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How to Make Rice in a Pot

Updated May 26, 2018
Sticky rice that's not meant to be sticky? Burned pot of rice with your curry? Learn how to avoid these problems and more.

Easy Steps to Make Rice in a Pot

Cooking rice in a pot isn't hard, but not everyone can cook it well. Although you probably use it as a filler or side dish, rice can become the star of the meal if cooked just right. Rice just needs the right approach and a bit of time to let it do its own thing until it's reached perfectly cooked, fluffy perfection.

Rice to Water Ratio

A single serving of rice is 2 oz. per person. Note that you will need 1-1/2 to 2 times the amount of water to rice. So, if your rice measures one cup, you'll need 1-1/2 to 2 cups of water—check your rice package for exact amounts recommended for the type of rice you are using. It's important to do this calculation before continuing to the next step.

How to Cook Rice

Simply put, you add rice and water to a pot, then simmer until all the water has absorbed. But there’s a little more to it than that.

Wash Your Rice

Washing rice is done as a matter of course in India. Much like with listening to the Italians about cooking pasta, it pays to do as the Indians do when it comes to rice.

Clean your rice several times in washes of water, until the water runs clear (or close to it). Mix around with your hands a bit when doing this, but don't mess around with it too much or it will release more starch and make for a gloopy mess.

If you have time, presoak your rice in more fresh water for 30 minutes. This will help to elongate the grains and make them fluffier. Drain off the water and continue to the next step.

Do Not Disturb

Tip your rice into a thick bottomed pot and put the kettle on. Measure out your required amount of water, and tip this into the pot too. Bring it up to a nice rolling boil and stir. Don't forget to scrape the bottom to prevent any rice from sticking. Cover the pot and turn the heat down. Leave it for 7-8 minutes. Don’t be tempted to lift the lid any earlier—the steam is doing its thing under there and doesn't like to be disturbed!

Put It to the Test

You can tell if rice is done by picking out a grain and biting into it. If it's still a little hard or powdery tasting in the middle, then it needs another minute or two. If your water has all boiled off, add a tablespoon of water from the kettle to generate some more steam and cook the rice through.

Now turn off the heat and remove the cover. If there is any excess water in the pot, let it evaporate for 5 minutes. Fluff up your rice with a fork and serve using a metal spoon. Wooden spoons are typically too big and clumsy and will damage your perfect little grains.

How to Make Rice in a Pot Even Better

Like your rice fluffier or the grains more separate? Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to the water as you cook. This will help keep the grains from sticking to one another, and it makes the rice turn out extra white.

What to Eat with Rice

Now that you’re a master rice-maker, try one of these recipes out: