Explore Rice, The World's Number 1 Staple

Rice is by far the number one staple in the world. It is the favourite for many across the Asian and African continents, feeding more than half of the world's population. Explore the different ways you can eat rice. 

Rice is definitely my number one grain. I am very delighted to talk about it here. For me, any diet that excludes rice, is almost impossible for me to sustain. And billions across the globe may share the same sentiments. It is also a powerhouse of nutrients.

In some cultures, rice is everyday food. The processing after harvesting, and the cooking of rice are considered sacred. We are not going to discuss the religious connotations here, but concentrate on the cooking of rice.

There are generally four methods of cooking rice. Although, some may argue that they are a lot more, but I think they all fall within one of the methods that we would cover here.

Should You Rinse Rice Before Cooking?

Yes, it is always good to rinse rice for two reasons. One, rinsing removes debris and any residue from the bag or residue from processing from the rice. The other reason for rinsing is that rinsing removes most of the surface starch and makes the rice less sticky. 

The disadvantage of rinsing some rice like scented rice or rice with added nutrients is that you lose some of the nutrients and scent. But generally, it is good to rinse rice.

Should You Soak Rice Before Cooking?

The idea of soaking rice was kind of strange to me until I started trying out recipes from other culture. Now, I know you may soak rice depending on the type of rice and the texture you are after. Generally. wholegrain rice may require soaking to reduce cooking time and improves the flavour of the end result. For most white rice, soaking is not required.

Method Of Cooking Rice

The four methods of cooking rice discussed here are:

  • Boiling
  • Steaming 
  • Pilaf
  • Risotto

You will see many recipes on this site using these methods. Many rice companies give you cooking guide so you do not need to guess. Use a heavy based pot with a tight-fitting lid to trap the moisture in the pot as you need this to properly cook the rice. Let us look at each method:

Boilling Method

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 5 min

Cooking Time: 30 min


  • 2 cups of basmati rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil
  • salt to taste


Bring plenty of water to a boil over medium heat 10 minutes

Add the rice and salt and continue cooking for ten minutes.

Reduce to simmer for another 10minutes (check very often, until rice is cooked tender to your desired consistency).

Drain the excess liquid in coriander. 

Return rice to the pot and add a bit of oil or butter. Stir and leave on the stove for about 3-5 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Allow to rest for about ten minutes then, fluff and serve.

Note: Rice absorbs whatever flavour you add to it while cooking. Add spices like cumin, bay leaves, cardamon etc.

You could also enhance the taste of your plain rice by adding fresh herbs, dried fruits or nuts after cooking. You can take plain rice to another level depending on what you add. Rice should never be boring.

Recipe provided by www.AfricanFoods.co.uk

Steaming Method

Servings: 4-6

Prep Time: 5 min

Cooking Time: 20 min


  • 2 cups of long grain rice
  • 5 cups water or stock of choice
  • salt to taste


This method requires specific amount of liquid to rice. The ratio I use is two to two and half of liquid to every cup of rice. Like the method before it use a tight-fitting pot.

Rinse the rice in cold water using a coriander.

Transfer rice and liquid to pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer until liquid is absorbed and rice tender. 15-20 minutes.

Turn off heat and rest, then, fluff and serve with your favourite sauce or curry.

Recipe provided by www.AfricanFoods.co.uk

Check out next post for Pilaf or pilau recipe. If you like this post remember to share on social media and tag us in your photos on social media.

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