Rice has numerous forms. Rice is cooked in billions of households on regular basis. The way rice is cooked does vary a bit, so does the dishes made out of rice. Rice is staple food for many. Steamed rice is probably the most common form of rice. Biryani, pulao, fried rice, and many more attribute to other forms of rice.
What is rice
It is a grain. Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza Glaberrima (African rice) or Oryza Sativa (Asian rice). Rice is massive source of carbohydrate, and very little fat. Roughly speaking 100g of rice will give 80g of carbohydrates, 7.13g of protein, 0.66g of fat and 11.61g of water.
Rice is also a fabulous provider for a number of essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B1 (Thiamine), Copper, Folate, Iron, Selenium and Manganese.
My mum used to make rice twice a week (there was lot more emphasis on wheat that time, as I come from North Indian family). However, now I make rice almost daily now.
How to cook rice
Cooking rice depends on what you making from the rice. Steamed rice is simplest of all types of rice. To make steamed rice, take rice and 1.25 times of water in a pan. Add bit of oil or ghee (so that rice is not sticky). Cook this on low to medium heat. When water has dried up, you will see rice is ready.
Other way to make steamed rice will be use little more water, boil it, once rice is almost done (check by taking out grains of rice), strain rest of water. The water quantity used would also vary depending on what type of rice you cooking, e.g. Basmati, or medium grain or brown etc. Water used also vary with brand of rice. Mostly water quantity will range between 1.2-1.5 times.
In case you are making biryani, pulao (pilaf) or fried rice pattern is little different.
Explaining below in detail some of the common rice types and ways to cook.
Rice is cooked in layers with veg or meat on a low heat along with spices. The lid is sealed while cooking and the rice gets cooked from bottom and from steam trapped in the pan / cooker. Basmati or long grain rice is best suitable for biryani.
A delicious rice based dish, suitable for vegetarians made by layering rice and jackfruit and cooking in a closed lid with spices like garam masala, cardamom, cloves, peppercorn, saffron and many more.
Probably the most common biryani to exist around. Chicken pieces are marinated and then cooked separately from rice to semi-cooked state. Rice and chicken are then layered and cooked on slow heat in closed lid, giving the best biryani.
Only a lamb lover will know what a lamb biryani means. Words will fail to describe the taste of lamb biryani. Marinate lamb pieces over night. Cook lamb till its 95% done. Cook rice separately to 85%. Create a layer of lamb and rice in a pan and let them cook together on simmer. Steam formed will cook the rice.
Veg lover invented their own version of biryani by having vegetables such as cauliflower, peas, carrot, potato, paneer etc and cooking with rice. Much quicker version compared to its non-veg counter parts. A gluten-free meal.
Pulao, pilav, pulav or pilaf rice
Pulao is not biryani. Biryani is cooked on slow heat. Pulao is cooked on higher heat. Biryani is normally cooked in layers, of rice plus something. Pulao is normally cooked as one pot meal with other ingredients. Spices used also vary. Lastly, how we prepare rice for pulao and biryani also differs.
In case you do not want elaborate cooking like biryani, this veg pulao rice is your best best. Bursting with flavours and easy to make, one pot meal. Someone for regular cooking.
Planning to cook special pulao? Navratan pulao is the one for you. Pulao rice made with 9 special ingredients like cashews makes this pulao special.
Yakhni implies stock, and is normally used in context of meat and chicken stock. A pulao made with such chicken or meat stock is yakhni pulao. Yakhni on its own offers great health benefits as its pure stock of meat. Yakhni pulao is mild in taste as compared to biryani though it still remains extremely flavourful.
Fried rice in my view is somewhere in between pulao and biryani. It is not one pot meal. You make rice first. Then fry the vegetables, meat, chicken (as planned) with spices and add rice.
One of the simplest fried rice, using eggs and few vegetables. Ready in just few mins, a great meal for any busy day.
For prawn lovers, this fried rice is mood lifter at any time of the day. Simple to cook and quick to make. A gluten-free rice, must try for prawn lovers.
Talking of fried rice, one can not ignore Thai fried rices and Pineapple fried rice is leader of the pack. The sweet tangy flavour of pineapple makes this rice much desirable.
Inspired by italian cusine, risotto ranks high in posh cuisine. Rice for Risotto is different from what is used for biryani or fried rice. Rice is the focus here because rice produces starch. The constant stirring during the cooking process of risotto removes the starch from the surface of the rice. This staach then dissolves into the cooking liquid and thickens it. Rice which does not have enough starch will never give good Risotto. Three common rice for risotto are, Carnaroli, Arborio and Vialone Nano.
A vegan meal with all the goodness of Italian taste. Rice cooked with wine and veggies. Make it for a normal relaxing day while sipping wine or for special meal for someone special.
I hope you will love this selection of rice recipes. I will keep adding more here as and when I add more rice related recipe. Much love – Meenu