Sunday 27 April 2014

Raw rice (Pacharisi satham/ பச்சரிசி சாதம்)

Rice is the staple food in South India. Depending on their personal preferences, people may consume raw rice or par-boiled rice. Traditionally, rice is cooked in a narrow mouthed metal pot (வெண்கல பானை) with lot of water. Once the rice is cooked well excess water is drained through a plate with holes (சிப்பல்). With the advent of pressure cooking, it is very easy to cook rice in 5-10 minutes. Learning to cook rice is the first lesson in South Indian cookery. Let us see how to cook raw rice.

Raw rice – 1 measure
Water – 2 measures if you are using pressure cooker and 3 measures if you are sing the rice cooker. (if you need the rice to be soft, you may add half a measure of water to the recommended quantity)

Note: Older rice requires more water to cook, whereas recently harvested rice requires lesser quantity of water. Older rice is less sticky, when compared to newer rice, which is best suited for pongal and kichidi.

Method: Wash the rice well in a suitable vessel. Add the required quantity of water and place in a pressure cooker. After pressure builds up and the cooker starts to whistle, keep the fire on for 5 minutes, if your cooker whistles continuously or for 5 whistles if your cooker whistles intermittently. If you prefer the rice to be soft, you may pressure cook the rice for longer duration – 6 or 7 minutes/whistles. 

How to cook rice in an electric rice cooker: Wash the rice well in running water. Transfer the rice to the rice cooker vessel and add 3 parts of water. Cover with the lid provided. Switch on the rice cooker and press the button to "cook mode". Once the rice is cooked, the switch automatically changes to warm mode. Before serving the rice, allow it stay in warm mode for at least 15 minutes.  

Note: For best results, soak the rice for 30 minutes in water before transferring it to rice cooker or pressure cooker.

Note: Always wash the rice well three or four times in running water before cooking.

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