'Don't steam it!' Correct way to cook rice according to expert – 'perfect' every time

Everyone has a different method when it comes to cooking rice; some prefer to boil it with excess water, and others like to steam it to fluffy perfection. Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to Anna Beheshti, Head of Marketing at Tilda, about the correct way to cook rice, and how the methods can vary depending on the variety of rice being cooked. 

Anna began by explaining the ratio of water to rice: “The perfect water to rice ratio varies depending on the type of rice. 

“For perfectly cooked Basmati rice, a 2:1 ratio of water to rice is best, for example, whilst for Jasmine or long grain type of rice, the right water to rice ratio is 1.5:1. 

“If you prefer a firmer texture, you can slightly reduce the water to adjust to your own taste.” 

Some experts suggest rinsing or washing the rice grains before cooking. Anna said: “Washing basmati rice is a vital step prior to cooking which removes any excess starch, giving you more separate, fluffy grains, while bringing out its wonderful flavour.” 

But the big question is, is it best to steam rice, or boil and drain the excess water from rice after cooking? 

Anna revealed: “A rice cooker is the ideal way to achieve perfect rice. If you don’t have a rice cooker, the next best method for cooking basmati, jasmine and long grain rice is to boil. This can be either by open pan method, or in a covered pan where the rice is left to absorb the water. 

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How to cook the perfect white basmati rice

To get fluffy, aromatic white basmati, Tilda recommends the open pan method, which is described step-by-step below.

1. For two servings use 120g of Tilda Pure Basmati Rice or one cup.

2. Wash the rice under cold water using a sieve or colander, or rinse in a saucepan until the water runs clear. 

3. Add a minimum of 500ml of water with the washed rice to a saucepan and bring to the boil.

4. Stir and cook for 10-12 minutes over a medium heat, uncovered. 

5. Drain, cover and leave to stand for three minutes. 

6. Fluff it up with a fork and serve.

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If you cook too much rice, Anna has some tips for storing it and reheating it. 

She said: “Ideally, rice is best served as soon as it has been cooked. However, if that is not possible, here are a few tips to reheat safely. 

1. Cool the rice as quickly as possible, ideally within one hour, and keep it in the fridge until you reheat it

2. Store the rice in the fridge for no more than two days before reheating

3. When you reheat rice, make sure it is steaming hot all the way through

4. Do not reheat rice more than once

“As for freezing, simply defrost the rice and cook it as normal to eat.” 

If you don’t fancy boiling rice, Tilda offers a Ready to Heat range. 

Anna explained: “For those looking to elevate their plate with a range of tasty and healthy meals in a matter of minutes, Tilda’s Ready to Heat range delivers the ultimate speedy, convenient (and not to

mention delicious) option! Perfectly portioned and ready in just two minutes, enabling consumers to complete any tasty and nutritious lunchtime option or mid-week meal. 

“Tilda’s range now offers 26 tasty flavours to choose from – including Tilda Pure Basmati Rice, Tilda Wholegrain Basmati Rice, Tilda Fragrant Jasmine Rice and Tilda Pilau Basmati Rice – making it really easy for people to find the right rice for the right dish every time.” 

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