Rice and Indian food

Arsenic cannot be rinsed off—it’s not found on the surface of rice, but rather, it is absorbed inside the grain. Fortunately, basmati tends to be lower in arsenic, but give your intense health issues, it wouldn’t hurt to be as careful as you can.

Here’s a good source of information written for laypeople.

Like @Tex, I always boil and dump the water, adding fresh water to finish cooking any rice (I make rice on the stovetop).


Im no basmati expert, but usually when I am making basmati I will wash thoroughly or soak and and then drain the rice, waiting for 20-30 min for it to dry/absorb some water. Supposedly the pre-cooking soaking will help the rice elongate elegantly. I then usually use a pilaf type method with perhaps some cumin or other spices as appropriate, and fry the drained rice briefly, then add water, up to one knuckle. cook uncovered until I start to see craters on surface of rice then turn down to simmer and cover until done, with 10 min wait off heat at end for fluffiness… Usually produces a fluffy product.


Here’s a recipe for dairy-free horchata from a San Antonio, Texas, chef and restaurant owner.

Note that it calls for “Mexican cinnamon” and if you’re in the US that’s not the slender hard sticks in small spice jars, which is cassia cinnamon. “Mexican cinnamon” is ceylon cinnamon, a softer cinnamon stick that shreds easily. If you have access to Mexican ingredients, the ceylon cinnamon might be sold in bundles or plastic/cellophane hanging bags in the produce or spice section of the store and might just be labeled “canela”. The two different kinds taste similar, but the cassia cinnamon will be too hard for a blender.


@medgirl and @Saregama - thank you for your advice and information! :smile:

I actually have a lot of Tarla Dalal’s cookbooks! Mostly small-ish, when compared with other cookbooks, very straightforward. I need to now find and unpack them from the boxes of books upstairs. :grimacing::sweat_smile:

Onward I go to make liver-brain friendly dishes for me. In a sliding scale of (live to eat) versus (eat to live), I’m quite heavily tilted toward latter. :pray:t2::paw_prints::paw_prints:

today I made what became a pasta dish: tomatoes (lots) + olive oil + black pepper + cinnamon + Kashmiri chili powder + misc spice mix that has brown sugar.
Then I added what was left of a box of pasta. What started as me just wanting to cook the tomatoes in olive oil became this. :sweat_smile::paw_prints::paw_prints:

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Yikes!! What I feared of arsenic. :grimacing: I grew up in a Korean household where the rice cooker was on practically 365 days a year. :grimacing: I will moderate with rice. I have basmati and brown rice varieties here but don’t eat nearly as often as my family growing up. Thank you for the info and the link :pray:t2::paw_prints::paw_prints::smile:

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Thank you for the tips and procedure :smile:
I have fried dry rice before cooking, but must admit I am foreign to soaking procedures or cook and drain, or waiting and fluffing. Because I don’t l like sticky or overdone rice, occasionally I err on the side of not enough liquid. :scream_cat: :grimacing::grimacing::grimacing:.

Will work on my rice game (in high moderation per arsenic) based on tips from here. :smile::paw_prints::paw_prints::paw_prints:

Thank you and thank you for the primer on cinnamon!! I live in the DC / Northern Virginia area so there are a number of places I can visit to seek out the right cinnamon. I have tons of spices at home now, but my guess is that I don’t have the correct cinnamon, or Mexican cinnamon.

Random comment: I spent about a year living in Austin, TX and visited San Antonio with a friend one year or so for Christmas. Very pretty lights on the river walk, if I have the name correct. I was a runner for many years when my brain condition would allow and frankly I was probably in the best shape in Texas. :smiling_face: Training in that heat made me coming back to the East Coast and running a breeze. :hot_face::sweat_smile::smile::smile::smile::smile:


Once upon a time there was an Indian cooking show, Cooking With Kurma. He described and recommended the “pasta method” of rice cooking. I don’t think he washed the rice first, which would seem superfluous given the technique. Bring a big pot of salted water to a rolling boil, dump in the dry rice, stir, and boil for 10 minutes less than the package directions. Turn off the burner. Dump the rice into a strainer, then immediately empty the strainer back into the cooking pot, cover tightly, and let sit atop the turned-off burner for 10-15 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, serve. This method gives me separate grains regardless of the type of rice I am making.

