Let’s talk about rice, shall we?
Until about 4 years ago, my idea of cooking rice involved a pouch of long-grain and wild rice, a microwave, and 90 seconds. At that point, the only other type of rice I was familiar with making at home involved the boil-in-a-bag variety, which I loathed. I had come to accept that rice cooked at home was meant to be mushy and bland and could never live up to the fluffy, flavorful rice I enjoyed at restaurants.
Fast forward to 2 years later when I became more interested in mastering the art of making killer rice at home. But where to start? There were so many varieties available at my local grocery store. I tried long and medium grains. Wild, brown, and jasmine. But some were too sticky, others too bland. And then one day, one glorious day, I tried basmati rice. I knew from the moment I tasted it that basmati rice was the rice I had been searching for. It’s practically perfect in every way.
Basmati is fluffy, not sticky, has a subtle nutty flavor, and cooks quickly, making it perfect for weeknight meals. I could eat an entire bowl of basmati rice plain that was cooked only using water and salt, because it is naturally perfectly-flavored. At the same time, it’s so easy to dress up, as it plays so well with other spices.
Imagine my disappointment when the basmati rice I had been purchasing from my local grocery store for years suddenly got discontinued.
It was a sad day indeed. There were a few other basmati varieties available, but I was shocked by their price tags. I love my favorite grain, but not enough to spend my entire grocery allowance on it. Plus, there is a gamble involved with trying new products. What if I hated it and was stuck with a whole expensive bag of terrible rice?
Well, the rice gods were on my side during this tough time because a few weeks after my favorite rice was discontinued, I got an email asking me if I would be up for trying one of Royal®’s rice products – their basmati rice! I was like ABSOLUTELY!
I’ve learned so much about basmati rice since agreeing to try Royal® brand. First, did you know that basmati is only basmati if it comes from the foothills of the Himalayas? It’s kind of like how champagne is only really champagne if it comes from the Champagne wine region.
Also, Royal® ages their rice for a minimum of 12 months, which contributes to basmati’s flavor and texture. Plus, their rice is GMO free!
Royal® sent two (8-ounce) packets of basmati rice for me to sample. I blew through both of them within a week. I first made the rice using just water and kosher salt. It was everything that I loved about basmati rice with a slightly deeper flavor profile than I was used to with my old discontinued brand. It was excellent.
Next, I made a batch with saffron and a pinch of cayenne. Landon said it was the best rice he’s ever eaten (that recipe will be coming soon!).
After that, our sample packets were empty, but we were hungry for more. Much to my delight, I learned that Costco sells 20-pound burlap sacks (so cute!) of Royal® Basmati Rice. We snatched a bag up for $15.49, making the rice around $0.77/pound – the price is right! We’ll be happily feasting on our bulk pack for many months to come.
I wanted the first Royal® recipe that I posted to be one that allowed the rice’s natural flavors to shine, so the recipe I’m sharing today just involves jazzing up the rice with a few herbaceous pops.
Nutty and savory Royal® Basmati Rice is cooked in chicken broth with butter and salt, and then topped with bright, fresh parsley, dill, and scallions. This dish would be the perfect accompaniment to any protein, especially fish!
Enjoy, and stay tuned for more basmati rice recipes!
While Royal® provided samples of their basmati rice for me to try, the opinions presented here are my own.
- 1 cup uncooked basmati rice (I recommend Royal®* brand)
- 1 ¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh scallions (white and green parts)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- Pinch freshly ground black pepper
- Transfer rice to a fine mesh strainer and rinse to remove extra starch. Drain rice of excess water.
- To a medium saucepan add rice, chicken broth, butter, and salt. Make sure that all of the rice is covered by the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Allow rice to simmer while covered for 12-14 minutes (Cooking time will depend on the rice you use. Check your rice’s cooking instructions for the appropriate cooking time). Remove from heat. Let sit covered for 5-10 minutes, then fluff rice gently using a fork.
- Stir in minced herbs and a pinch of freshly-ground black pepper. Serve warm.
*While Royal® provided samples of their basmati rice for me to try, the opinions presented here are my own.