An easy way to cook rice
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I use rice a lot and have developed my own way of cooking it. It is based on the Persian method and you have to allow about 40 minutes. That’s quite a long time, but usually it is going to take that long to cook the rest of your meal anyway – so you just need to get organised and put the rice on early
  • Rice – this can be any rice, but at the moment I am enjoying Thai Sticky Rice
  1. Get a big saucepan with boiling water. I tend to boil the water up in the electric kettle as it is quicker.
  2. Put in your rice.
  3. I never measure rice but use ‘handfuls’. However the amount in each handful will vary so it’s only a very vague measure. I tend to allow one to two handfuls per person with an extra small handful thrown in for luck.
  4. Boil the rice for about 8 ½ minutes
  5. In the meantime switch on the oven to about 2 or 3 gas
  6. Get an ovenproof dish with a lid. I use a nice brown glazed terracotta one. Rub some butter on the inside surface – this stops the rice from sticking.
  7. When the rice has finished cooking drain it in a sieve and put it in the prepared oven dish.
  8. Then cover it and put it in the oven for about ½ hour. It can be left longer and it can be at higher temperatures (for example if you are cooking something else in the oven) but you may find that the rice gets a bit crunchy on the outside (in Persia this was considered a delicacy apparently – albeit a bit risky for some teeth).
  9. And thats it!
You will find that the rice is nice and fluffy. I prefer it a bit sticky and without any ‘al dente’ element whatsoever. However if you prefer it that way you can always reduce the initial cooking time.

The reason why I always cook rice this way is that it is fairly foolproof. Even if you overcook the rice initially, the long baking in the oven will dry it out a bit. Or if it is undercooked, the steam in the dish will finish it off.

You also don’t have the problem of measuring out the water and then checking after it has been cooking for the prescribed time to make sure it is all absorbed but not burnt underneath!

The downside is that it does take longer, but I don’t find that a problem. If you are really pushed for time you can cut the cooking time down to 30 mins and just give it about 20 mins baking in the oven, but it is better with a bit longer.

Its a very flexible and (I have found anyway) safe way to cook rice.

Variation: Brown Rice

You can use the method above for brown rice – just boil it for a bit longer at the start – about 15 – 20 minutes is usually enough. I often add some wild rice to make it a bit more interesting.
Recipe by Tessa's Food Blog at