… disaster.
On the surface it looked like it was well cooked, but then there was a smell of something burning. I called my mum, she came immediately (she was in another part of the house I think) and she confirmed my fears: the rice was burnt underneath, pretty much all black. I was so disappointed, but above all I was very, very sorry for letting it burn, because that rice was for all of us. My mum smiled, told me not to worry about it, that burning rice happens all the time, that it was my first time and that I’d only get better.
Fast forward a few, few years and my art of cooking fluffy, white rice was far from perfect. I would try all sorts of rices, try all sorts of ways to cook it and still, most of the time, I could never get it right. Until one day, not that long ago to be honest, probably around a year ago, when I was searching online for videos of how to make fluffy, white rice, and after I viewed a few I clicked on one and I actually tried to follow those, easy, simple steps.
And so I did, and in less than 10 minutes I had my white rice done. Now, it was the time to try it. And you know what? I nailed it. I FREAKING NAILED IT! I was so happy to finally have found the best way – at least for me – to make white and fluffy rice and I was very, very happy with the result. Needless to say, to this day I still make rice this way, when I want it light, fluffy AND with a nice fragrance too.
So, I am now going to divulge here the steps I take to make my white rice light and fluffy:
- Take 400g of white basmati rice (use a kitchen scale) and rinse it under cold running water, using a colander. This is to remove any impurities the rice might have and to help it become fluffier in the cooking
- Put the rinsed rice in the pan, with a table spoon of olive oil and stir gently, so as to not burn the rice
- Add a pinch of salt and black pepper to the rice, as you keep stirring gently
- Then add 600 ml of cold water to the rice. Don’t stir the rice much now, if at all
- Put one whole star anise and two whole cardamoms. You can break them a little, to release their flavour a bit more.
- Cover the pan with a lid
- After 7 minutes you can turn off the heat and put the pan aside for a couple of minutes. Open the lid and you can smell the lovely aroma of the star anise and the cardamoms.
- Use a fork to check the rice’s “fluffiness”
And voila! You should have a perfect, white, fluffy rice, ready to eat. Obviously, this is MY way of making rice, and I know many people do it differently and the way they do it works for them. I just like this way a lot and it works for me. If any of you have any other interesting ways to cook fluffy and loose rice, please feel free to comment on this post and share it with me – I’d like to know!
Happy rice cooking everyone! 🙂