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Why Was The Rice In My Butternut Biryani Still Firm?

Asked by thor77. Answered on 26th March 2024

Full question

I love the sound of the Butternut Biryani, but the rice wasn’t really cooked. Didn’t have much steam in step 10 if any. Where is it supposed to come from anyways? There wasn’t any liquid in the pot.

Image of Nigella's Butternut Biryani
Photo by Nigella
Butternut Biryani
By Nigella
  • 14
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Our answer

Nigella's Butternut Biryani is a vegan dish consisting of layers of rice and butternut and chickpeas in a coconut-milk yogurt sauce. The rice is boiled, drained and then layered with the other ingredients and left to finish steam cooking. The liquid in the pot at this stage is the moisture still on the rice plus the coconut-milk yogurt sauce.

It is important to cook the rice enough at the first stage (step 7) and to use basmati rice rather than any other type of rice. Soak the rice for 30 minutes (no more and no less) and drain it, then add the rice to the boiling scented water a spoonful at a time so that the water keeps boiling. If you put all of the drained rice in at once it lowers the temperature of the water and will affect how the rice cooks. Bring the water and rice up to a full boil and cook for 2 minutes. Check that the rice has cooked enough by rubbing a grain between your finger and thumb. It should break easily into 2-3 pieces and will have a small white dot in the centre. If the rice is too hard to break when you squeeze it then boil for just 1 minute more and test again. Drain immediately after the rice has reached this stage. You don't want the rice to be fully cooked at this stage but al dente, otherwise it will become overcooked at the next stage.

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