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Jan 18, 2011 12:18 PM

brown basmati rice-- are all these step necessary?

I have a bag of brown basmati rice by Laxmi. The directions say to soak in warm water 10-15 min "so the pointed grains can absorb water) drain, air dry for 15 min. Then you add water, salt, lemon juice, boil for 1, drain extra water, simmer for 30.

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  1. There are many different ways to cook brown rice. I usually rinse it for about 5 minutes in room temp water, then boil it in lots of water (1 gallon for 2 cups dry rice) for 40 minutes, drain, return to pot, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. You can do a search here or through Google and find lots of other methods.

    1. I mean, I would give it a shot and see if it's WAY better than the ordinary way. I would probably just rinse and drain, then cook as normal.

      1. Well, the soaking I do, but for longer, at least 30 minutes to an hour, then drain the rice well and rinse, not for starch but for any foreign matter on the rice, then add fresh water, a teaspoon or so of vegetable oil and kosher salt and simmer until done, usually in about 35-45 minutes, depending on the time I soaked it initially. Let the rice rest, covered, for 10 minutes before serving, to dry and fluff.

        The soaking period softens the hull, plumbs the grains and shortens the cooking time somewhat, and may require slightly less water than the normal ratio of 2:1, depending on the texture you want; that can be trial and error. I don't find the air drying part necessary, or the "boil for 1, drain extra water" step. Try the instructions on the bag and see if it's a much better outcome than what you've had. Then you'll know if those extra steps are worth it.

        If you don't soak the rice, it can take upwards of another 5-10 minutes to finish. Hulled rices benefit from being soaked first.

        Then there's this simple method, no worrying about water to rice ratio:


        1. Wow--I don't go to half the trouble that you guys do. I buy brown basmati at Trader Joe's. I put it in a sieve then run water over it for a couple minutes. Dump it in the rice cooker with 2 parts liquid (I use chicken broth) to 1 part rice & voila! Perfect every time.

          3 Replies
              1. re: valerie

                Me four; except I don't have a rice cooker, so I just do the same thing on the stovetop or, if in a hurry, in a small pressure cooker. Seems to turn out fine either way.

          1. I'd hold off on the lemon juice until the end of cooking. Acids toughen grains and pulses when introduced too early in cooking (salt, however, is not the problem it was long assumed to be).