Plain Boiled Rice

Serves 4 – 6


  • 275g/10oz basmati rice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Knob butter

In order to cook rice successfully, just follow a few simple rules, (1) wash the rice in plenty of cold water until the water runs clear, (2) soak it in cold water for 15-20 minutes and drain well, (3) once the lid goes on the rice never lift it until the rice is cooked and (4) allow the cooked rice to rest for a few minutes before serving. You can, of course, cook rice like pasta, i.e. boil and drain the water, but I prefer the absorption method, especially when it comes to the exquisite basmati rice.

Pour in 500ml/18 fl oz water into a saucepan which has a tight-fitting lid and bring it to a boil.

Add the drained rice, salt and butter.

Bring back to the boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for 8-9 minutes without lifting the lid.

Once the rice is cooked, remove the pan from the heat and let it stand undisturbed for 6-8 minutes. Now lift the lid and fork through the rice and serve.

My tips: Do not use a wooden spoon or spatula as these will squash the delicate grains. Lift the rice gently with a metal spoon and place on the serving plate. Letting the rice stand after cooking ensures dry and separate grains as any extra moisture left after cooking is absorbed by the grains during this time. It is rather like resting a joint of roast after cooking when the meat it absorbs the juices.