When I posted the recipe of green moong dal, the picture had a bowl of perfectly cooked fluffy brown rice next to the dal. I got more questions on that bowl of brown rice than the moong dal recipe :-). How did you get such fluffy brown rice? My brown rice always comes out sticky, can you share your method?
I have been wanting to write this post for how to cook the best brown rice ever since I wrote one for the white Basmati rice but never actually got on with it. While it is easy to get the perfectly fluffy white rice, brown rice does pose a bit of a problem. It is because white Basmati is usually a polished rice while brown is unpolished rice.
The most important step of cooking fluffy rice, however, remains the same — to wash the rice in multiple changes of water to remove as much starch as possible. For white basmati rice, the quantity of water to cook is 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of rice but brown rice and other whole grain rice varieties like red rice and wild rice usually take more water. Whenever I buy a new variety of rice, for the first time, I always check on water while cooking, especially towards the end, to get the right estimate for the subsequent times.
The brown rice variety in this recipe is a local North-Indian variety called karhani rice. It is grown in the plains of Rajasthan and has a very nutty and earthy flavour. This rice takes 3 times the water to cook perfectly.
Another difference in cooking white rice and brown rice is the cooking time. Since brown rice is a whole grain rice, it takes longer to cook. Soaking the rice helps reduce its cooking time and saves energy. While white rice cooks fine with no or just 10 mins of soaking, it is ideal to soak whole grain rice for at least 30-40 minutes.
I really hope these simple steps help you cook the best brown rice every time. Brown rice is far more nutritious than white rice but the taste takes some getting used to. I have come to love the earthy flavour of brown rice and talk of all the fibre and nutrition! It is our body’s best friend 🙂
If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it below and/or share your thoughts after. It will really encourage me.
- 1 cup brown rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
Take the rice in a big bowl and fill it with regular water. As you swirl your hand through the rice and water, the water will go cloudy with all the rice starch and some husk of the brown rice.
Drain the water through a sieve and wash the rice again for 3-4 times more, until the water runs fairly clear.
Add 3 cups of warm water to the bowl and let the rice sit 30-40 mins.
Heat a saucepan. Add the rice along with the water, salt and oil. Give everything a mix. Close and cook on the lowest heat for 30 minutes till the rice is tender and all the water is absorbed by the rice.*
Remove from heat and let the rice stand, covered, for 5 mins.
Open and fluff with a fork.
- *If you are using a new variety of whole grain rice, start with 2½ cups of water for every cup of rice. When there is little water left, check the rice to see if you need to add more water or drain excess water.
- Do not lift the lid and stir in between while the rice is cooking as it will make all the steam escape. Check only when there is very little water left to see if the rice is cooked through and if more water is needed. If needed, add hot water little by little.
Connect with me
Would love to start a conversation, share recipes, cooking experiences and food stories from India and around the world.