First of all, let's talk rice. Rice comes in different textures and flavors. For instance, Indian cuisine is best with the aromatic and delicate basmati rice. I have great memories at my friend Priyanka's house when her mother would be simmering chicken curry and the blending aroma of rice, curry and naan bread would fill the living room. Okay, so where was I...yes, rice. The best rice for Southeast asian food would be jasmine rice. Like the basmati it too is aromatic but a little fatter in grain. When I make a Thai market run, I always stock up on a 25 lb bag of "Thai Hom Mali Rice" (literal translation: Thai Aromatic Jasmine Rice).
Now, if you can spare some money in your budget for a rice cooker I'd like to recommend this brand: Zojirushi. Researching online and reading reviews was well worth the effort when I signed up for one on our wedding registry. We use it all the time and it's so simple to cook great rice now. Before that we used to make rice with a sauce pot and a ceramic plate. It was always a hit or miss.
Here's how we do this thing!
Using a 1 cup measuring cup for dry ingredients, scoop 2 cups of rice (1 cup if you want less). With each scoop you want to add the same amount of cold water into the cooker. Here's a little tip, if the rice is "new crop" then the ratio is 1:1. If the rice is older and in time your 25 lb bag will get older (but still good) you want to add an extra cup of water in order to keep the rice soft and moist. So if I'm working with older rice and I've placed 2 cups of rice, I would then add 3 cups of water. Have I confused you yet?
And the final touch, just press down on the button and your rice cooker's button that says "cook" should be the one lit.
Give it 10-15 minutes. The button will change from "cook" to "warm" and that's when you give it about 7 more minutes for the rice to absorb all the moisture. Then, open the cooker and fluff the rice and, voila! Rice you can be proud of.
Happy times ahead.