Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford
Active Time
20 Mins
Total Time
40 Mins
Chill Time
30 Mins
Yield
7 cups

“I meet a lot of people that are daunted by cooking rice,” says Cheetie Kumar, chef of Garland restaurant in Raleigh, NC. “I think the first step is to buy good quality rice—whether it’s Carolina gold from Anson Mills or a good-quality aged Basmati from the Indian market. It’s worth it to spend a little extra.” Although rinsing the rice several times to straw out the starch adds more prep time, it’s an easy process and also well worth it. Kumar’s method produces tender, not mushy grains that “stand tall on their own, shoulder to shoulder with their compatriots,” as she puts it. This recipe works well for most types of long grain white rice. Aged rice has a stronger aroma and a drier texture, which helps the grains stay separate. The black peppercorns or cardamom seeds are a nice accent but really not necessary, as the rice itself has such a lovely aroma on its own. Use a heavy bottomed stockpot to cook the rice, which will prevent any browning on the bottom.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place rice in a medium bowl; fill bowl with cold water. While adding water, agitate rice using your hands. Pour rice mixture through a fine mesh strainer, discarding liquid. Repeat process until water runs clear, 3 to 4 times. Place drained rice and salt in a medium bowl; cover with cold water, and gently stir for about 5 seconds. Refrigerate, uncovered, 30 to 40 minutes; drain.

Step 2

Bring peppercorns and 2 3/4 cups water or stock to a boil in a large heavy-bottom saucepan over high. Stir in drained rice; return to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover, and simmer 13 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, until rice is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer rice to a large bowl; add butter, if desired. Fluff with a fork.