Buttered Steamed rice

-Recipe from Yamuna mataji

         Though rice is generally steamed in a tightly closed pan over direct heat, in this recipe I recommend a “double-steamed” procedure. Measure rice and water rest in a closed pan which rests in a larger steamer pan. Steam surrounds the entire closed rice pan, producing very soft, evenly cooked rice with well- separated, unsplit grains.
      My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, was expert in all kitchen matters and very particular about his daily steamed rice. One cooking utensil which always accompanied him in his world travels was a three-tiered brass steamer, known simply as “Prabhupada’s cooker” by his resident cooks. At each port o entry, the cooker was unpacked and polished until it shone like gold. An entire lunch for four people –dal or Shukta in the bottom chamber, assorted vegetables in the middle and double-steamed rice in the top –cooked in about 45 minutes. The tempered heat in the top of the steamer yielded the butter-soft grains he preferred.
         More and more, cooks catalogs and better cookware stores are offering two and three-tiered steamers. Italian stainless steel steamers are available in various sizes and though costly, will prove invaluable. Calphalon and enamel steamers are also excellent. Those who don’t foresee using steamers on a regular basis can improvise by making a rice steamer with available pots and pans. I’ve used a covered Pyrex dish resting on a cake rack in an electric frying pan filled with water inch (1.5 cm) deep. Or try putting any 4-cup (1 liter) ovenware dish with a tight-fitting lid on a vegetable steaming rack or steaming trivet inside a 5-6 quart/liter pot filled with water 1 inch (2.5 cm) deep. This will suffice for steaming up to 2 cups (180 g) of raw rice.

Preparation time (after assembling ingredients): 5 minutes
Cooking time: 35-45 minutes
Serve: 3 or 4, depending on accompanying dishes

1 cup (95 g) basmati or other long-grain white rice
1 -1 cups (160-420 ml) water
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1-2 table spoons (15-30 ml) ghee or butter (optional)

1.    If basmati rice is used, clean, wash, soak, and drain as explained.
2.    Combine the water (or reserved soaking water if you are using basmati rice), salt, half of the ghee or butter and the rice in a pan or dish capable of being steamed. Cover tightly with heavy-weight aluminum foil or a secure lid.
3.    Set up your steaming equipment in any pan that can easily hold the rice dish. Bring the water to a boil. Add your steaming tier to the steamer, or place a trivet in the large pan which clears the water by at least inch (1.5 cm). Reduce the heat to low once the water boils. Place the covered rice in the steamer or on the trivet and cover the steaming pan. Cook the rice very slowly over simmering water for 35-45 minutes, depending on the texture desired. Remove the rice from the heat, uncover, add the remaining ghee or a butter pat and gently fluff with a fork.