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Ian Hoare, on 9/3/2006 01:30am


I was asked about this in another place, so I went to have a look here. In the recipe for plain boiled rice, we see in two places as a test for whether rice is cooked enough

of rice between finger and thumb; no ‘grit’ should be felt (some cooks prefer to leave one grain).

What is meant by "leave one grain" in this context please?

Thanks very much


Mamta, on 9/3/2006 07:26am

Hello Ian

I had a look at the recipe, written a long time ago! What it means is that when cooked rice is squeezed between forefinger and thumb, you should feel one 'grit', not grain. Thanks for pointing it out to me. I have edited the recipe;


AskCy, on 9/3/2006 02:43pm

I'm guessing the next question will be "what does one grit" mean?

Mamta, on 10/3/2006 06:07am

Hello Steven

I just don't know wich word to use to describe the 'grit' like centre of rice that is left uncooked!! My English has failed me here! So, come on help me out. Give me a better word.

:-) Mamta

AskCy, on 10/3/2006 07:39pm

You mean the centre of the grain should have a solid core?

Firm centre.

outside should be soft with a firm core

slightly tougher middle ..

dunno.. anyone.. ?

Mamta, on 11/3/2006 09:09am

The correct word for describing the grit that is upposed to be left is a grain. But the problem is that rice is also described in grains and that makes it confusing. I guess one has to say 'slightly under-cook the rice'!


I am off to India this evening, so there may be some delay in replying to further posts.

liza, on 11/3/2006 08:02pm

I know that in Italy, they use the term "al-dente" to describe pasta which is just cooked, not soft, but "firm to the tooth". It is pronounced

al dentay

Mamta, on 12/3/2006 11:37am

Thank you for that Liza. I have given the word 'al dente' in my recipe, but 'a grit' is a bit more than al dente. The description 'one grain' is felt when the rice is squashed between fingers is exact, but sounds confusing because rice is alse described as grain!


AskCy, on 12/3/2006 02:17pm

When you start to write a recipe out you never think there could be so many complications...

foods known by different names,

oven temperatures not known if Aga's or open fires are used.

Different pans taking different amounts of heat to the food, so one may burn on a medium heat where another would be ok

Flavours of herbs and veg not being the same / as strong / available everywhere

Spellings being so varied

Many versions of the same dish all being called the same thing and all correct in thier own right.

Food stuffs you use all the time and are readily available might not be available or even heard of in other countries.

Again food you eat every day may be banned, sacred, or just generally not used elsewhere..

Things you thought were vegeterian turn out not to be so (most cheese for instance)

Technique words that you presume everyone knows could be completely alien to other countries (de-glaze was one I came across)

and don't get started on weights and measures... sizes etc..(a handfull.. well my hand is bigger than yours.. a cup..a gallon.. a US Gallon... a teaspoon.. )


Ian H., on 12/3/2006 05:51pm

Hi Mamta and everyone

Thanks very much for explaining, I am sorry to have put the cat among the pigeons. I know exactly what is meant now, and have explained it to the person who asked.

I take a grain and put it between my front teeth, on biting there should still be a little resistance. The Italian "al dente" is the perfect expression, and I think would probably be about the best understood in English.

So I feel that putting

"until rice is fully cooked or just al dente."

would do fine.



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