Basmati rice is a long grained rice which has a special grass like smell when you open the packet, if it’s good stuff. We use Tilde Basmati, although I’m sure there are other good ones.
When cooked correctly, the rice grains are all separate and well formed. It’s fairly dry.
Here is a traditional way to cook it. Soak 2-3 cups of rice for a few hours in a large pan. Rinse it in cold water, cover it with plenty of cold water, and bringing it to the boil. Shortly after boiling, the rice will be just about edible, slightly hard, still well formed. At this point, drain the rice into a colander, put a little oil in the bottom of the pan, replace the rice, cover the pan with a damp cloth and then the lid. Place on a low heat for about 20 minutes, then serve.
Here’s how we do it now: cut out all the soaking and rinsing. It will take quite a bit longer after boiling for the rice to be just about edible, but it happens very suddenly, so keep checking. Drain the rice, place in a microwave proof dish, cover with a plate, and microwave on high for 5 minutes.