The amount of water used in cooking the rice is crucial, and eye measurement works better with experienced cooks. According to those eye measurements, there should be enough liquid to cover rice in the pot by 1/3 inch. If you prefer to measure by cups, then always remember that every cup of uncooked rice needs 1 3/4 cup liquid, provided you follow the instructions.
Compare with Uncle Ben's (left) -- by which we swear -- 2 1/2 cups liquid per cup of rice. At first we thought it might have to do with that thing about cultures where rice is a staple vs. those -- like our own -- where rice is usually a side dish. Our "understanding" is that the former like their rice mushy, while the latter go for al dente. Although maybe not. First of all, Uncle Ben's instructions say "For FIRMER rice, use LESS water," which is what Naral prescribes. Plus, listen to her anecdotal assessment of good vs bad rice:
My grandmother, normally a reluctant socializer, used to go head before feet, as we say in Iraq, whenever we were invited to dinner at our young, newly-married neighbor's house. "I like her rice," she used to say. "She still doesn't know how to cook." And taking into consideration my grandma's remaining three or four teeth, perilously hanging on, it is understandable why our neighbor's sticky and soft rice, which by common standards is a failure, appealed to her.
Our theory sounds like a bust, and a quick Google search shoots holes all over it ("sticky rice," for example, isn't a method but an actual type of rice). Nevertheless, we're determined to honor our Iraqi sisters and brothers on the occasion of their historic election Sunday with a dinner in homage to their culinary traditions. Maybe we'll give Naral's water/rice ratio a try. Also trying to gird our loins for a lamb stew of some sort (we NEVER have lamb at home).