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Brown rice. Better for you than white rice. But I don't like it. How do you cook it to make it palatable?

buttertart Sep 10, 2012 10:17 AM

Hi everybody,
I really would like to start eating brown rice, but I can never get it to come out right. What am I doing wrong? What brand should I be buying? How the hell do you cook it?
Sincerely yours,
Brwun rice impaired me.

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  1. q
    qianning RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 10:20 AM

    When you eat plain steamed rice (i.e. w/ Chinese food etc) do you usually eat short grain or long grain rice? Also do you use a rice cooker? Depending on your answers to the above I've got a method that really well for us.

    2 Replies
    1. re: qianning
      buttertart RE: qianning Sep 10, 2012 03:03 PM

      I eat white long and medium grain, and basmati. I haven't ever bought jasmine rice but I enjoy it. No rice cooker, can cook white rice on the stovetop no problemo.

      1. re: buttertart
        qianning RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 03:54 PM

        Well. fwiw, for us switching to brown rice was an acclimation process. Years back our standard white rice was a medium grain California or Heilongjiang grown japonica, usually cooked in a rice cooker. There is a type of Japanese milling called "haiga" (there are several brands available around here, usually found at Japanese or Korean food stores). "Haiga" is rice milled so that the bran is removed but the germ remains. At first I added about 1 part haiga to 4 parts white rice, and then over about a month increased the amount of haiga until it was all haiga (bearing in mind that we eat rice 3-4 dinners a week). Then once we were eating all haiga I started adding in "Genjimai", i.e. Japanese style brown rice, most of the bran and all of the germ intact, and repeated the gradual ratio adjustment until it was all genjimai. We now much prefer brown rice.

        Cooking haiga or genjimai in a rice cooker, I don't do anything differently than I did with white rice, but I always rinse white rice anyway. For stove top cooking, I rinse the genjimai until the water runs clear, then drain it into a sieve, and let the damp drained rice sit in the sieve for about 15 minutes or so. I then cook it exactly as I would white rice, same timing, same proportion liquid.

        We don't eat all that much indica rice, and when we do it is Kalizeera which I can't find in brown rice, and so I haven't switched to brown indica. However, these days when I cook plain, i.e. not a pilau or pilaf or biryani, indica, I do use the rinse, boil, drain, steam method, which removes a fair amount of starch and results in very fluffy separated grains.

    2. letsindulge RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 10:27 AM

      I like brown jasmine rice a lot. Don't miss the white at all. 2 to 1 ratio of water to rice, bring to a boil uncovered, reduce to low and cover, cook for 40 minutes. Let rest another 10 minutes before lifting lid.

      4 Replies
      1. re: letsindulge
        Christina D RE: letsindulge Sep 11, 2012 06:18 AM

        +1 on brown jasmine. It can be difficult to find, but my WF stocks it.

        For some reason, brown basmati tastes like dirt to me (and yes, I rinse it beforehand).

        I try not to do brown rice in my rice cooker. It takes almost 2 hours from start to finish. I'd rather just do it on the stovetop.

        1. re: letsindulge
          greygarious RE: letsindulge Sep 11, 2012 10:25 AM

          I was buying Trader Joe's brown basmati for several years but tried their brown jasmine when the basmati was out of stock, and have never gone back. Brown jasmine is less assertive than brown basmati. I cooked it as you do until recently, when I tried the "pasta method": add it to a large volume of boiling water, boil until it is nearly done, drain it, then put it back into the covered empty pot and let it sit for 10+ minutes so it absorbs the remaining moisture. It comes out fluffier, which I prefer.

          Another approach for those who don't like the flavor is to cook the rice in broth/stock. I like to use Better than Bouillon mushroom base if the accompanying main has no gravy or sauce to go over the rice.

          1. re: letsindulge
            John Francis RE: letsindulge Sep 13, 2012 01:19 AM

            I'm a brown jasmine rice person too, and get it from Trader Joe's. Often I make it as a pilaf with olive oil or toasted sesame oil, a small-diced onion, maybe also some pine nuts or other add-ins, sautéd along with the rice before adding water or chicken stock. That might make it more palatable to buttertart. I use the same brown rice in dishes like jambalaya and gumbo; works for me.

