Rice - Staple Dish of India

"We make everyday Plain rice in 2 ways. In the first method we cook our rice in a similar fashion to pasta. In the second method we retain the starch. Here I present both styles with love from India."
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Ready In:


  • Method 1

  • 1 cup basmati rice or 1 cup kolam rice (basmati rice should ideally be soaked in water for around 20-30 mins before cooking)
  • 6 -8 cups water
  • salt
  • Method 2

  • 1 cup basmati rice or 1 cup kolam rice (basmati rice should ideally be soaked in water for around 20-30 mins before cooking)
  • 2 cups water
  • salt


  • Ratio of rice to water when the quantity of rice increases: 2 cups rice: 3 3/4 cups water 3 cups rice: 5 1/2 cups water Method 1: Put water to boil.
  • In the meanwhile wash the rice 3 times.
  • When the water starts boiling add rice and salt.
  • Check in 10 mins to see if the rice is cooked.
  • The grains should be still firm but not raw.
  • Break the grain between your fingers to check.
  • Drain by covering with a fitting but flat lid and invert over the sink (as we do it) We then leave the inverted vessel for a good ten minutes to make sure all the water has drained.
  • Or you can also drain in a colander as you drain pasta.
  • (add some oil if you are doing it this way) Straighten and the rice is ready to serve.
  • Method 2 Wash 1 cup of rice really well till the rice water is absolutely clear.
  • (in a thick bottomed vessel- I use a non stick casserole) Now drain all the water and add 2 cups of water and 1 tsp salt (or according to taste) Bring to a boil on high heat.
  • Stir once.
  • Reduce flame to low and cover and simmer for 10-15 mins or till the top of the rice gets holey (small pits are formed in the rice) and when the vessel is tilted you do not see any water (totally dry).
  • Loosen the rice when hot with the back of a serving spoon.
  • Tip: YOu can add a few drops of lime to the water when you put the rice to boil with the salt.
  • It helps to separate the grains.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I, too, like to add butter (or ghee) when adding rice and salt to water. Have not tried the lime juice, but will next time I make. Basmati is my all-time fave rice!Great instructions...
  2. I have always used Method 2 and it never fails. Yes the more times one washes the rice makes it less sticky.
  3. We make rice everyday in either one of these 2 ways - both are good! By the way, I'd like to mention here that I talked to a very good Indian chef/owner of an Indian hotel here in Orlando last week about the lime juice being added to the rice{because I used to do it too when I was in Oman}. He told me that the lime juice really helps to keep the grains of rice really nice and white. It doesn't help keep them separate. He mentioned using butter/ghee/oil to keep them separate just as you mentioned in the recipe above.


<p>Am an avid baker and love cooking too. Live in Mumbai, India.</p>
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