Last weekend I cooked Chicken Korma and reported that the rice dampened the flavor of the dish. I have a history of hypertension, and although my blood pressure readings were normal the last time I visited the doctor, I still try to limit sodium where I can. So instead of adding salt to the cooking water, I abstained. I followed the directions on the package, sans salt, and the rice came out sticky like it usually does for me. Having had basmati rice at Indian restaurants before, I knew it could fluffy.
So I consulted Cooking, by James Peterson. The solution was simple, prepare it “…in the same way you cook pasta.” So I brought a gallon of water to boil, added a tablespoon of salt and a cup of brown basmati rice. Once the water began to boil again, I reduced to a simmer. Once I saw the kernels start to plump up, I began to check. When the rice was al dente I poured the whole lot into the colander. Low and behold….. the rice was fluffy! Not only that, after spooning leftover chicken korma over the rice and tasting, we discovered the dish had much better flavor and texture than before. A small adjustment in technique can really make a difference.
I found cooking a cup of rice in a gallon of water is a little overkill, in terms of water. Next time I’ll try a half gallon of water and a half tablespoon of salt. If anyone has a preferred method of cooking fluffy rice, please share.