Today, I am going to show you how to make a satisfying, tasty, aromatic, beautiful, and above all healthy rice that will change the way you look at rice forever!
Even if you are working on your bikini body and look away when you see rice, still read this.
Rice is one of the healthiest carb choices for a complete diet. It is a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, iron, folic acid, thiamine and niacin.... and there is a way to make rice even healthier!
I cannot think of not having rice for more than two days in a row. I have grown up with its aroma drifting throughout our home as an announcement for that lunch time has finally arrived.
Rice is the center of every lunch or dinner table in Iran. There are many lively discussions between families about how the perfect rice is prepared and cooked to give flawless texture and taste. Everything is considered from choosing the best variety, the time of year for harvest and the delivery/handling are all important factors. My dad is from the north of Iran where most of the rice fields are located due to its climate, he is always on the hunt to find the best supplier from the best regions. The word about where to acquire this perfect harvest has always been an important talking point at our family gatherings.
The term for a perfect texture of rice is "doon". It means the grains of rice are separate and not stuck together when you serve the rice. The rice needs to be airy and fluffy. To achieve this perfect texture, you will need to wash a lot of starch off the rice, which makes it healthier for your body.
The whole process could take between 2 to 24 hours.
But fear not! A lot of hours involved are spent on the time the rice is being soaked in water to release the starch.
Although with a bit of planning, having a 24 hour rice is not impossible, but if your lifestyle requires minimum time in the kitchen, just by adding 10 minutes to your cooking time you can still have a chance of achieving this perfect rice.
Believe me when you taste the result you realise it was all worth it!
When I came to Australia and saw rice being treated like a boring staple for curries, it broke my heart a bit. It was strange to see people put the rice straight into a pot and boil with water with no preparation. No wonder the health conscious try to steer away from white rice for the amount of carb.
The good news is, there is a way to have white rice and enjoy it with a clean conscious. You are still having carbs and should avoid having more than what you normally would have. In fact because this rice is so airy and fluffy, it takes more space on your plate so you will end up having less rice for the same visual or scooped amount of rice that you are used to.
So, Let's get cooking!
Start from choosing a good organic rice. Since I don't have access to an amazing supplier here in Australia, I found Long Grain rice to be the best for a good textured with lowest amount of carbs. But I normally choose Jasmin rice for its beautiful aroma.
My mum normally measures half a cup of rice per serve (mind you we eat a lot of rice), so I would say to keep it healthy and one cup of rice for three people should be a good amount.
Step 1 - Wash
You will need to wash your rice thoroughly. Put the rice in a bowl and fill with water. Move the rice around with your hands so the white coloured starch gets released, then empty the starchy water. Repeat this step three to four times until minimum starch comes out of the rice. I have purchased a metal bowl with dents in it so the rice gets a bit of scrub when being washed.
Step 2 - Soak
After rice is washed, fill up the rice bowl with water again and put a few spoons of salt in the water, let it soak over night or for at least half an hour.
Through soaking, the rice gets "Activated". Meaning absorbs the water and gets slightly fermented. Also this is the best way to get rid of the small amount of arsenic that could be present in rice. After it has been soaked, you will see the rice grains get slightly bloated with a matt white colour.
Step 3 - Boil
Put a pot of boiling water on the stove, fill the pot with 4 times amount of water compared to the rice. Also put a bit of salt in the water. Don't worry about the amount of salt you've put in your rice, it will all get washed off in the next step.
Drain the water from the soaking rice, then put the rice in the boiling water.
Watch and stir now and then to make sure the rice is not sticking together. Few minutes after the water starts boiling , when the rice starts coming to the surface with a little dance. It means your rice is ready. It shouldn't take more than 5 minutes.
The rice should be still al dante.
Step 4 - Drain
Empty the pot into a Colander, and drain the water.
You can keep this water to water your plants, the mineral and starch is good for the plants (according to my mum)
Step 5 - Steam
Put a bit of oil at the bottom of a none-stick pot, put the drained rice into the pot and put the lid on. Let it steam for 20 minutes on low heat. Now start making the salad and Khoresh or anything else you serving with your creation.
Step 6 - Serve
While serving the rice make sure that you spoon it from the top and take it layer by layer. Serve it your plate with a spreading motion. This way you make sure maximum air and fluff into your perfect rice.