Just Rice
Well, I have a page discussing how to boil (ok, poach) an egg so here's the page that tells you how to cook rice. Just Rice.

Incidentally - a good way to reheat cold rice if you have plenty of time but no microwave is to moisten it a little then pop it back into a very low oven in a pot with a tight-fitting lid for half an hour or so, by which time it will have gently steamed back to life.

Absorption Rice
staple veg
This is how I usually make my rice, invariably Basmati.
Though I don't usually bother with the soaking, and so I use precisely twice the volume of water as rice for cooking.
The soaking details below are mostly based on Pat Chapman's New Curry Bible.

1 cup of rice weighs around 200g/7oz and will feed four small appetites, or 2 hogs.

To feed 4 average guests


Soak the rice in cold water for 10-20 minutes.

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear and drain.

Using a saucepan or a casserole with a tight-fitting lid twice the volume of the rice and heat the ghee.

Fry any seed spices you intend to flavour the rice in the ghee at this point.

Stir-fry the drained rice to coat the grains and heat them through.

Add exactly the specified volume of boiling water, add the salt (and saffron if using it) and stir well.

I usually skip the soaking stage and start my rice here (or with the frying), and I add twice the volume of boiling water as dry rice.
You can substitute paneer whey or coconut milk for the water if you want to add a little flavour, but watch the coconut - it burns easily.
Pat Chapman's ratio's are about 1⅓ times the volume of rice, which probably makes sense for soaked rice. Though why he weighs out the rice when he's measuring the water by volume Lord alone knows.
Madhur Jaffrey also specifies 1⅓ times the volume of water to damp rice.
Some Chinese cooks advise adding water to cover their (Jasmin) rice in the pan to the depth of their first finger joint. Though since both the length of fingers and the shape of pans varies that seems entirely arbitrary. I suppose at least it will give you a visual check.
One caveat - if you're making a really big pot of rice I'd be inclined to use slightly more water (say 1½ times) since it seems more difficult to get it to cook through.

As soon as the water boils up, turn the heat down low and allow to cook for 6-10 minutes without opening the lid until all the water has been absorbed. You can turn off the heat when the surface water disappears, leaving little craters, which will be around 3 minutes for soaked rice, or 5-6 minutes for dry.

Now you can check the rice, if it's still hard, you can add more boiling water and simmer it down again and if it is softened but still al dente, give it a stir around with a fork and set it covered in a very low oven for half an hour or so for the grains to separate. The rice should be OK there for anything up to 1½ hours.

If you can't put your pot in the oven, leave it on the stove at absolutely the lowest setting. If you are cooking with gas (and you should be!) then you can build a little scaffold to raise the pan away from the flames.
Incidentally, when you're cooking really large quantities of rice (half a dozen cups or more) the absorption method starts to become increasingly ineffective. It seems to require more water than specified to get the rice to cook properly, and the whole pot tends to turn to glue before reaching a proper, clean boil.
Also simmering, even over a low heat, becomes more-or-less impossible without burning the bottom (though baking in a low oven still works OK).
It might be worth thinking about moving to the boiling method below for such amounts.

When you get this right - you'll have the most fantastically light and fluffy rice.

Plain Boiled Rice
staple veg vegan
This is Pat Chapman's boiling method, which I don't really use, but here it is anyway:

Serves 4


Pick through the rice to remove any grit and impurities.

Put the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil (it's not necessary to salt it).

Meanwhile, rinse the rice briskly with fresh cold water until most of the starch is washed off. Run boiling kettle water through the rice for its final rinse. Drain it, and add it immediately to the boiling water, put the lid on and start timing.

When the water returns to the boil, remove the lid and stir frequently. After 6 minutes, remove and taste a few grains. If the centre is no longer brittle, but has a good al dente bite to it, remove from the stove and drain, shaking off excess water. The rice should seem slightly undercooked.

Transfer the rice to a warmed serving dish and place it in a warming drawer or in a low oven for at least 30 minutes to dry and separate. Stir gently once during this time to aerate and loosen the rice.

Nigel Slater's Plain, Fluffy, White Rice
staple veg vegan
Nigel Slater's take on making white rice.
He says: Regardless of measurements, you should use just enough water to cover the rice by about 2.5cm.

Incidentally, this seems to be the method recommended for cooking Thai Jasmine rice (but without adding any salt). Though I'd advise plenty of rinsing first, or it will be sticky as wallpaper paste. If it isn't anyway!

Serves 2

Tip the rice into a saucepan to which you can find a tight-fitting lid. Cover the rice by about 2.5cm with water. You will find that the quantity of water just about equals that of the rice. You could measure them in the same glass jug if you like. Add a little salt, a good few pinches. Cover the pan. Bring to the boil and cook at a fierce boil for thirty seconds or so, then turn down the heat. Simmer the rice for ten minutes. There should be a steady stream of steam pushing its way from under the lid. Without lifting the lid, turn off the heat and leave the rice for at least five minutes (any longer and you will have to put it somewhere warm).

When you lift the lid, stir the rice with a fork. It should be dry and quite fluffy.
Must say I'm used to a 2:1 water:rice ratio & a slow cook, but this seems to work well!

Mexican Rice
staple side veg mexican
Simple Mexican rice.
I made this delicious Mexican interpretation of the dietary staple for a Mexican Meal using stocks from other dishes.
You can add pretty much anything you like to this simple rice: onions and tomatoes or passata in addition to the garlic would be typical.
You might think this is some regular rice, but you'd be mistaken.
This shit is awesome.
For rice.

Serves 4 as a main dish

Preheat the oven on very low.
Peel and mince the garlic.
Heat the lard in heavy casserole dish that has a tight-fitting lid. Fry the rice, stirring, for about 5 minutes until it starts to crackle a little and the grains are well coated and begin to turn translucent.
Add dried oregano if using and stir, then the cumin powder and stir, then the chopped garlic and stir, then fresh oregano if using, then the salt, then add the stock and bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer until the stock has mostly been absorbed leaving little craters in the rice surface, then put the casserole in the oven. It can stay in here for 30 minutes or an hour until needed, by which time it should be dry and light.
Yep. It's awesome.
If you're making it as part of a Mexican Meal, then using the broth from shredded chicken or posole is ideal.

Sushi Rice Prepared Like Long-Grain Indian Rice
staple veg
I prepared sushi rice this way, and it turned out quite firm and un-sticky rather like long-grain rice.
Or at least, considerably more like long-grain Indian-style rice than my usual sushi rice.
For when you've run out of long grain rice.

Take your pick of spices...

Serves 4

First wash the sushi rice thoroughly and then set to soak for an hour.
Boil in a large quantity of water for about 6 minutes when the grains should be should be still firm but not hard, and then drain.
I'd been peeling and de-seeding some tomatoes for a Fearsome Raha Egg Curry, so I put the skins in the boiling water for a while to flavour it, straining them out again before boiling the rice in it.
I also kept the rice water afterwards to use as a thin stock.
Waste not want not ;)
Meanwhile, make a paste of the ginger and garlic.
Fry the whole spices in ghee or oil, then add the ginger/garlic paste, and fry until the raw aroma has gone.
Add salt, any powdered spices you might fancy, I used none, but I did add the tomato seeds from those de-seeded tomatoes, a little extra butter and stir in the drained rice.
Don't add anything that will contribute moisture, like yoghurt, or the rice will become sticky.
Cover the pan and put in the oven at its lowest setting for half an hour or so until tender.
Good when you have a sack-full of sushi rice, and no Basmati.