            Other brown rice I've tried: basmati, whose flavor I didn't particularly light, and Uncle Ben's whole grain brown rice (not the instant or ready), which is OK.

            1. re: John Francis
              buttertart RE: John Francis Sep 13, 2012 03:41 PM

              I'll get some of that next time at TJs. I think pilaffy is the way to go. Or the Chinese rice dish you fan, garlic browned in oil or if you're lucky chicken fat and cooked in chicken broth, whic amounts to pretty much the same thing.

          2. The Professor RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 10:28 AM

            Regarding how to cook it'...just follow the instructions on the box!!! Do that, and you really can't go wrong
            It does take longer to cook, and the texture is quite different than white rice so if you're expecting a similar result you'll probably be disappointed.
            As far as it being 'better for you', that's probably _slightly_ true since it is delivering beneficial fibre...but calorically and the potential for messing with blood sugar (if that is a concern), it is probably not so different than white rice.
            It just tastes better (to me, anyway).

            11 Replies
            1. re: The Professor
              hazelhurst RE: The Professor Sep 10, 2012 10:36 AM

              Re; blood sugar, that seems odd. A diabetic friend says she uses brown rice a lot and even makes jambalaya out of it. Says it doesn;t affect her much although she avoids other carbs when she has it. I just thought it was signifigantly better.

              1. re: hazelhurst
                buttertart RE: hazelhurst Sep 10, 2012 03:05 PM

                Lower glycemic index than white.

                1. re: buttertart
                  mcf RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 11:43 AM

                  Not so; converted is lower. Brown can be almost as low, or much higher than other rice depending on variety and how it's cooked. But glycemic index is meaningless for folks with metabolic issues. Not predictive of response at all.

                  Any amount of rice will spike blood sugar in a diabetic unless they take meds to compensate or they're satifsfied with less than ideal post meal glucose.

                  Brown rice has 3 gms more fiber than white, and such a scarcity of nutrients, especially for it's calorie expenditure, that it's kind of splitting hairs to call it better.

                  1. re: mcf
                    soypower RE: mcf Sep 12, 2012 08:53 PM

                    That's very good to know. My mother started using brown rice because it's 'healthier', but she has to use sweet brown rice in combination with the regular short grain brown rice to make it palatable. Seems like that negates any low glycemic benefits, and it also has more calories.

                    What is this converted rice that you speak of?

                    1. re: soypower
                      paulj RE: soypower Sep 12, 2012 09:22 PM

                      Converted or parboiled rice - rice that has been boiled or steamed before removing the bran. This drives some of the nutrients into the grain. In the USA, Uncle Bens is the best known brand. Note, we are not talking about 'instant' rice.

                      We have also talked about parboiled rice from India.

                      Brown rice probably has a lower glycemic index because it takes longer to digest, due to the bran coating. In a crude sense, if a food is mostly starch and sugars, and easy to digest, it will have a higher GI.

                      There is also some variation in the index for different varieties of rice. My vague memory is that the longer grain varieties (e.g. basmatti, jasmine) have a lower index, short grain, including (sweet) glutinous a higher index. There is an online database, in Australia I believe, that gives the GI for a variety of foods. Just do a search on 'rice' there.

                    2. re: mcf
                      trolley RE: mcf Sep 19, 2012 08:23 AM

                      i was insulin dependent during pregnancy and all rice spiked my sugar levels. i avoided rice all together bc it just wasn't worth it. however, overall it is slightly healthier than white. when you do make brown rice don't forget to soak. in fact, you should soak it overnight. then drain the next day and add fresh water to cook.

                      1. re: trolley
                        paulj RE: trolley Sep 19, 2012 08:37 AM

                        Why is the overnight soak important? I don't think anyone else mentioned that on this thread.

                        1. re: paulj
                          mcf RE: paulj Sep 19, 2012 09:22 AM

                          On the news today, they said that rinsing, soaking and then changing the water for cooking can reduce the otherwise unacceptable arsenic levels by 30%. They may still be too high, though.

                        2. re: trolley
                          KitchenBarbarian RE: trolley Sep 19, 2012 08:38 AM

                          Why? I've been cooking and eating brown rice for over 30 years and I've never bothered to do such a thing.

