Basic Brown Rice

Brown rice is known to have more nutrients and be a healthier alternative to white rice. However, many people struggle with brown rice because it cooks at a different rate than white rice. In this video, we observe the differences in two methods of cooking basic brown rice. Find out which method you prefer.


Brown Rice – 1 cup (we used long grain)
Water – 2 cups
Salt – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Method 1 (Stove top):

1. Wash and drain Brown Rice.
2. In a sauce pan, bring Brown Rice, Salt and 2 cups of Water to a boil.
3. Cover pan, reduce heat to a low/simmer and continue cooking for 45 minutes.
4. Switch off stove and fluff the rice with a fork.
5. Cover the pan and allow rice to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Method 2 (Pressure Cooker):

1. Wash and drain Brown Rice.
2. Add Brown Rice, Salt and 2 cups of Water to a pressure cooker.
3. Pressure cook for 2 whistles and reduce the heat to a low/simmer. Continue cooking for 30 minutes.
4. Switch off stove and allow the internal pressure from the cooker to subside on its own.
5. Open pressure cooker and fluff rice with a fork.
6. Replace pressure cooker lid and allow rice to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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55 thoughts on “Basic Brown Rice

  1. Brown rice has a nuttier flavor and chewier texture compared to white rice, and it’s also more nutritious because it retains the bran layer. Adjust the cooking time and water amount according to the specific type of brown rice you are using, as some varieties may require more or less water and time to cook.

  2. Dear Hetal,

    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    It would be great if you can show us some recipes using brown rice like brown rice dosa.

  3. Dear Hetal and Anuja,

    Last week I cooked long grain brown rice using pressure cooker method. Myself and my husband really liked the taste and texture of the rice. Today, I tried to cook brown basmati rice in the same way. The texture of the rice was not good and it was not soft. Can you tell me what proportion of water should be used for brown basmati rice?

    Thanks a lot. You guys are going a great job.

    1. Hi Krithika,

      We have not tried Basmati Brown Rice but would have thought it would work the same way. Maybe you can try to soak it for an hour or two before cooking to improve the texture.

  4. I read your book healthy Indian diet and it is awesome and I have decided to switch to brown rice.I live in a region where there is not many Indian stores or where I could buy brown rice in bulk.
    Do you know of any online site where I can buy brown rice?
    Thanks again for all you do.

    1. Hi Visala,

      Brown rice is available in most American grocery stores as well. We buy ours at Sprouts where they sell it in bins…you can buy as much as you like. You may also find it in whole foods type stores.

      1. Thank you.I got it at Costco and made my first brown rice was awesome.I soaked the rice overnight and cooked it in rice turned out good.
        The instructions on the baggage says to soak a the rice for @) hrs so it would germinate.I am going to try that next time to see how it goes.
        Thanks once again

  5. Hetal & Anuja You both do a great job with your healthy & easy to follow recipes. Congrats! I can say I host great dinners because of your recipes…thanks! Also, there’s a great new grain gaining popularity health wise- Quinoa- It would be great if you can come out with some magic recipes with it.

      1. Thanks Hetal, I realized after I wrote the comment. The quinoa pulao turned out to be excellent. Have yet to try the soup. Thanks

  6. I tried to cook both ways, children like the pressure cooker one better, but it was truly a nice way to eat rice.

  7. I have guests coming in for Lunch on sunday.. they have strict diet restriction, One person can’t eat oily/buttery/cheesy diet, second one has ulcers and has to avoid chilli, third one does not eat sour/acidic food. To top it off they all don’t eat onion/garlic and are vegetarians.

    Please advise me recipes that does not contain oil, ghee, butter, cheese, chilli, onion, garlic, tomatoes, lemon, yogurt, all meats and seafood.

    It doesn’t have to be Indian, any recipe from anywhere could do.

    1. You can serve dals cooked in pressure cooker with dry spices and garnished with coriander and cumin powder, vegetables can be cooked in white gravy which is milk based or green gravy coriander/mint chutney based. Rice can be cooked with peas & carrots and rotis can be served plain.

      There’s a variety of pastas and sandwiches which can be made without the above ingredients.

      Hope this helps and good luck!!!

      1. Thank you so much Simi.. I wish I would have read ur msg earlier.. I got grocery to make puda’s that contains carrots, zuccini, green peppers and ginger and got a tip from SMTC to use cooking spray instead of oil.. and will also make spaghetti squash with above veggies… I hope they taste good..

    2. Hi Aaroohii,

      Sorry, we’re a little late in answering your question. Wow! I had to scratch my head for a few minutes. I’m curious…what did you serve?

