Rice is East Asia's staple food, the champion of most meals, and the equal equivalent to the West's potato. It's no wonder when rice is a doddle to cook, but for some (me), is not quite a basic accompaniment, more a lifelong challenge. It can be an infuriating grain that refuses to yield to your efforts and fall prey to your culinary prowess.
Many have scoffed at my attempts at perfect rice because I always have the same outcome, either: a burnt saucepan with rice that cuts your teeth, or soggy, porridge-like mush. No matter what the packet said I managed to make a ménage of mistakes: stirring, leaving the room, and adding too little/too much water! So in my quest for the perfect rice I sought help from the best cook I know, my Nanny. It's a wonder I failed to seek her help before now. She always has the rice that is perfectly cooked: perfect grains that turn into little puffs of heaven that are the ideal accompaniment, if not the star of any dish.
Onto the rice, Nanny's recipe is simple and easy to follow:
Ingredients: One cup (any size because this will be your measuring cup) full of basmati rice Two cups (same cup) of water A pinch of salt
100ml coconut milk A tblsp of olive oil
This is a brilliant basic. Fool proof really. And yet mine prior to this was shocking.
Boil the said water. As the water is boiling wash your rice in a sieve, making sure it's thoroughly clean. Once the water has boiled add the rice, keeping the heat high. Once the water has boiled again turn it down to a simmer and put a lid on. After 10 minutes check your rice, add a pinch of salt, the olive oil, coconut milk and stir once. Put the lid back on and relax for 10 minutes.
Your rice should be done by now, if it looks a bit dry after the stated time add, only a little, more water but remember do not stir because this makes it sticky and fluffy.
20-22 minutes later your rice will be cooked to perfection and ready to serve. 'Nanny's rice' is a great basic to use for any dish but it goes especially well with Caribbean recipes. Enjoy!