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Same here! :kr: For many years, we ate straight-up white rice, but my mom would mix in barley. Nowadays, she makes a mix of rices, consisting of very little white rice (my dad developed Type 2 diabetes years ago).

Best of luck with your health challenges—hopefully, you will branch out here on Hungry Onion and find some joy. Good food and company has that effect on me.


My mom makes a “desi” (Indianized) pasta that’s similar to what you described, and is delicious. She tempers cumin and mustard seeds first (sometimes adds a bit of yellow moong or urad dal to that like she would for south indian recipes), a bit of onion, some chopped tomato, and scant spices. Tosses in cooked pasta to mix. I skew heavier with the spices (and aromatics and tomato), but I love her light version more than mine!

Best wishes for your health, and wish you many delicious meals ahead.

As @digga said, you might enjoy exploring the site further. Probably easiest to start with some of the busier, regular threads like What’s For Dinner, What Are You Baking, and Weekly Menu Planning. Then there are cook-along threads that change monthly or quarterly like Dish of the Quarter, Cookbook of the Month, Cuisine of the Month, and Baking Cookbook of the Quarter.


Doubt if this is the very best, but I couldn’t get over how well it came out. I had just made chivaps and wanted a flat bread to wrap it with veg and all. No yofurt on hand at the time, I found this recipe and it hit me right.

Naan Recipe Without Yogurt - Foods Guy


Thanks for mentioning, I’ll try it out. I’ve tried with and without, but honestly can’t even remember which I liked more. For sure I remember the Indian restaurant had better than mine though :smile:

Love the to add the Mixed Grains to my Rice. Especially for Inari or Kim Bop


Thank you for the tips and procedure. :sweat_smile::paw_prints::paw_prints::smiling_face:

I am going to write down all of the rice cooking methods and all the tips, recipes and recipes from links that I’ve received thus far. Nerdy maybe, but I am such a pen and paper type person (cannot do electronic review, need print outs). :sweat_smile:

Thank you x (a lot). And to everyone here the same :smiling_face::paw_prints::paw_prints:

Thank you sincerely x 10000 for your kind words. :smiling_face::pray:t2:. Today a neighbor checked on me and said I look really good and quite healthy for my medical conditions. That was uplifting. :smiling_face: spent my whole life adjusting and fighting illness and optimism helps. :smile:

Yes - Korean households!!! I must confess that this year (literally) is the first time I tried making kimchi myself.
I ended up sort of following what I saw my mom do, but because of my lack of ingredients, it was just cabbage, gochugaru powder (sp??) and a little sugar.

Salted the cabbage first. I think it turned out ok!!! I’m not a connoisseur but since I’m my only client, as long as I eat it, it’s all good. :sunglasses::+1:t3:

Thinking of making a batch with regular cabbage since I have 6-7 large heads in my refrigerator and they are getting restless. :scream_cat::joy_cat::joy_cat::joy_cat: I tried to make sauerkraut last winter but failed. :tired_face:

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Thank you for the link!!! :smiling_face::smiling_face::smiling_face::smiling_face::smiling_face:

Yeast. Must overcome my intimidation of yeast and yeast baked goods. I don’t know why yeast intimidates me. It should not. But I love naan. And the recipe looks straightforward to yield delicious naan. :smiling_face:

I will write it down. A friend of mine who is Bengali has been cheering me on for years. I can do it. :smiling_face::paw_prints::paw_prints::pray:t2:

This looks amazing!!! :smile: I need to eat/do eat lots of whole grains. I will bookmark this in my head and the next time I’m able to find myself in an Asian supermarket, I will seek this out for sure!!


That is only one brand. There are a bunch of them, some with different mixes of beans, grains and seeds. Some with sprouted grains as well.

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Know where your rice is grown to begin with.

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Try using the absorption method – bring water to a boil, add rice, cover, and simmer until water is absorbed.