the perfect technique with cereals
If you’ve always wondered how to cook cereals in a simple way, the answer is cooking by absorption.
Absorption cooking is one very old technique which has its roots in macrobiotic and oriental cuisine. Basically it involves cooking cereals and pseudocereals (such as quinoa, millet and amaranth) in water but, unlike the traditional technique, only some are added as much as the cereal is able to absorb. Let’s find out the advantages of this method and the cooking times of each cereal.
Cooking of cereals by absorption
The first thing to know is that all grains can be cooked by absorptioneven the whole ones. Clearly the cooking times and the amount of water required vary, but it is still a valid technique.
For best results, before dedicating yourself to absorption cooking, place your cereals in a fine mesh strainer and rinse them under running water until it runs clear. This step is essential for organic cereals that may have some impurities, but also for those rich in saponins, such as amaranth, millet, quinoa and oats, responsible for the bitter taste.
Once the cereals have been washed, they are simply transferred to one pot. Also for this there are some guidelines to keep in mind: choose one with a thick bottom to prevent the water from being absorbed too quickly during cooking and ending up burning the cereals without cooking them. Ideal are those in steel or earthenware.
Types of cereals and amount of water for cooking
Now comes the most delicate aspect, adding water. Keep in mind that in principle the ratio between cereals and water is 1:2, i.e. for every cup of cereals two cups of water are used. This is especially true for basmati rice with absorption cooking, one of the most recurring situations. However, for cooking millet by absorption, the ratio 1:3 must be set.
To simplify your work, we have divided the various cereals and pseudocereals based on how much water is needed for cooking and if they require other steps. Here’s everything you need to know about how to cook absorption cereal.
Cereal/water ratio 1:2. Amaranth, buckwheat, pearl barley, pearl spelled, quinoa, brown Venus rice, basmati rice.
Cereal/water ratio 1:3. After soaking for 12 hours for hulled spelled, Kamut, oats, wheat, hulled barley. Without soaking instead for millet and rye.
We advise you to start by cooking the rice by absorption, taking into account that 100 grams of rice absorbs 200 grams of water. But what are the advantages of this cooking technique? First, all the nutrients are retained. Secondly, once the cereals have been cooked over medium heat with the lid on, they no longer need to be stirred. Finally, you will obtain cereals with a perfect consistency, well shelled and full of flavour. An example of this is basmati rice.
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