Rice (Chawal)

Rice is very important in the Vedic cookery. It is the main dish in the Vedic lunch. It’s usually served together with chatneys (souses), dal (leguminous dishes), sabji (vegetable dishes) or some appetizers. Many dishes including different desserts can be cooked from rice. That’s why it is very important to learn how to cook rice rightly.

Today we would like to describe the basic method of preparing rice. Rice cooked in such a way always turns out fluffy. It can be decorated with greens or lemon slices and served as a separate dish or in combination with other dishes. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, and dairy-free and gluten-free.

To be successful in cooking rice we should choose the right kind of rice. We think basmati rice is the best. It originates from India. It is long grain rice that is characterized by a light nutty flavor. It is remarkably long for rice and becomes longer still when cooked. In addition to this basmati is wholesome. It is rich for cellulose, starch, folic acid, 8 amino acids, iron, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin. It contains low amount of sodium. All these are very important not only for vegetarians but also for people consuming meat. That is why basmati is known as royal rice.

To cook fluffy vegetarian rice we need:

1 cup white basmati rice (200 gr)

2 cups water (500 gr)

1,5 tablespoon (25 gr) clarified butter (ghee) or dairy butter

2/3 teaspoon (4 gr) salt or to taste

Method:

Step 1. Wash basmati with running water. Allow rice to soak for 1-2 hours.

Step 2. Take two pans. One pan for boiling water, another for toasting and cooking rice. It would be better if the pan for rice had thick bottom. The best choice is cast-iron, cast aluminum or made of stainless steel pan. We use cast-iron pan.

Step 3. Pour 2 cups of water in the first pan. Put the pan on the cooker and let it boil up over medium heat.

Step 4. Take another pan. Put ghee (or butter) into the pan. Over medium heat, warm ghee.

Then add dry rice and toast, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Rice will be changing. At first the grains will be turbid because of ghee, and then they will become transparent. Just as most grains become white it’s the right time to add the boiling water. Water should boil up just at the time when the grains of rice are toasted.

Step 5. Add salt to the boiling water. Add boiling water to the rice and stir. Please be very careful while doing that so as not to burn your fingers! As soon as you add the water to the rice, a steam will rise up and the water will be splashing from the pan. Some grains may jump out of the pan. That’s ok.

Step 6. Stir well the rice and the water.  Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a low simmer, cover, and allow the rice to cook for 15 minutes, until rice is cooked through and liquid is absorbed. Don’t open the cover! After 15 minutes turn off the heat and let the pan stay on the cooker for another 15 minutes. Don’t open the cover!

Step 7. After 15 minutes you may open the cover. Fluff the rice gently. Be careful, don’t break the grains. Basmati rice is ready. It may be served!

Yield: about 700 gr, that is 3-5 servings (depending on how the rice is served).

Pay attention! There is steamed basmati rice. This kind of rice doesn’t need long toasting. 1-2 minutes of toasting is enough.

Cook together with us the food for soul and be happy!

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