The particular Basmati rice I normally use (Aldi own brand), cooks perfectly with seperate, non-sticky grains using the following method. In a large pan of cold water (3 or 4 times the volume of rice), bring rice to the boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 5 minutes over a low heat. Drain well, add back to the pan, cover, remove from heat and let it steam in its own residual heat for 5-10 minutes. No washing or pre-soaking is required.
I tried this the other night with a different white Basmati brand (Tilda), the rice was al-dente and was still uncooked in the middle when I split it open with my thumbnail before I let it rest to steam. I simmered it in fresh boiling water for another few minutes, let it steam for 5, but by then it was overcooked.
Unfortunately, I have disposed the original packet with the cooking times on it. Could I have got away with just letting it steam for 5 minutes as normal, would this have cooked the rice right through? I remember as a poor student a long time ago just bringing rice to the boil in a pan, covering, turning the heat off, and leaving it to steep until it was the right consistency. Would this method be safe provided the rice was eaten as soon as it was cooked?