Rice is one of the most popular foods in all corners of the world. There are various kinds of rice grown. It is prepared with the use of different cooking methods. The pots used for rice cooking used to vary as well, but at present household from all over the world prefer to use rice cookers.
Rice cooking is mentioned in Indian texts as early as 1500 BC. As the time passed, the different cultures found different methods for rice cooking even though the basic principles remain the same. The rice can be boiled or steamed. There are different techniques for the rinsing of the grains and for cooking. The preparation methods vary depending on the amount of water put into the pan.
In India, the homeland of rice production, rice is usually served as a side dish. The most popular type of rice in this region is basmati. The main technique used for rice cooking requires the soaking of the rice before it is boiled. In this way the grains stay close without sticking to one another.
The average Chinese person consumes one pound of rice per day. This might seem like a lot, but you have to keep in mind that it is served as a side dish to almost any kind of meal. Despite the common misconception, stir fried rice is not the most popular dish in China. People there usually have bowls of white rice which is cooked with water only. The method involves preliminary rinsing which is usually repeated 5 to 6 times.
The sushi is a traditional Japanese dish with rice, but it has gained international popularity now. Medium-grained rice is used for the preparation of this dish. The rice should be sticky so that various toppings can be served on it.
The rice side dishes are particularly popular in the Arab cuisine. It is cooked with meat, fish and vegetables. You can even have it wrapped in vine leaves. The classic Pilaf dish consists of rice cooked in broth. Its appeal is in the numerous spices it contains.
Jambalaya is a traditional Southern US dish with meat, vegetables and rice. It is influenced by popular rice dishes from Spain and France such as paella. Generally, there are all kinds of rice side dishes in Europe with the most popular ones being the Italian risotto.
For centuries, pots, made from clay and soil, were used for rice cooking. The pan shaped pots were found to provide more even and quicker cooking. There is evidence that the first kind of rice cookers, which had lids and could be placed on a heating plate, were invented as early as 13th century BC. Later on the metal pans replaced the standard earthenware ones. They provided even faster cooking as the material got heated more quickly and transferred more heat more evenly to the ingredients cooked inside the pan.
With the invention of electricity and the standard cook-top, the manufacturers of electric appliances began to look for ways in which the heating source and the rice cooking pan could be combined.
The first electric rice cooker that was commercially successful was invented in 1955 by Toshiba. It has a very basic principle of operation. The cooking pan was placed in a larger container after the ingredients had been put inside.
The rest of the container was then filled with water. As it boiled it heated the inner cooking pan. The key to the success of the Toshiba rice cooker was that it had an internal thermostat. It activated and then stopped the boiling process at the right time.
Rice cookers became increasingly popular in Asia and in the rest of the world throughout the 1960s. Around this time the warm up function was first introduced. The fuzzy logic rice cookers appeared in the 1970s.
They allowed for the use of various methods for rice cooking. Later on, the principle of induction cooking was used to improve the preparation of rice. The appliances with such technology cook it more evenly and more quickly.
At present, the digital rice cookers allow for easy, quick and safe rice cooking. You can expect new and better appliances to come out on the market given the rapid advancement of technology.