In south Indian families, a girl who has three Ph.Ds and wins Wimbledon is considered useless unless she can cook a pot of rice perfectly. “Who will marry you?” the madisar mamis will ask, aghast.
Guys have equally exacting requirements. They are expected to know how to put coconut oil in their hair, burp, fart, and lick the yogurt rice off their elbows after exclaiming, “Good, but not as tasty as my mom’s.”
Both of us fell woefully short in these departments. Now, atleast we have the rice part right.
If you’re trying to snag a good south Indian bloke, print out this post, and you’re set. We’ll post the Burp and Fart Manual when we figure it out.
UPDATE: The Burp and Fart Manual is HERE.
We have more rices in our pantry than we can count. A sampler:
The default option in our home is Rose Matta Rice. Also called Kuthari, this is red parboiled rice from Kerala. We use it for practically every dish where rice is used. Especially good for idlis, kanji and payasam.
Modus operandi: Pressure cook 1 cup of rice with three cups of water for three whistles, or soak for 30 minutes, drain and cook on the stove top with 3 cups of water in a covered pan on medium heat for around 40-45 minutes.
White basmati is what we use when we have company, especially for flavoured rices like pulaos and biryanis.
Soak rice in plenty of water for 30 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, bring water to a boil. For 1 measure of rice, we use 1.75 measures of water.
Add 1/2 tsp oil/ghee to the water. If making a flavoured rice, we add salt, else we don’t.
Add the drained rice to the boiling water, on HIGH heat. After a couple of minutes, when it starts coming back to a boil again (small bubbles start appearing on the surface), stir once gently.
Cover the pot and reduce the heat to the lowest setting.
For 1 cup rice, cook for 10 minutes. For 2 cups, 17-18 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let it rest for 7-8 minutes.
Then fluff gently with a large fork. Brown basmati is cooked the same way.
Bhutanese Red Rice – our occasional indulgence.
Modus operandi: Pressure cook 1 cup of rice with 2.5 cups of water for two whistles, then simmer for a few more minutes. Or soak for 30 minutes, drain and cook on the stovetop with 2.5 cups water for 30-35 minutes.
Brown Rice: Long- or short-grain
Cooking technique similar to Bhutanese red rice for short-grain. For long-grain use 2 measures water for 1 cup of rice.
BAKED BROWN RICE:
Preheat oven to 375F. Put rice in an oven-safe bowl with 2 tsps oil/butter. Pour 1.5 cups boiling water over rice and seal tight with foil or an oven-safe lid. Bake for an hour, let is sit for 10 minutes, fluff and serve.
Black rice (Forbidden rice)
Rinse 1 cup of rice quickly. Soak it for 1 hour in 2 cups of water. In the same water (it is mineral-rich), cook on the stovetop or pressure cook for 2 whistles and simmer for a few more minutes.