Local Heart, Global Soul

June 10, 2013

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Saffron Rice or Plain White Rice…Who Knew it was THIS Easy in Your Microwave?

Filed under: FOOD,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

We have a rice cooker at home which gets  a lot of use.

I love rice but have two problems:(1) I have a tiny Dutch kitchen so storage space is at a premium and (2) our rice cooker was a wedding present and after almost 18 years of being used  more than once a week, it’s still cooking great rice but  getting harder and harder to get the cooked rice out of the rice cooker’s metal bowl as the bottom layer sticks.

Since Himself is already aghast at the scale of kitchen equipment on my wish-list and we are both wondering where to store things, the discovery in my Indian cooking class that we can use the microwave to cook perfect rice means that we can still have great rice without our rice cooker when the machine finally dies.
The secret of perfect rice in your microwave comes in three parts: One: always rinse your rice thoroughly 3 times to remove the starch, Two: always use the SAME measuring cup for measuring out the rice as for the water you add to cook it in and Three: always use two cups of water for every cup of rice.

Here are my Indian cooking class recipes for both Plain white rice and Saffron rice cooked in the microwave, as usual with step-by-step photographs.

Plain White Rice in the Microwave

2 Cups (260 g) Basmati Rice (for best results use “Tilda” if available)  for approximately 4 persons.
Water for rinsing
4 Cups of  cold water for cooking the rice

Place the 2 cups of rice into a microwave container or Pyrex bowl.

Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson:

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Wash thoroughly three times to get rid of the starch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Drain off the water used to rinse the rice. Add 4 Cups (same sized cup as you used to measure the rice) of cold water to the rinsed rice.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cook uncovered in a 900 Watt microwave for 20-21 minutes. (Our teacher’s image used with permission)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Result: perfectly cooked rice!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Saffron Rice in the Microwave 

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

2 Cups (260 g) Basmati Rice (for best results use Tilda) for approximately 4 persons.
Water for rinsing
4 Cups of water for cooking the rice
5 cloves
5 whole cardamoms
approx 8 strands of saffron
2 Tablespoons of milk

Since the first steps for preparing the rice by rinsing it  are exactly the same as in the photographs for the Plain Rice recipe (above) I have not repeated them here.  Once you get to the part where you add the 4 cups of water for cooking the rice, you continue with the photographs below.

I have two additional notes: (1) this Saffron rice is not the brilliant yellow colour I expected it to be,  it’s barely yellow at all, more  a  faint cream colour. That’s as it’s supposed to be, real saffron is very expensive and imparts quite a strong flavour that can quickly become overpowering so a little goes a long way.  We learn here too that cheap imitation saffron usually has added turmeric in it which means it goes very yellow… but using the real thing sparingly is far more authentic.

(2) We  asked why the saffron is infused with milk rather than with water… the answer is that even this tiny amount of milk improves the flavour and makes the saffron infuse better.

Place the 2 cups of rice into a microwave container or Pyrex bowl and wash thoroughly three times to get rid of the starch.Drain off the water used to rinse the rice. Add 4 Cups (same sized cup as you used to measure the rice) of cold water to the rinsed rice. In a small container gently heat the milk, add the saffron and pour this liquid over the rice.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Then add the cloves and cardamoms to the rice.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Cook uncovered in a 900 Watt microwave for 20-21 minutes. Result: Perfect Saffron rice!

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

7 Comments »

  1. I recently discovered microwaved rice comes out perfectly cooked! I’ll have to remember the rinsing off of the starch though, that’s a good thing to know!

    Comment by Carrie — June 11, 2013 @ 11:46 pm | Reply

    • Carrie,
      It so easy! and it also means that I don’t have to wait 20 minutes for the rice cooker to finish if I want to make a double lot of ric for a party (bonus!)
      Use plenty of water to rinse and your rice will be amazing.

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 14, 2013 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  2. I have never used the microwave to cook rice. I would think the water might bubble out of the bowl during the cooking but evidently not.

    Comment by Karen — June 12, 2013 @ 2:11 pm | Reply

    • Karen,
      I think that’s the same idea that stopped me trying it out in the microwave before too, had I known it was this ridiculously easy I’d have done it years ago LOL.

      Comment by kiwidutch — June 14, 2013 @ 5:44 pm | Reply

      • I can’t wait to try doing it this way. 🙂

        Comment by Karen — June 14, 2013 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

  3. […] For Step-by Step photos of how to easily do this in your microwave click on this link: https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/new-1118/ […]

    Pingback by Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Lemon Rice (A South Indian Speciality) | Local Heart, Global Soul — June 20, 2013 @ 1:01 am | Reply

  4. […] Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water (three times) in a pyrex or microwave proof container. Add 4 cups of cold water (Important note: always use same cup for measuring rice as well as the water) Place in a microwave for 20-21 minutes at 900 Watts. For step-by-step photographs of this please see:   https://kiwidutch.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/new-1118/ […]

    Pingback by Step-by-Step Indian Cooking Lesson: Peas Pulao (Rice) | Local Heart, Global Soul — June 26, 2013 @ 1:01 am | Reply


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