Rice Bhaat ભાત
This recipe is for the everyday accompaniment to either a full gujarati meal or even as a filler to eat with your single saucy curry of the day. Let me clarify here that chokha ચોખા is the uncooked rice and bhaat ભાત the cooked product. The ingredients here are enough for a large serving if rice is the main part of your meal. When offering a full meal, then this amount would make 2 servings.
- 40 g basmati rice, equivalent to 50ml of grain. First wash quickly in hot water and then after a couple of cold water changes leave to soak for 15 minutes in cold water.
- Quarter tsp salt or to taste
- 1 clove or whole cardamom adds a great aroma
- 100 ml water always double the volume of the uncooked rice.
- Small blob butter optional
- You can make the rice in a ceramic vessel with a fitting lid, that can be used directly on the hob. See below for making the rice in a larger saucepan.
- Either heat the water in the vessel, in which case you will have to use at least 20ml extra water or add heated water straight into the vessel.
- Once the water starts bubbling, add the salt, clove or cardamon and the butter and finally the soaked rice grains. Be gentle with the rice in order to preserve the full grain and also try not to add the soaking water.
- Stir occasionally and carefully.
- When most of the water has been used up and the rice looks almost cooked, remove the vessel from the heat and cover.
- Leave for a couple of minutes. Make sure most of the water is gone before the next stage.
- Finish cooking in the microwave for a further 2 minutes. If there is too much water left in the vessel then it will start bubbling out of the closed vessel and make a big mess in the microwave.
- Rest for a few minutes before eating.
In the gujarati household the rice is served as a final part of the meal to be eaten either with the left over shaak, or daal or even just ghee and/or yogurt! The rice is usually made in different ways in different households. Many families like their rice to be sticky and not have the separate grains visible. For sticky rice, all the ingredient proportions are the same but the rice is cooked in the pressure cooker. For a more separate grain, the rice is cooked in a bigger saucepan. Here four times its volume of water is used. Once the grain is cooked(determined by pinching one grain between the thumb and the forefinger and ensuring that the whole grain in thoroughly cooked! Be careful, this can be Hot!), the extra water is drained off using a large metal sieve and the cooked rice is served in an open container. Remember to adjust your salt accordingly.