Cooking Basmati rice on the stove has never been easier if you follow my few simple tips. As a bonus, I'll also show you how to cook rice properly to remove as much arsenic as possible.
Ah, rice, an adored grain in some cuisines.
There are wide rice varieties; however, today, we'll talk about one of the best: Basmati.
Although Basmati rice is traditionally grown in Pakistan, India, and Nepal, this long-grained rice has gained impressive popularity in the, US too, partially because it's so fragrant once cooked and also since, Basmati rice is so easy to cook.
In this post, I'll show you how to cook Basmati rice in a way that reduces arsenic and makes the rice fluffy and perfect each time.
You might wonder, "How did arsenic get into the rice?"
The issue lies in the farming methods used to grow rice. Rice itself doesn't contain arsenic. However, irrigation water and some chemicals used in rice fields contribute to the elevated level of Arsenic in rice.
When rice plants grow, they absorb more carcinogenic compounds from the soil than any other plant.
That's why rice from some regions of the world is more prone to contain high levels of Arsenic.
Arsenic is a heavy metal that can be harmful to everyone, especially to pregnant women and children.
You may be thinking, "Wait, should I stop eating rice?"
Of course not!
Rice is a nutritious grain, and it's a good idea to include it in your healthy diet. (Along with other grains such as quinoa, bulgur, and buckwheat.)
Basmati rice, in particular, has a lower starch content than regular white rice, has a mild nutty flavor, is gluten-free, and is delicious.
But wait! How about arsenic?
Fortunately, there are a few methods for reducing arsenic in rice.
You might already know the first method, which requires rinsing the rice a few times before cooking. Some people do it, and some don't.
However, this method is less effective than the second method developed by scientists at the University of Sheffield.
According to scientists, this new way of cooking rice reduces arsenic while maintaining nutrients. In fact, you can reduce arsenic by 74% in white rice and by over 50% in brown rice.
Isn't it amazing?
I'm going to show you exactly how to cook Basmati rice. It's perfect rice, and it will be fluffy and aromatic. You can start implementing this method today.
Here's Why This Recipe Works
- Quick and easy. It's effortless to cook Basmati rice. Despite that, we'll add an extra step to the recipe (that reduces arsenic), but it's still one of the easiest dishes to make.
- Healthy. White Basmati rice has many health benefits. It contains a significant amount of Fiber. In addition, rice is a whole grain, and eating whole grains is linked to a lower risk of heart disease. ¼ c of cooked Basmati rice contains zero saturated fat.
- Avocado oil. I love adding avocado oil to rice to give it more flavor. If you're not vegan, you can omit the oil and just add butter at the end. You can also add olive oil.
How To Cook Perfect Basmati Rice on the Stovetop
- Add 1 cup of uncooked Basmati white rice to a medium saucepan. Don't rinse it. Add 4 cups of water.
- Bring rice to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir it around to ensure individual grains don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove Basmati rice from the heat, and drain it in a metal strainer. Rinse it well with clean cold water.
- Wash the cooking pot.
- Add rice to the pot with 1 ¼ c water, salt, and avocado oil. Cover rice with a lid and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes until all water is absorbed.
- Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside. Wait to lift the lid for 10 minutes.
- Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
The stove-top method of cooking rice, which the University of Sheffield scientists developed, advises cooking the rice in 2 cups of water.
I found this amount results in rather sticky and mushy rice which is perfect for rice puddings like Risalamande or Mushroom Meatballs.
If you want to achieve perfectly fluffy rice (for stir-fries or rice pilaf), it's best to stick to my rice-to-water ratio.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, this method of reducing arsenic can be used for other types of rice including wild rice, brown Basmati rice, or jasmine rice. However, for brown Basmati rice, you would need to use more water, 3 cups of water per 1 cup of rice.
Since the recipe requires boiling the rice 2 times and then discarding the first cooking water, there's no need to soak or rinse the rice.
It cooks in the same amount of time as regular white rice.
Make sure to use the correct ratio of water to rice. Since the rice is cooked in two stages, there's no need to increase the amount of water in the second stage.
It is considered healthier due to its FIber content and a more significant amount of B vitamins and Zinc. That being, brown Basmati rice tends to be higher in arsenic.
Arborio rice contains more starch, which is essential for obtaining a perfect and slightly gluey Risotto texture. That's why it's not advisable to use this method of reducing arsenic since it'll also remove the starch.
It's possible to cook Basmati rice with other liquids. Here are my suggestions:
- vegetable broth
- coconut milk (full fat or low fat). It will be exceptionally delicious for Thai recipes.
- half water and half coconut milk
In addition, you can also drizzle some cooked rice with 1-2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice and garnish with cilantro or parsley before serving.
That being said, I recommend using water for the first step of precooking rice. The water will be discarded anyway, so getting fancy here is unnecessary.
After you boiled rice for the first 5 minutes, rinsed the rice, and washed the pot, you can go ahead and finish cooking the rice with broth or coconut milk.
Stovetop cooked Basmati rice can be used as a side dish for curries such as Thai Red Curry or Vegan Curry With Chickpeas.
Bean stews such as White Bean Stew or Georgian Red Bean Stew also pair wonderfully with freshly cooked rice.
Don't forget to serve your meal with a healthy green salad like Broccoli Mushroom Salad or Creamy Vegan Cauliflower Salad.
Storage. Store the cooked Basmati rice for about 3–4 days in the fridge. Make sure to put it in a covered container; otherwise, the upper layer of rice will become tough and chewy.
Reheating. Reheat rice in a microwave or in a pot with a splash of water or vegetable broth.
Feezing. You can also cook a big batch of Basmati rice and keep it in a freezer. Make sure to use a freezer-safe, airtight container. That way, it can last for about a month.
Defrosting. You can thaw Basmati rice in the refrigerator overnight or place it in a small pot with a little bit of water or broth. Simmer until the rice is heated through and the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
How To Cook Basmati Rice on the Stove
- 1 c white Basmati rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- Add 1 cup of Basmati white rice to a medium pot. Don't rinse it. Add 4 cups of water.
- Bring rice to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir it around to make sure individual grains don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove Basmati rice from the heat, put it into a metal strainer, and rinse with clean water.
- Wash the cooking pot.
- Add rice back to the pot along with 1 ¼ c water, salt, and avocado oil. Cover rice with a lid and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside. Don't lift the lid for 10 minutes.
- Open the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
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