Rice is a staple food of India and is composed of carbohydrates and some essential nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, iron, potassium and many more. But for some people, eating rice on a regular basis may be of a concern. If cooked in the right way, you can reduce the starch/ carbs from rice and enjoy it guilt free. Learn how to cook rice that has less starch and is soft, fluffy and non-sticky at the same time. How to cook starch free rice
My dad was a diabetic patient and was advised to cut back on high glycemic foods like rice, potatoes, breads etc. But my dad LOVED white rice, so his dietitian advised us to cook rice in a certain way. The process involved washing the boiled rice and draining its liquid to reduce most of its starch content.
But a minuscule amount of healthy nutrients is lost by washing the cooked rice. So, she advised us to compensate the lost nutrients with healthy veggies and lean protein like eggs, tofu, paneer, beans and soy products.
I prefer to cook my rice the same way and balance the lost nutrients with protein rich dals, paneer, tofu and nutritious vegetables. Recipes like – chana dal with lauki, kofta curry, kadi pakoda, sweet and sour honey lemon paneer and more… Besides loosing some of its nutrients, one advantage of draining water from rice is – soft fluffy rice with every grain separated, no clumps, less starchy rice and non sticky rice.
Will the calorie count go down by reducing starch?
Not really. If it was that easy we could just wash all the high calorie food and enjoy them guilt-free. But I strongly believe in portion control, one can eat anything he/she wants, as long as you eat it in moderation. This process reduces the starch by almost half but doesn’t remove it completely.
Remember if cooking rice this way, then compensate the lost nutrients with healthy vitamin rich greens and protein foods.
Now on to the recipe !
1 cup Basmati Rice or any kind of rice
3 cups of water
5-6 pieces of cloves (optional)
1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (optional)
1. Measure 1 cup rice.
2. Wash rice thoroughly under tap water by stirring the rice in circles with your fingers or by gently rubbing the grains in between your fingers. This will remove the dirt as well as some of the starch.
3. In a pan boil 3 cups of water with 5-6 pieces of cloves.
4. Add rice to it.Cook rice on a medium flame for about 5 -6 minutes.
5. Once the rice starts to boil, a foamy and thick creamy liquid will start to float on top.
6. Remove and discard this starchy foam. Repeat this process for a couple of times.
7. Until the starchy content will start to fade away.
8. Allow the rice to cook until the water is reduced in quantity and rice grains start to float on top.
9. Spoon out some rice and check the grain. The grain of rice should feel soft and tender.
10. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully sieve it through a strainer.
11. Run under cold water. All the starchy and cloudy liquid will wash away from the boiled rice. Wash for a minutes and very gently run your fingers through the rice to wash away any remaining starch without crushing the grains.
12. Transfer washed rice back to the same pan. How to cook starch free rice
13. Add 1/4 cup of water and maintain the flame at medium low. If you prefer add salt and cumin seeds at this point.
Now the question here is – why drain and steam cook the rice again if the rice is already cooked? The answer is simple- at this point the grain is still sticky, to make them look fluffy- rice needs to be steam cooked for another 3-4 minutes and the end result will be separate, fluffy grains with no clumps.
14. Bring the rice to boil. Lower the heat to the “LOW” setting and cover the pan with a cloth* and place a lid over it. Keep the flame at low otherwise the cloth may catch fire. On a low flame cook for another 4-5 minutes. If you are not comfortable keeping a cloth over a pan than skip this part and just place a lid that covers the pan completely.
* Keeping cloth on top of the pan will avoid the steam to escape and this way the grain will fluff up with no clustered clumps. BE VERY CAREFUL WITH THE FLAME ONCE PLACING THE CLOTH OVER THE VESSEL- MAINTAIN IT AT LOW OTHERWISE THE CLOTH WITH CATCH FIRE.
15. Take the pan off the heat and let it sit covered and undisturbed for 5-6 minutes. After the desired time, carefully remove the cloth and the lid.
16. Underneath you will find fluffy- long- white -grain of rice with reduced starch.
17. Use a fork to fluff up the rice.
18. Enjoy with your favorite dal or curry.