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Rice is a staple food in India and throughout Asia. There are several hundred varieties in total, such as Jasmine, Sona Masoori, Kolam, Ambe Mohar, Sella, Basmati, etc. Basmati (bas= fragrance, mati=full) is considered one of the best and therefore the most expensive. It is a long-grained and intensely fragrant type of rice and is often used on special occasions. In India, as in other East Asian countries, rice is still traditionally grown by hand. This means very hard backbreaking work for the farmers from planting to harvesting. 


Rice is mostly served as a filling side dish. In some dishes, however, it is also the centerpiece, as in the world-famous biryani or even in the humble Khichdi (dish of rice and lentils). Thanks to my Bengali father and my South Indian mother, I was born with a love for rice. It is simply a delight to open a pot of freshly cooked rice and let the fragrant steam reveal the loose, long grains. As a child and sometimes still today, I eat rice simply with ghee and salt, my absolute comfort food.


Basically, there are three methods of cooking rice:

  • The steaming rice method - just enough water to cook.

  • The pasta method - cook with 5 times the amount of water and strain after cooking and rinse briefly if necessary.

  • The fast and modern method - cooking with a rice cooker.

In meiner Familie ist die Quellreismethode bevorzugt, weil wir nicht abgießen müssen und all die guten Reisaromen in der Spüle verschwinden.


In my family, the steaming rice method is preferred because we don't have to drain and all the good rice flavors disappear down the sink.


Here are a few tips on how to make the rice perfect every time:

  • One handful per person is enough. One cup of rice is about four handfuls.

  • Each serving of rice needs one and a half times the amount of water.

  • Wash and soak, thus you remove the starch that makes the grains stick together and shorten the cooking time. It's best to soak rice in cold water for 30 minutes, but if you're in a hurry, 10 minutes will do. 

  • Do not open the pot during cooking, because otherwise the steam will escape, in which the rice will cook. Therefore, a glass lid is recommended. 

  • After cooking, let the rice rest for about 10 minutes.

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