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During an old episode of Inside The Factory, presenter Cherry Healey was given a masterclass in cooking rice. She joined award-winning Indian chef Manisha Bharadwaj who shared her four steps to making perfect rice every time using the absorption method.
Manisha said: “First things first, let’s see how you make rice at home.” Cherry replied: “I make it different every time, so you never really know what you’re going to get.”
Cherry opened the jar of rice and freely poured it into a saucepan and said “that’s for two people”.
She then poured cold tap water straight into the pan with the rice and place it onto the hob and turned the heat up to high.
“How long do you think it’ll take to cook?” Manisha asked. The presenter said: “I tap it to see if it’s ready – it’s starting to get soft now.”
“And you know that because you’ve been tapping it?” The chef wondered. Cherry confirmed: “The tap-tap method!”
Cherry then poured the rice into a sieve to remove any excess water then placed it back into the saucepan.
Cherry tried the rice and wondered: “How is it raw and mushy at the same time? It’s slightly…” And Manisha interjected: “Inedible?”
As for how rice should be cooked, Manisha had “four foolproof rules to ensure you never mess up your rice again”.
1. Use a ratio of 1:2
“I’m making rice by the absorption method,” Manisha explained. “One measure of rice and double the amount of water by volume – that’s crucial.”
Depending on how many servings you want to cook, it’s a good idea to measure the rice and water in separate bowls or measuring jugs.
2. Rinse the rise in a sieve
“Let’s start by washing the rice as it’s still got a little bit of loose starch,” Manisha said. “Any starch left on the grains will make them clog together.
“Give it a good rinse until the water runs clear,” this could take a few minutes.
3. Use the right pan
“You want to choose a pan that is heavy-bottomed and has a tight-fitting lid, you want to lock the steam in, that’s what’s going to cook the rice,” the chef revealed.
“The rice is going to absorb all the liquid so you don’t want any of the steam to escape.”
Tip the washed rice and water into the pan and turn up the heat.
“The rice has come up to the boil, I’m going to give it a stir,” Manisha added. “I’ll turn the heat right down and put the lid on the saucepan.”
4. Leave it alone
ManishaYou don’t want to lift the lid, you don’t want to peek, just leave it and let it do its thing,” Manisha commented.
Cherry remarked: “It’s very low-maintenance this method?” And Manisha replied: “It is.”
After 10 minutes turn off the heat and let it stand for another five minutes, then serve. Manisha forked the rice and said: “Every grain is separate, it’s also fluffed up.”
Cherry added: “It tastes nutty and sweet.” Manisha explained why: “Because it’s got the aroma, taste and texture [that cooked rice should have].”
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