Do you like rice?
For a long time I didn’t eat rice because, to be fair, it didn’t attract me at all. It seemed super plain and dry to me, and I associated it mostly with being on an easily digestible diet while being stomach-sick as a kid.
Not long ago, I discovered, that the rice itself is not responsible for my dislike of it, I am. I just never knew how to prepare it properly. Now I know that there’s no limit to the number of ways to prepare delicious, both sweet and savory, rice meals, and I’m planning to try out as many of them as possible.
First step in preparing a rice dish is chosing the right variety. There’s plenty to choose from – brown rice, wild rice, basmati rice, paraboiled rice, long-grain rice – these are just a few examples. I suggest you try multiple of them to find your favorite.
Today I’m sharing with you a nice rice lunch idea. Super quick, tasty and filling. My personal favorite is basmati rice (at least for now), so this recipe features basmati rice and tips on how to prepare it.
If you are buying rice in individual 100g plastic bags, cut them open and put the rice directly in the pot. Because, first of all, I don’t think these bags are safe to cook in at all. Moreover, cooking in them prevents you from adding spices throughout cooking, and spices are really important for the good taste.
Soak your rice!
Seriously, it works miracles. Put rice in water for at least 30 minutes before cooking it (I sometimes leave it soaking overnight, so that I don’t have to spend additional time on it in the morning). Water will draw out excess starch from the grains, which will give your rice super nice texture and will speed up the cooking process.
Before cooking, rinse the soaked rice and put it in fresh water.
Add some fat to your rice, to prevent it from sticking to the pot and for additional boost of flavor. I usually go either for ghee or olive oil.
- 100g basmati rice
- 1-2 teaspoons ghee or clarified butter (for vegan version, use olive oil)
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 small carrots
- 1/2 bell pepper
- other veggies of your choice
- salt and spices of your choice
Once you have soaked the rice and rinsed it, put it in a pot. Chop or grate the veggies finely and throw them into the pot too. Add ghee, salt and spices (I usually go for cayenne pepper and nigella sativa, but feel free to experiment). Stir everything precisely. Cover the contents of the pot with water. Not too much, just around a centimeter over. Cook on small heat. The water will get partially absorbed and partially evaporated during the cooking process, so make sure you stir the rice from time to time, and have some hot water boiled on the side, in case you needed to add some more. Your dish should be ready within 15-20 minutes. At the end all water should be absorbed/evaporated, so there won’t be any that you need to drain.