How To Cook Basmati Rice

Tilda Basmati is always fluffy and never sticks, guaranteed. Some people are afraid of cooking rice, but the truth is that cooking rice is as simple as cooking pasta! It’s very straightforward and all you need is good rice, like ours! With our easy to follow guide choose the type of rice that you want to cook and the method that you want to use and you’ll never mess up rice again! The easiest methods are open pan or microwave.

Open Pan Method

Open Pan (or excess water) is where rice is cooked in lots of water just like potatoes or pasta, then drained in a colander. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (optional). When boiling, tip in 250g/300ml (for 4 servings) of rice. Return the water to the boil then stir well. Lower the heat to a fast simmer and cook according to the variety. Drain in a colander and allow to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork and adding a little butter or oil (optional).

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Covered Pan Method

Covered Pan (or absorption) is where the rice is cooked with a measured amount of water in a covered pan. The rice absorbs the water completely and is not drained. Place 250g/300ml (for 4 servings) of rice in a medium pan. Measure in cold water (1 measure dry rice : 2 measures water). The water to rice ratio can be altered to obtain the required rice texture. Add to 1 teaspoon salt (optional). Bring to the boil, stir then cover and turn the heat to ‘low’. Cooking time depends on the grain, so check with the chart below. Do not lift the lid to peek. At the end of the cooking time, remove the pan from the heat, still covered, and stand for 5 minutes. The surface of the rice will have small holes in it, this is quite normal and it should be fluffed with a fork before serving, a knob of butter can be added if desired. This cooking technique is not recommended for Wild Rice.

Microwave Method

Like all starchy foods, Tilda rices take about the same time to cook in a microwave as if cooked conventionally. However, there is no need to drain or wash pans afterwards. Follow this cooking method for all Tilda rices. Check the chart below for timings. These vary according to power – 650W, 750W. There is no need to stir rices during cooking. Original Pure Basmati and brown rices benefit from rinsing and soaking prior to cooking – for best results rinse and soak for 30 minutes first, then drain well. Place 250g/300ml (for 4 servings) of rice in a deep microwaveable bowl. Stir in a measured amount of boiling water (1 measure dry rice : 2 measures water). Add half a teaspoon of salt and a knob of butter (optional). Cover with cling film allowing a tiny vent on the side. Do not pierce film. Cook on Full Power – 6 minutes (750W) or 7 minutes (650W). Turn power to medium (350W) and cook according to chart at the bottom of this page. Stand cooked rice for 5 minutes, then uncover carefully and fork through grains.

Rice Cooker

Rice cookers are independently electrically operated and similar to a slow cooker in design but the cooking time is similar to the covered pan method. Measured amounts of rice and water are placed in the rice cooker, which is then covered and switched on. When the water has been absorbed the rice cooker turns itself off and is able to keep the rice warm for a few hours without spoiling.

Combined Method

 Ideal for cooking rice ahead when you have many other dishes to attend to. Rice is cooked according to the open pan method but for a few minutes less. Drain, rinse very well with cold water, drain again and put into a covered microwave container in a fridge until ready to serve. It is then reheated on high for a few minutes.

Oven Baking

Oven baking takes longer than normal methods but is worthwhile if you are baking a casserole in the oven and when cooking pudding rice. Liquid quantities are similar to those used in the covered pan method. Use boiling liquid, add ricein a shallow pan, stir. Cover tightly and bake at 180 C, Gas mark 4 for 25-35 minutes for white rices, 30-40 minutes for parboiled and 50-60 minutes for brown rice.

Rinsing and soaking Long Grain Rice

Although rinsing and soaking is not necessary, it does help to lighten the grain. Soaking times can be from 5-30 minutes. The longer the soaking, the shorter the cooking time. If following the covered pan (absorption) method, use a little less water and shorten cooking times slightly. Pure Basmati, Thai Jasmine, American Long Grain and Giant Canadian rices are suitable for soaking. Soaking Pure Basmati results in a softer and more elongated grain. It is not necessary to soak easy cook, brown rices or Arborio risotto rice. How to Rinse and Soak Rice: Tip – rice grains into a large bowl. Fill with cold water and swill with your hand. Immediately tip out the cloudy water leaving the wet grains behind. Repeat 3-4 times. The water will become less and less cloudy. On 3rd or 4th fill, leave the water and rice to soak for 5-30 minutes. Drain the grains in a fine mesh sieve. Cook.

Storage of Rice

Throughout the centuries rice has been hoarded by different civilisations to weather long winters or to see out sieges. Indeed, rice left as an offering to the gods was found perfectly conserved in the tombs of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Parboiling was used by the Indians as a means of storing their rice. Uncooked Rice Under appropriate conditions, white (milled) rice can be stored almost indefinitely without noticeable loss in flavour or nutritional value.

White rice in bags or boxes should be stored at room temperature, off the ground in a clean, cool and dry place. Once packaging has been opened, it should be resealed and stored properly until required. Alternatively, airtight containers may also be used to keep out dust, moisture and other contaminants. Always store rice at room temperature in a clean, cool dry place.Brown (husked) rice, however, cannot be stored for as long because the oil contained in the bran layer may become rancid.

Cooked Rice Cooked rice can be kept for up to two to three days in the refrigerator, providing it has been prepared by the combined method but it must be covered to prevent it from drying out. Rice can be cooked ahead and kept frozen for up to one month. Cool quickly and divide into smaller portion sizes for easier handling. Store or wrap in freezer quality materials. To reheat frozen or refrigerated rice, either reheat in a saucepan with some oil or a few tablespoons of water or cover and reheat in the oven. Individual portions can be reheated on plates for at least one minute on full power in a microwave but longer if reheated with other foods. Make sure the rice is thoroughly reheated and piping hot. Once reheated dispose of any leftovers.