                          1. re: KitchenBarbarian
                            paulj RE: KitchenBarbarian Sep 19, 2012 09:01 AM

                            overnight soaking is common in SE Asia for sweet glutinous rice. But the soaked rice is then steamed (above water), and the method is used for both polished and whole (black) rice.

                            1. re: KitchenBarbarian
                              trolley RE: KitchenBarbarian Sep 19, 2012 09:04 AM

                              you don't have to soak it overnight. you can just measure and cook. my mother always did it and i think it give the rice a nicer texture. some people soak it for other reasons...


                  2. jmcarthur8 RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 10:34 AM

                    I agree with you, buttertart about not loving brown rice. I found some brown basmati rice at the DeKalb Farmer's Market, and it's more flavorful and less cardboardy tasting.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: jmcarthur8
                      buttertart RE: jmcarthur8 Sep 10, 2012 03:03 PM

                      DeKalb as in where to stop between Chicago and family in Iowa?

                      1. re: buttertart
                        jmcarthur8 RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 04:50 PM

                        No, that's the one that knows the "L" should be silent. This is the one in Atlanta that pronounces it with the "L" loud and clear.

                        1. re: jmcarthur8
                          buttertart RE: jmcarthur8 Sep 11, 2012 03:35 PM

                          Somehow the DeKalb I know seems like one of the least likely places in the US to have a farmers' maarket..

                    2. n
                      nlgardener RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 11:02 AM

                      I really like brown basmati. I buy it in a bulk plastic jug, and follow directions in terms of rinsing it, measuring rice and water and cooking time. I cook on a gas stove with a thick old black Caphalon pot. My family enjoys it more than white rice now.

                      1. biondanonima RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 11:15 AM

                        I love brown rice but I do agree it can be tricky to cook. I don't own a rice cooker (although I hear they do a great job with brown rice), so for stovetop I find that cooking it like pasta gives me the best results. I add the rice to a large pot of salted water, bring it slowly to a boil (stirring occasionally) and then simmer until the rice is just al dente. Then I drain it in a colander and return it to the pot, cover and let sit 10 mins or so, until it has absorbed any remaining liquid. I prefer short grain or sushi rice to the standard varieties, but they are way more expensive. I haven't tried brown basmati but I plan to once I finish my current store (we don't eat a lot of carbs so it takes me a while to go through a bag of rice). Good luck!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: biondanonima
                          tamagoji RE: biondanonima Sep 11, 2012 06:17 AM

                          I do this, too. Very simple, almost convenient (save for the 40-50 min u gotta budget to make brown rice). You just boil a big pot of water, and let the rice simmer in the background while working on other things.

                          Got good guidance from here:

                        2. s
                          sr44 RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 11:19 AM

                          I like some of the Lundberg varieties better than ordinary brown rice, which has a little bitterness I don't like. And I soak it for a while before cooking. That seems to speed things along.

                          1. s
                            sandylc RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 11:26 AM

                            Lundberg and Trader Joe's both have good brown rice. Brand and freshness both make a difference. As with all whole grains, brown rice with become stale/rancid more quickly than white, so freshness and quality are important. We like both brown and white; they are like two different foods to us. My advice is to seek out good quality, fresh rice, cook it longer and with a bit more water than white (follow package directions), and enjoy it without comparing it to the white. It is lovely with just salt and butter, or you can eat it as a part of another dish.

                            Buttertart, you are a baker....look up Peter Reinhart's Struan (toasting bread) it makes GREAT toast and has a bit of brown rice in it. I also sub in a bit of whole wheat flour.

                            1. v
                              valerie RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 11:52 AM

                              I agree with the brown basmati suggestions. I buy it at Trader Joe's and cook it in my rice cooker and it is actually pretty tasty. Before I had a rice cooker I could not cook any rice to save my life....exept for boil in bag. The rice cooker changed my life!

                              1. s
                                sparkareno RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 03:25 PM

                                And somewhere on here there is a recipe for Cilantro Rice that is the bomb. Make it with brown basmati rice & you won't know the diff.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: sparkareno
                                  Bryan Pepperseed RE: sparkareno Sep 13, 2012 05:47 AM

                                  I believe this would be the Cilantro Rice thread sparkareno speaks of....

