Plain Rice



Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

Yashim Cooks Istanbul

By Jason Goodwin

Published 2016

  • About

Yashim uses long grain white basmati and cooks it Persian style, to produce a dry, fluffy rice with a delicious golden crust. The Ottomans used a lot of butter in their cooking, where modern Turks might use olive oil. Clarified butter, the Indian ghee, comes in a tin. It keeps well and is available in ethnic groceries.


  • basmati rice 500 g/1 lb
  • salt
  • butter or ghee 2 tbsp


  • Soak the rice in warm water for half an hour, and wash it until the water runs clear.
  • Put the pan on a high heat, cover the rice with boiling water from the kettle, add a pinch of salt, and boil for about eight minutes until the water (or stock) has been absorbed and lunar craters appear on the surface. Check for doneness: grains should have a distinct bite. Add a splash more boiling water if you need to.
  • In a second pan on a low heat, melt a tablespoonful of butter. Gently transfer the rice into this pan, scattering the grains over the butter. Lay a clean tea towel over the top, clap on the lid, and steam on a very low heat for ten minutes or so.