Monday, June 15, 2015

Vanu-galnu Sheetha / Cooking of Starch free Rice.

"Vanu-galnu Sheetha / Cooking of Starch free Rice" ... A method of cooking rice in plenty of water and then straining it resulting in almost a starch free rice that is much better for health ... This is the most common method of cooking rice in Konkani Saraswat's home be it with normal white rice of with boiled rice ... Do try out this method and enjoy a lovely fluffy delicious rice with any curry of your choice .......

Cooking of rice is a part and parcel of almost every house hold in India. Rice is the staple diet of most South Indian Homes. We Saraswat Brahmins consume rice a lot in many a forms. There are many types of rice available in the market. I will not go into the details as it is a easily available matter in the Net. However the main 2 types of rice consumed by us in cooking are Red Boiled Rice / Ukda Rice and Surti Kolam Rice. 

** Many people cook rice in pressure cooker, which is a faster method but the rice cooked in cooker is always heavier and full of starch and sometimes becomes sticky if proper care is not taken. Cooking of rice by removing starch once its cooked is the method mainly used in GSB households or by people living in southern parts of India. The rice cooked in this method is almost starch free and light in texture and good for the digestive system. By and large normal white rice is used in cooking but the same method is used for boiled rice ie Ukada rice too. However, that taken much more time than the normal variety rice. Here I have used Surti Kollam rice, which is considered to be the best rice for consuming specially in starch free method. 

** Here is the Method of cooking Starch Free Rice :

** Pick, clean and wash 2 cups of rice in plenty of water and keep it ready. Meanwhile keep a large stainless steel vessel with plenty of water (at least 2 litre )on gas. Cover it with a well fitting lid and bring the water to boiling point. 

** Remove the lid and add in the washed rice and mix well with a long spatula. Keep the heat high and bring all to a boil again. Once it boils, lower heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes and off the gas. Cover and let stand for some time. 

** Check after 10-15 minutes if the rice is done. This needs a bit of practice as cooking time of rice varies from brand to brand. Once you get the approximate timing of the rice of your choice it is a breeze work. With the help of spatula remove the rice and check if done. Initially you can always take a few rice strands in between your fingers and press to see if done, later on you will learn it just by visual inspection. 

** Once done strain off the water which we in konkani call Nishey ie rice stock, by tilting the vessel gently near the kitchen sink. Be careful as to not do this forcefully lest you may pour off the rice along with water. Remove as much water as possible by this tilting method. Add some cold water collected from purifier or heated and cooled to the rice, mix well and pour off the water once again by tilting the vessel. 

** Cover the vessel with the tight fitting lid. Take a napkin, wet it, fold it horizontally into a thick strip and place it across the vessel over the lid. The napkin when wet gives a better grip on the vessel. Fasten the sides of the lid over the napkin with two tight clips and gently keep the vessel almost tilted at 40 deg. angle on the kitchen platform near the sink to enable the excess water to drain off. Check that the clips are tight, loose clip may flip open and drop the lid along with the rice into the sink.

** Let it rest in this position for at least 20-25 minutes. All the excess water will have been drained by then. Bring the vessel back to straight position, remove the clips and napkin. 

** Gently shake and tap the vessel on platform a bit and then remove the lid of the vessel. You will have a nicely cooked white fluffy starch free rice ready to serve. Enjoy this guilt free rice with any curry of your choice. 

** Note : The Nishey or Rice stock that is drained need not be discarded every time. It can be used in many ways of which I will write a separate article as here I want to stick to only cooking of rice ie in starch free method. 

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