One of the common queries that I have been getting lately from my readers are regarding cooking with brown rice and also more recipes with brown rice. I have been using brown rice for the last 6 years now and with the varieties of brown rice sold in the market these days we don't find that much of a difference between white rice and brown rice these days. Both brown rice and white rice have the same carbohydrate value and the only thing that makes brown rice healthier is its high fiber content, which makes us feel full with less consumption of rice. Brown rice also retains most of the B vitamins since it is unpolished.
Here are some tips that I have been using while cooking with brown rice:
1. If you are new at consuming brown rice, go for brown basmati rice, which is smaller than other varieties of brown rice.
2. Soaking the rice in hot water for 30 minutes before cooking gives the prefect cooked brown rice. The rice can be cooked in a rice cooker or a pressure cooker in the ratio 1:2 (rice and water) in the same amount of time used to cook white rice.
3. If using a new brand of rice, cook with a less amount of rice at first to check if the rice takes a long time to cook or if it gets mushy even with less amount of water. Usually aged basmati brown rice gives the perfect texture than the new ones. This way you will have an idea as to how much water and cooking time the rice requires.
4. Boiling the rice and draining the water once the rice is done is also one way to get the perfect texture. Make sure to keep an eye on it, check the rice for doneness and drain the water immediately to prevent overcooking of rice.
5. This particular method has been circulating in Pin Interest lately and I have tried this one as well a couple of times and is a keeper. I usually cook brown rice this way if I using the rice for fried rice, pulav etc. For a cup of rice, boil the rice with 3 cups of water for 30 minutes and drain the water. Then put back the dish with the rice back on the stove in a low flame and close the lid. Let it steam for 10 minutes and switch off the stove. Let it sit for 10 more minutes and fluff it with a fork.
Coconut Rice Recipe:
This rice is my favorite variety rice and has been a regular in my lunch box growing up. My mom usually mixes in some fried pappads with the rice and they turn soft and soggy as they sit and tastes so good with rice. A very simple and easy preparation which gets done in no time at all.
1. Cooked rice, 1 cup.
2. Grated coconut, 2/3 cup.
3. Mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon.
4. Urad dhal, 1/2 teaspoon.
5. Channa dhal, 1/2 teaspoon.
6. Broken cashews, 1 tablespoon.
7. Broken red chilies, 1-2.
8. Green chilies, 2, slit into 2.
9. Asafetida, a pinch.
10. Salt, as per taste.
11. Curry leaves and chopped cilantro for garnishing.
Heat a pan with a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil turns hot, add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the urad dhal, channa dhal, broken cashews, and broken red chilies and fry for a seconds until the dhals and cashews turn brown. Now add the grated coconut along with green chilies, salt, curry leaves, and asafetida and keep stirring under low flame for 2 minutes with care taken not to burn the coconut. Add the rice now and mix everything well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and switch off the stove. This goes well with any spicy side dish and pappads.