I came across a way of cooking Basmati rice in one of your emails and just HAD to send this one out. First of all, let me tell you a little about myself. I am from Pakistan and all my life, at least one of my daily meals has had to have rice as the staple. Having said that, I wanted to give your readers a few tips on how to make fool-proof basmati rice. Here goes:
Put the rice in a strainer with a bowl underneath and wash in running cold water until the water runs clear. Then, fill up the strainer with water and add a couple of tablespoons of regular garden-variety white vinegar. Swirl the rice around in the "vinegared water". You'll see the water turning real cloudy. If you want, let it sit in this solution for a few minutes, then rinse again in running water from the faucet until the water runs clear. Otherwise just go ahead and wash it out under running water. I know a lot of recipes tell you to soak the rice. Personally I have never felt the need to.
Cook on high heat until the water evaporates and you start to see the top layer of rice. At this point, cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and put in a preheated 275 degrees oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn the oven off, fluff the rice and leave in the oven for at least another 5 minutes. I know it sounds involved but once you do it you realize it isn't. Now for ways to jazz it up. And there are plenty of them.
Add a teaspoon of salt to the cooking water.
I hope you can use these tips in your newsletter because whereas I have found Americans to love rice, I feel they are not getting the true rice experience because of the fluffy mush that gets passed around as rice. Cooking rice has been a kind of initiation for most Pakistani and Indian cooks. it seems to be one of the "gold standards" of measuring a cook's ability. Zeba Gill,