  8. Is it good to add more water and then drain it for brown rice? How long should it be cook for that method? I do that for white rice cooking since we don’t like to eat starchy rice. Please guide. Thank you

    1. Hi Faith,

      Yes, you can definitely cook brown rice with the draining method similar to white rice. Bring water to a boil (about 6-8 cups for 1 cup rice), add washed brown rice and salt (optional) and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Drain the rice, put it back into the empty pot, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. Fluff it with a fork and serve. We are not exactly sure if any of the nutrition from the rice will be lost in the draining.

  9. Im new to brown rice. Want to know about its taste and can we have it with are regular curries as with white rice?

    1. Hi Amy,

      Brown rice is very different in taste and texture from regular white rice. It is nuttier in flavor and has more texture. With that said, you can enjoy it with curries but expect that there will be a difference.

  10. oops sorry !!!
    I have this basmati brown rice which i bought at my local wholesale club! I cooked it with the ratio 1:2 and it was still grainy and it tasted it as though it was undercooked.that was the first time i experimented with brown rice and i stopped making brown rice ever since.but after seeing your video i really want to switch over for good.thanks a ton.I love you guys!!! you make our lives and health wonderful!! God bless you !!

  11. Hi Hetal and Anuja,

    I have been using brown rice since a longe ime. I make it
    in the aroma electric rice cooker. I soak the rice 1 hr before preaparing it. Turns out fantastic!

    1. I have this basmati brown rice which i bought at my local wholesale club! I cooked it with the ratio 1:2 and it was still grainy and it tasted it as though it was undercooked.that was the first time i experimented with brown rice and i stopped making brown rice ever since.but after seeing your video i really want to switch over for good.thanks a ton.I love you guys!!! you make our lives and health wonderful!! God bless you !!

  12. Hi! I’m a nutritionist and have always advised my clients to opt for brown rice…however the usual complaint that I get is that it takes too much time to cook! We have found an easier method…soak rice in double the amount of water for at least 6-7 hours or overnight(this step is important to de-activate the phytates, which inhibit absorption of minerals like calcium and iron in the rice)and then double boil in the pressure cooker for 1 whistle and an additional 5-7 minutes. The rice cooks perfect yet the cooking time is so much shorter! hope this is useful 🙂

    1. I have a question for you.. if we drain the water that the rice has been soaking in, then would the water soluble vitamins drain away?
      Is it better to cook the rice in the same water it has been soaking in to avoid loss of these vitamins?

      1. Perhaps, but the vitamins that are left in the brown rice will be better ready for absorption! Washing white rice does eliminate some nutrients since the enriched part of the rice is on the coating.

        Most brown rice soaking methods I’ve seen involve adding of 1 tsp of acid (e.g. lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt) for every 1 cup water to reduce the phytic acid in the bran. The soaking is followed by rinsing the rice then cooking it in fresh water.

        The soaked rice does cook up more quickly and I find it easier to digest.

      2. Hi Aaroohii,

        It is quite possible that some of the vitamins are lost by draining the water, but we are not certain if that is the case or how much would be lost. Sorry.

  13. Excellent! This is just what I was looking for, this recipe can further be enchanced by adding peas & such vegetables to make it whole some especially for children.I wish more such recipes would crop up once in awhile.
    Thank You !

  14. Can anyone tell how to make oatmeal, not sticky one. I want dry one.
    I have Quaker old fashioned oats. Thank you.

    1. Hi Sapna,

      We used long grain brown rice from a bin…no brand. We got it from Sprouts. Brown rice comes in basmati variety as well.

  15. Thanks for the receipe. I soak Basamati brown rice for half an hour and then cook in the pressure cooker with just 3 whistles and turning off the stove. The proportion is 1 cup of rice and 1 cup of water ( 1: 1) It turns out excellent.

  16. That’s a great idea! But you forgot about another method, the rice cooker method. How does it turn out when you cook in that?

    1. I cook brown rice in a rice cooker.It’s good.Also the zojirushi neuro fuzzy does well with this,it’s a bit more expensive but it has a brown rice line inside the pan which helps take out the guesswork.
      But it should work in any rice cooker,just use more water than for white rice 2-1 ratio.Enjoy!

      1. The Aroma model has a brown rice option on it. It takes longer and texture wise like the pressure cooker method.

      2. I use the zojirushi neuro fuzzy too, it’s awesome. Today I just ordered my first pressure cooker ever (my mom always scared me when she used hers, 60 years ago) so I’m looking forward to giving that a try too. But I LOVE my rice cooker, can’t imagine anything easier, easy to clean up too.

    1. I prepared brown rice in my new pressure cooker. Noting the comment (in the video) that the texture is a bit soft, I decided to reduce the amount of water from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cups. I pressure-cooked it for 22 minutes, let it subside, and the texture is perfect!

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