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Basmati rice is indigenous to Indian cooking, and is a wonderful alternative to basic white rice. It has a nutty flavor that really sets it apart. When cooked properly it is delightfully light and fluffy.
For a long time I would soak and rinse the rice before cooking it. This was due to the unwanted impurities that were frequently present in rice imported from Asia. With the rising popularity of Basmati rice here in the west, improved import standards have made this unnecessary. In fact, a lot of Basmati rice is now grown domestically. So I now skip this step making Basmati rice as quick to prepare as regular rice.
The ratio of rice to water is always 1 part rice to 1.5 parts water. This makes the recipe below easy to extend.
Heat the oil, over medium heat, in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Add the rice and stir fry for a couple of minutes allowing the rice to be completed coated in the oil. Coating the rice with oil in this fashion prevents the rice from sticking together as it cooks, so it comes out well separated.
Add the water and salt, stir and cover. Reduce heat to a low simmer and allow to cook for 18-20 minutes. When all water is absorbed I remove it from the fire, fluff it with a fork, cover it again and allow to sit for 15 minutes or so. This helps the rice to come out dry and fluffy.
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