                                2. chowser RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 03:53 PM

                                  I like brown jasmine, too. I make it in a rice cooker. My MIL mixes it with white and doesn't notice a big difference then. It's a good way to get started and then start lowering the amount of white.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: chowser
                                    TorontoJo RE: chowser Sep 10, 2012 04:45 PM

                                    That's what I was going to post. Start with a 50/50 mix of white and brown until you're used to it, then gradually increase the amount of brown.

                                    I like brown basmati a lot. I use a plain old fashioned Chinese rice cooker (no fuzzy logic or programs) and the trick for me is to let the rice soak for at least an hour before turning the cooker on. Other than that, it's the same ratio of water to rice as the equivalent white rice.

                                    1. re: TorontoJo
                                      buttertart RE: TorontoJo Sep 10, 2012 04:49 PM

                                      But doesn't it take longer than the white rice???

                                      1. re: buttertart
                                        TorontoJo RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 05:04 PM

                                        Not if you soak the whole thing. Never had a problem. But like I said, I don't have a fancy rice cooker -- it just cooks the rice and it magically turns out perfect every time, regardless of the type of rice.

                                        1. re: buttertart
                                          qianning RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 05:34 AM

                                          if you are cooking on a stove top, rinse and drain the brown rice separately, let it sit, drained & damp for a bit, then add it to the white rice when you are ready to cook, they should cook at the same rate time & water.

                                          1. re: buttertart
                                            prima RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 08:39 AM

                                            While some varieties of brown rice take 50-60 minutes, I've found some brown rices are closer to 30 minutes,even without soaking. Will check my cupboard for the brand/variety.

                                      2. v
                                        Val RE: buttertart Sep 10, 2012 06:08 PM

                                        I've posted many times about Alton Brown's BAKED brown rice...comes out very fluffy, just saying...I usually don't have any problem with stove-top brown rice but the baked version is the best, IMO.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Val
                                          owen_meany RE: Val Sep 12, 2012 04:47 PM

                                          I've never tried Brown's version but CI's baked brown rice is a weekly dish made at our house. Takes about 3 minutes of active time then an hour in the oven and it comes out lovely.

                                          1. re: owen_meany
                                            buttertart RE: owen_meany Sep 12, 2012 04:54 PM

                                            I'll have a look at that, their baked wild rice is unbelievably good.

                                        2. mcf RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 06:29 AM

                                          It's not really better for you, and per calorie nutrition is so minimal, just eat what you like. Studies show that converted white rice has the lowest glycemic index, which would make it healthier for non diabetics or those without metabolic syndrome, who shouldn't eat rice at all.

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: mcf
                                            cleopatra999 RE: mcf Sep 12, 2012 10:39 AM

                                            brown rice is 5 times higher in fibre, has higher protein, Omega fatty acids, vitamins and minerals in it, this makes it a much better choice calorie/calorie IMO. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/c...

                                            I have been cooking brown rice in my rice cooker for years, takes about 30-45 minutes, never fails to be perfect unless I do too small of a batch. I don't add anything to it, just season afterwards if required. I prefer the chewy starchiness of short grain, but my SO likes fluffiness of long grain (the long grain is a bit faster cooking). if I season I will add a bit of sea salt, olive oil and garlic powder to cooked rice.

                                            1. re: cleopatra999
                                              mcf RE: cleopatra999 Sep 12, 2012 10:41 AM

                                              All I'm saying is that the actual amounts are so miniscule and converted white rice is the least glycemic, so folks should just eat what they like best in this case. A few grams of fiber in hundreds of calories is just not meaningful.

                                              I have the USDA data base on my desktop, but here's the full report from the online database: http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/sho...

                                              Considering how high the calorie content is and how low the nutrient density is, it just doesn't make a significant difference, folks should just eat the rice they like the most, and eat much less than a cup so they have room for something nutritious to go with it.

                                              1. re: mcf
                                                cleopatra999 RE: mcf Sep 12, 2012 11:05 AM

                                                but if calorie A has less nutrients than calorie B, why wouldn't you pick calorie B? And I wouldn't call 20% vs. 7% of intake (or even more in many of the other #s) miniscule.

