Picture Perfect Plain Boiled Rice

There are three basic methods of preparing rice: boiling, braising and stewing.
(a) Boiled rice is used as an accompaniment for curry and as a garnish for soup.
(b) Braised rice — referred to as savoury or pilaff — is cooked in an oven with white stock. It is used as a garnish to a variety of first course dishes and main meal entrées.
(c) Stewed rice – referred to as risotto — is cooked in white stock on top of the stove. It is generally served as the first course of a meal, but also forms the main course fish dish Paella.

Long grain patna rice may be used for any of the three methods of preparation, though for pilaff piedmont (a variety of long grain rice) is also used, and for risotto short grain or carolina rice may be used in place of long grain, provided it is good quality with no broken grains.

Blanched rice in raw form is available for all purposes except rice pudding. It has already been steamed by the manufacturer to remove some of the starch so that it does not stick when cooked.

The following is a guide to how much uncooked rice to allow per standard portion:
Boiled rice — 30 g as an accompaniment with curried meat.
Savory / pilaff — 30 g as a garnish, 50 g as a main course.
Risotto — 30 g as a first course, 50 g as a main dish.

Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: Approximately 20 minutes.


— 500 grams rice (long grain, patna type)
— 5 liters boiling salted water
— 60 grams salt


(1) Boil the salted water in a deep pan.
(2) Rain in the rice and stir occasionally with a wooden spoon until it reboils, then continue to boil gently until cooked.
(3) When cooked, refresh under cold running water and, when cold, drain in a colander.

To reheat for service:
(1) Place the rice in a colander under running hot water until it is quite hot, then drain thoroughly.
(2) Line a suitable tray with a cloth and spread the rice over the total surface to a depth of not more than about 5 cm.
(3) Check if it is necessary to season with salt.
(4) Cover with a damp cloth and place the tray on a hotplate or in an oven at about 60°C until the rice is hot and dry. From time to time redistribute the rice with a fork.

Alternative method:

(1) Place the rice into a deep sided saucepan large enough to allow the rice to expand during cooking. Add the salt.
(2) Add water to a depth of approximately 6 cm.
(3) Bring to the boil, cover with a tight fitting lid then either;
-(a) cook in a pressure steamer, or
-(b) cook on top of the stove.

(1) It may be necessary to add a little water during cooking following the alternative method, but when cooked the rice will be white and fluffy with each grain separate. It is not necessary to refresh the rice under cold running water.
(2) During cooking following either method a crust will form on the bottom and sides of the pan from the starch. It should not be disturbed.
(3) To reheat add a little water, cover with a lid and reheat in a steamer.

Assessment of the completed dish:

The rice should be white and fluffy with each grain separate, tender and yet firm, and seasoned with salt.

Cover a tray with a damp cloth and place on it the boiled refreshed rice. Cover the rice with another damp cloth and store in a refrigerator.