Most recipes for cooking plain basmati rice suggest that you soak the rice for 30 minutes before cooking. I have cooked it both ways--with and without the soaking--and the soaking makes a huge difference! Why is that?
I am used to making Chinese short-grained rice, which does not involve soaking. Is the pre-soaking necessary for all long-grained rice or specific to Basmati rice?
Also, I tend to cook Basmati rice on the stovetop as I would for Chinese rice--1-1 water rice ratio, bring water to boil then reduce to very low heat for 20 minutes in order to steam rice. Are there beter ways to cook Basmati rice?