Rice is a staple food all over India. It is eaten as a main dish, with a variety of dals, curries, and is even used in a few sweet dishes. Who doesn’t like Pulao, Fried rice, Paella, or Biryani? The options are innumerable. But here’s why we Indians add turmeric to rice!
Rice is a cereal grain and a staple food item for about half of this world’s population, especially in many parts of Asia and Africa. It has been a part of people’s diet for thousands of years, and the debate as to whether Asian Rice (Oryza sativa) originated in China or India has not yet been settled because Archaeologists on both sides are claiming dibs. The African (Oryza glaberrima) rice is a much newer species though still over 3000 years old.
Rice is a really simple dish to cook and does have some nutritional value as well. So let’s find out how it is prepared.
What do you need to make Rice?
Other than the white rice, all you need is salt and water. Turmeric (Haldi) is a great add-on.
How to make non sticky Rice at home?
If you grow up in India, you’ll have grown up with your mom telling you to rinse and wash the white rice to remove the excess starch. This gets the fattening starch out and also helps you create perfectly separate individual grains of rice, just like the many ads for rice in India. Sticky rice, that’s a no-no over here! Chapku rice, no way! Fluffy separate grains of rice! That is perfect!
Anyways, after washing the starch out of the rice, put it in a steel vessel, add water and salt and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the rice and boil on a medium flame. And lastly, add the turmeric powder.
Stir the rice a few times so that it does not stick to the bottom and it cooks equally. After about 10 to 15 mins, check on the rice and squish a few grains between 2 fingers to see if its cooked. If it still a bit hard, continue to boil it. If it is squishy, then your rice is ready.
Turn the stove off, cover the vessel with a lid or strainer, and drain out all of the water.
And your fluffy individual grains of haldi rice aka turmeric rice are ready to be served!
What’s Perfect about this Rice Recipe?
- It is quick and easy to make.
- It requires just 3 main ingredients, while the rest are optional add-ons.
- Rice does have a few health benefits.
Cooking Tips Or Tricks
- Rinse the rice a few times before you start cooking to remove any dirt, husks and starch.
- If you want plain boiled white rice, do not add the turmeric (Haldi) powder.
- You can also add Bay leaves or Star Anise to the water while boiling for additional flavour. My mom uses both of these together too!
- You can add peas, veggies or meats with a little oil or butter to boiled rice and turn it into a complete dish on its own.
- Serve with moong dal, masoor dal, mustard chicken, green chutney, corn cabbage veggies, goat trotters curry or spicy tomato pickle.
FAQ’s About Rice
No, all rice is naturally brown. There is a process that removes the outer layers that makes it white.
White rice is not as healthy as brown rice or red rice.
Yes, rice can be reheated, but make sure it is piping hot and do not reheat it more than once. Also, add in a little water while reheating – this makes sure the rice doesn’t get dry.
Yes, plain boiled rice can be kept in a fridge for about 4 – 7 days. If the rice has other ingredients, then 1 – 2 days max.
Yes, you can store leftover cooked rice in a container if you want to eat it another time. It will stay edible for months.
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How to cook turmeric rice perfectly?
- 250 g White Rice
- 2 l Water
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- Rinse the rice with water a few timesto remove the starch along with any loose husks and any dirt.
- In a vessel, boil the water with salt. Once boiling, add the rice.
- Alsoadd the turmeric powder and allow the rice to boil. Stir it every 5 mins.
- After 10-15 mins, check if the rice is cooked by pinching a few grains between your thumb and forefinger.
- If it's not ready, cook for a few more minutes. If cooked, drain the water from the rice and serve on a platter.
- Optional: If you're serving the rice for a party, top it with a tablespoon of Indian clarified butter aka ghee. This gives it a really nutty flavor!
- If you want plain white boiled rice, do not add the turmeric (Haldi) powder.
- You can also add Bay leaves or Star Anise to the water while boiling for additional flavour. Do this at the same time you add the turmeric powder.
- If you add peas or veggies or meats along with oil and ghee, it can turn into a complete dish on its own.