Rice has been a staple food for a very long period of time. In fact, it has been around for centuries and ages. Even in modern times, the demand for rice as a staple food item has not gone down by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, it would be safe to say that rice today is being consumed in greater quantities that it has ever been before. There was a time when rice was exclusive to certain regions of the world. Today, there is global and worldwide consumption of this staple food item. If you believe that only Asians eat rice, then you are harbouring a major (and slightly stereotypical) misconception. What’s really interesting is that cooking rice is not really a cake walk. It seems easy, but it does involve a certain amount of technique and cooking precision.
Rinsing and Soaking the Long Grain Rice
The first thing that you need to do when you are cooking long grain rice is rinse it thoroughly. That being said, most of the long grain rice that is sold in the supermarkets nowadays is pre-cleaned. Therefore, rinsing the rice before cooking is not much of a necessity, unless you are looking to make non-sticky rice. When you rinse rice, the starch gets washed away and it becomes a lot less sticky when cooked. You could soak the rice if you wanted to, but it really is not mandatory for you to do that. If you are short on time, skip the soaking and the rinsing. In case you do decide to soak it, make sure to drain it properly. You do not want to end up using more water than you intended to.
Cooking Pot, Cook Time And Water Absorbency
One of the most important things about cooking rice is that it needs to be prepared in a pot that is large enough to retain the steam. In other words, there should be enough space between the rice and the lid of the cooking pot to create a convectional current. This will keep the steam trapped inside the pot. The lid should also be tight fitting. It is worth mentioning that cooking brown rice takes a longer duration than cooking white rice. Furthermore, older rice is more water absorbent than new rice is.
Measured and Unmeasured Methods of Cooking Long Grain Rice
There are two different ways in which you can cook long grain rice. The first step does not really require you to take too many measurements. This method of cooking rice is based on the simple principle of adding in more than enough water in the pot along with the rice. Once the rice has been cooked, the excess water can be drained of. You will often see people from Indian subcontinent cooking rice in this manner. It is a pretty effective way of cooking rice and takes up a lot less time and effort. However, if you want to aim for perfection, you need to rely on the rice’s absorption. This requires you to cook the long grain rice with a measured amount of water. The amount of water is measured so that all the water that was used in the cooking is absorbed by the rice by the time they are done being cooked. The trapped steam from inside the pot is used to finish the cooking.
Experimenting with the Quantity of Water
According to the rule of the thumb, you need to add 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice to attain perfect absorption. That being said, you may want to deviate from the thumb rule and experiment a little with the amount of water that you are placing in the cooking pot. Since you are the cook, you have the liberty to prepare your long grain rice the way you want. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the type of rice that you are cooking with as well as your personal preferences. If you like softer and stickier rice, then you should add more water than the recommended two cups. If you like your rice separate and hard, then you should add less water than prescribed. Experimenting with the quantities allows you to explore the various cooking options that you have with long grain rice.
Allowing the Rice to Rest
You can accentuate the flavour of the rice by adding a little bit of salt into the pot. When you are cooking the rice, let the water and rice mixture simmer for a period of at least 12-15 minutes on low heat. Once you have finished cooking the rice, let the dish rest for 10-15 minutes. Do not forget to let the rice rest. If you do, then you are not going to get well-cooked fluffy rice.