Facing the Rice

It’s already a good while back since I got to visit my first Indian restaurant and got to smell Basmati rice for the very first time. It was incredible. Until then I had mostly eaten boil-in-bag rice, and some rice a Korean guest student had made a couple of times in the dorm. Of course I wanted to make Basmati rice all by myself. (Note to self: need to rant about Basmati(tm) )

So I got the instructions kind of right, 1 1/2 cups of water for every cup of rice, get it boiling and turn it on low for 20 minutes or so. That worked well a couple of times. Sometimes I added some more water. Sometimes I ended up with a more or less solid layer of rice on the bottom of the pot. Which I had to soak over night and to scratch out from the pot next day. But it did produce a decent amount of rice.

And then I burned my $50 1 gallon pot. Blackened, inside and out. No way to wash it off the ionized surface. Kaputt. Damn. I admit, I had forgotten to set a timer. But there were no obvious signs I was in trouble. No smell. No smoke detector went off. Nothing. The rice was burned, too. I tried to revive the pot a couple of times, but nothing helped and all that was left to do was to give it a proper burial. I salvaged the lid, though. And I face that lid at least once a week.

I haven’t managed to make rice since. Not that I didn’t attempt it. No, I failed multiple times: burned, under cooked, soggy beyond believe, not enough rice. And worst of all, I think I infected my wife, too. I think next time she attempts to make rice, I’ll just leave the house for a while.

And then there were a couple of attempts to cook rice in the crock pot. I am being told it is possible, but you need to have the right rice and good timing. Me? Impatient and struck by ADD as I am?. The crock pot recipe did produce a soggy hard to describe mix of halfway dissolved rice, overcooked chicken and various vegetables. Tasty, actually, but it felt more like eating grits.

All that’s left now is boil-in-bag. The bag of Basmati rice is half empty, sitting right next to a bag of Jasmin rice, also half empty. Don’t start a discussion if they are half full or half empty, I don’t know which one the pessimists view is. All I am saying is, I want to eat some good rice. Without trouble. In my despair I looked up an article about making risotto. It made me cry. Somewhere two paragraphs in they said, this cook was able to make such great risotto only because he knew his rice so well. Oh, the horror!

Author: Feliz

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