It feels a bit weird to give a whole page to rice when the cooking process is so simple -- you just boil it in water for ten minutes and you're done, right? But it's an important part of a curry and it makes sense to talk about some pitfalls to avoid.

Types of rice

Long grain is your most fundamental kind of rice. It's versatile: it'll work for curries, chillies, rice pudding, or really anything you like. It's easy to cook. It's also a bit bland.

Basmati rice is soft, fluffy and delicate. It needs a slightly shorter cooking time, and it has a more interesting flavour and texture. I find Basmati works best with curries.

Brown rice is a little heavier. It needs longer to cook, and its flavour is rich, heavy and nutty. I like it with chilli con carne.

Cooking rice

The method is identical, and simple. Put about 100g of rice per person into a pot; pour in twice as much boiling water as there is rice; bring it to the boil, simmer for however long it takes to cook (check the packet -- different types of rice take different amounts of time), then strain it through a colander.

The most important thing to watch for is that rice contains starch, and when you boil it it'll release that starch into the water. After a while the water you've been boiling the rice in will become cloudy and sticky. That's why it's important to stir your rice every so often to keep the grains from sticking to the pan, or to each other.

If you find you've boiled the rice for too long, when you strain them the starch will cling to the grains and make them clump together in the colander. You can fix this by pouring fresh boiling water from the kettle through the colander.