Rice is one major food you find in almost every part of the world. It's used for traditional recipes, intercontinental cuisines and home made cooking. It's almost a daily meal for most people. It's preparation is easy. Simply clean rice, boil, add salt, leave to dry or sieve , c'est fini.
But i have come to realize that there are some rice grains with a mind of it's own....all those kind of rice wey bi say you have to begggg..for it to become soft. or the ones that decide to turn out as couscous after cooking, especially when you specialize them in jellof or fried!!! Not a nice experience and very worrying sometimes, particularly when you claim to cook the best rice in the world!
The best solution is to know your rice! and carefully find a suitable method to get the best out of it. The varieties of cultivated rice grain ranges from over 35,000 and is divided into two groups. The long grain and the Specialty rice.
The long grain rice is categorized into;
1) The regular long grain white rice. (On cooking, the grains becomes separate and fluffy. It's also good for Chinese and Nigerian dishes.)
2) Easy cook long grain white rice. (There's less possibility to over cook this rice and its good for rice salads and fried rice)
3) Brown long grain rice. (Though takes a longer time to soften, if cooked well, the grains remain fluffy, Ofada rice falls into this category)
The Speciality rice has it's categories too;
1) The Aromatic rice. (The grains come with a fragrant taste and aroma. This is what most Africans call the perfume rice, it requires a low heat to cook and little water).
2) The Basmati rice. (Also known as "the prince of rice". Needs little water to cook and usually comes out great in Indian dishes).
3) The Jasmine rice. (The aroma is not as strong as the Basmati. On cooking, it as a slight soggy look . This is very good with Chinese and Japanese dishes).
4) The Japonica Rice.(This comes in different colours, red, brown and black.)
Whatever type of rice grain you cook, make sure you get the right measurement of water. This is quiet unreal to some because in most homes cooking is done without any considerable measurement. Just like my Africa peeps, "you just need to use eye gauge the rice, and you go know the kian water wey go reach"...lol
The best thing to do when you can't be bothered about measuring water or following the instructions on the packaging of your rice, is to add water little by little, till it becomes soft.
In the case of special dishes like jellof and fried rice, when it seems some part of the rice is getting soft and the other is as strong as rock, simply lower the heat, get a foil paper, spread a sheet over the rice and cover. Check from time to time to ensure it dosen't get too soft.
Another option is to use a pressure pot , like "KOKO IRIN" all those kind of pots made with iron. They help retain heat and maintain steam.
It's important to know that sometimes cooking requires understanding your product and knowing the procedure that best work for you.
This way you can have the perfect rice and be the world's best rice guru!*winks
What is your favorite rice dish?