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Leftover rice can be a tricky business. And – if you like curry, or chilli, or sweet and sour chicken – a common occurrence on the dining table.
There are two complications with yesterday's rice. One is that it can make you gravely ill if not kept safely, and reheated improperly. These dangers are easily avoided. The second is a matter of taste. Rice, when heated for a second time, can go dry, bland, and can also get a crusty, hardened texture, particularly on the top. It's unappetising and wasteful.
But this, too, can be avoided. Without much effort at all. All it takes is a wet cloth or tea towel.
· When reheating your rice, preferably in a glass dish, put half a cup of cold water in the bottom. The water will perforate among the grains, and they'll soak it up a little more and soften.
· The cloth will act as a protective barrier so that steam can swirl about the bowl. It lets the rice retain remaining moisture, and prevents the top crust from forming.
· Food waste is also bad news. Remember to cool it quickly on a work surface, within an hour is best and then put it in the fridge. It's completely fine for a day or so if reheated back to a 'steaming hot' temperature.