Cooking rice and grains is a bit more complicated than cooking other foods. While too less heat may leave them uncooked or unevenly cooked, heating them too much may make them mushy and ruin their natural flavor. Similarly, while adding too much water may make them watery, using less water may cause them to be dry and not be soft and fluffy like you want them to. The thing is – the cookware plays a great role in cooking them with just the right amount of water and heat distributed evenly and thoroughly.
Most conventional cookware made from metals or ceramics fail to serve this purpose. First of all, the heat from this cookware is too harsh and is never evenly distributed. It's usually more at the bottom than at the top which leaves the grains unevenly cooked. Secondly, there is no efficient way to filter out excess water so that just the right amount of water may be left that makes the grains moist and fluffy – just the way everybody likes them.
Another serious problem with conventional cookware is that most metals and ceramics leach toxins into food while cooking. I did an alkaline baking soda test on some cookware to confirm this fact. The alkalinity of food makes it reactive to the metal ions that this cookware leach. So, when an alkaline baking soda solution is heated in such cookware, they do the same to it. The test is pretty easy to do though:
- Boil 2-3 cups of water in any pot, when it starts boiling add 2 tsp of baking soda, boil for 5 more minutes. Turn stove off.
- Wait till cool enough to taste then taste the water (take a sip). If you taste metals, that's what you're eating! If water has a rubber / paint taste it's the chemicals from enamel / glaze.
As a control, stir 2 tsp of baking soda to 1 glass of water and take a sip – you will taste just the baking soda.
I did the same test on a pure clay cookware as well and surprisingly it didn't leach. I did some research and found out why it happened. Pure clay is a naturally inert material and if no chemicals are used in manufacturing process or for glazing, it stays that way and so, doesn't leach.
Unlike metal / ceramic, pure clay cookware radiates far-infrared heat that is food-friendly and penetrates deep into each grain to cook evenly and thoroughly. They are good heat retainers, so you can turn the stove off even before the water fully boils – the grains keep cooking with the heat retained in the pot.
Pure clay pots are semi-porous which lets excess water evaporate and leave just enough moisture in cooked grains to make them soft and fluffy. I cooked rice in them and noticed that they were delicious and each grain was separate from each other without adding any fats, oils or additives – the pot took care of everything. I can confidently say that pure clay pots are ideal for cooking rice and grains .
A Healthy Way of Cooking Rice & Grains