Basmati is generally my rice of choice. It’s a long-grain variety with an appealing floral aroma. Keep the following pointers in mind when cooking basmati rice: Always buy aged basmati (it is usually indicated on the package) because as the rice matures, the aroma improves. When cooking plain basmati, don’t add salt or oil, as both will kill the rice’s aroma. (The one exception is when making a pilaf.) You can add a pinch of saffron or turmeric to give the rice a little color and extra flavor, though. Wash the rice in a fine-mesh strainer under cool running water to prevent the rice grains from sticking together as they cook. And finally, presoak the grains to reduce the cooking time.