Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Basmati Rice

I am addicted to basmati rice. Addicted, I tell you! Too bad it's not brown basmati, which I have yet to try cooking with the method described on a bag of white basmati I just bought that works like a frickin' dream.

You know how the rice at an Indian restaurant has a consistency impossible to replicate with the usual method of cooking rice in a rice cooker or the like? It's because they do something way, way different from that, apparently. And the bag told me how.

Sorry to turn this into a food blog, Paul.

Anyway. There are many steps involved, but it goes pretty fast. The bag calls it the 'open-pot' method. First you rinse your amount of rice (say, a cup) in cold water (typical), then you soak it in cold water for half an hour and drain it. Then cook it in a big pot of boiling water--more than it would absorb when fully cooked, say, 6 cups--for less than 10 minutes (7.5 seems to be my magic number) and drain. The bag also says to rinse in boiling water again, but this step has proven unnecessary to my palate.

Seriously. It is perfect this way, texture-wise.

We have also learned to cheat and use Patak's seasoning pastes mixed with plain soy yogurt to make certain dishes. Marinating tofu in a tikka masala mixture turns out rather well.

My stupid little "handy" chopper appliance has come in handy for mincing onions, and tomato puree is great for just the right color and texture. I never even knew.

It is dangerous to be able to satisfy your food cravings at home... or cheaper, I'm not sure which.

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