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All about texture

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How to cook rice to its perfect texture is an art: too much water and it’s gloppy; too little, and it’s dry and brittle. If it’s cooked for too long, it smushes together; not enough time and it’s grainy and hard. Different types of rice require different cooking methods, too. This recipe, specifically for long-grain basmati rice, boils it down to a science. The rice-to-water ratio used here is 1 cup rice to 1 1/2 cups water, but thoroughly drained rice, heat levels, cook time and resting time can all impact results. Even the size of the pot matters; you’ll want to select a small one in which the water level rises an inch above the rice level. Follow the steps exactly and cooking long-grain basmati rice is no longer an experiment but a formula.

Basmati Rice
• 1 cup long-grain basmati rice

Wash the rice in a large bowl and pour out the water. Repeat until the water runs clear, then drain the rice thoroughly using a sieve.

Add rice and 1 1/2 cups water to a small saucepan; the water level should be about 1 inch above the rice. Heat over high. Once the water boils, about 6 minutes, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, for 12 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit for 10 minutes. Do not remove the lid; the rice will finish cooking in its own steam. Uncover and fluff the rice using a fork. Serve.

Total time: 25 minutes, makes 4 servings (about 3 cups).

If you like, add bay leaf, salt, whole spices (such as cloves and cardamom) or other flavoring agents to your rice before cooking.

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