                                                anyhow, I respectfully disagree and will continue to eat my brown rice (it helps that I love it). And will not argue anymore :)

                                                1. re: cleopatra999
                                                  mcf RE: cleopatra999 Sep 12, 2012 11:14 AM

                                                  I'm just sayinzall, the total nutrition is so low, you should just eat the rice you like best instead of choosing between them, so enjoy

                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                    KitchenBarbarian RE: mcf Sep 12, 2012 11:33 AM

                                                    I have a similar argument with my son almost constantly. He objects to me buying iceberg lettuce for salad instead of the "more nutritional" Romaine.

                                                    Yeah yeah yeah, OK so there's more vitamins etc in the Romaine - but it's still 98% water! You'd have to eat a TON of it for it to make any real difference. I don't think it even tastes all THAT much better. I'll stick with a 69c head of iceberg compared to $3 for a sheaf of Romaine. Heck, eating any salad at ALL has got to put me ahead of the game, LOL!

                                                    1. re: KitchenBarbarian
                                                      mcf RE: KitchenBarbarian Sep 12, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                      Yeah, between those two, it's about taste and texture, not nutrition, and I always choose romaine, never iceberg. OTOH, if you buy mixed baby greens with lots of colors, there's more fiber and nutrient content, and I happen to love it so that's what we eat by the boatload in our house.

                                                  2. re: cleopatra999
                                                    paulj RE: cleopatra999 Sep 12, 2012 11:48 AM

                                                    I would pick A over B if I liked it better, and if I had other sources for those nutrients. If all I was eating was rice, then it would make sense to choose the more nutritious. But rice is only a modest part of my diet, so I choose the type that works best for the recipes I like.

                                            2. l
                                              lcool RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 07:05 AM

                                              Palatable isn't the same to me as GOOD.
                                              We just don't like off the shelf brown rice.Tried enough different ones that I feel just fine leaving them where they are.
                                              Healthy yes,healthier,not so sure.Very dependent on overall diet I guess.Barley,spelt,farro and wild rice are on the menu year round here.

                                              We eat so many other grains,cereals here that I think we arrive at a health and nutrition wash when all is said and done.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: lcool
                                                paulj RE: lcool Sep 11, 2012 10:03 AM

                                                polished (pearled) barley and farro? Those are no different from white rice when it comes to the bran.

                                                1. re: paulj
                                                  lcool RE: paulj Sep 11, 2012 11:55 AM

                                                  There are many out there that aren't pearled.

                                                  If in a hurry,pressure cook.If not,long and slow in the oven or stove top.

                                              2. beetlebug RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 07:35 AM

                                                Ugh. I'm with you on the not liking brown rice. My parents (who are aging) had to start eating more brown rice (per drs. orders). But, they really dislike it. It just doesn't go well with Chinese food. So, the do a mix of brown and rice. It's more palatable, but they still don't like it. They are both thrilled when we visit because then they will eat all white rice with us. And, will comment that white rice just tastes better.

                                                Sometimes I make the brown basmati rice from TJs. But, I have to be making really saucy things or indian food. I just follow the instructions on the bag.

                                                All in all, while brown rice does have a bit more fiber and is a bit lower on the glycemic scale, to me I don't like it enough to eat it on a regular basis. What I do is to serve myself a lot less white rice with my meal. And, for things that I used to make white rice with (non-asian food) such as Middle Eastern food, I now sub quinoa or bulgur instead of white rice.

                                                1. prima RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 08:27 AM

                                                  I've been happier with the Lundberg brown rice and brown rice blends than some other no-name/grocery store/multi-national brands, and I like the current basmati brown rice I have on hand (blanking on the brand).

                                                  I've been alternating between brown and white rice lately. This past year, I've used brown rice in place of white for stuffing vegetables, and I've also used it in jambalaya and Italian sausage/chicken/rice combos. I tend to use brown rice in dishes where I'm adding lots of other ingredients with flavours that get absorbed by the rice, rather than simply boiling the rice as a side. If I am serving it as a side, I make it pilaf-style, sauteeing an onion in oil or butter, then toasting the rice, then adding the cooking liquid.

                                                  Here's an older thread I started a couple years ago, that I have found useful. I'm guessing it's better to disclose that I started it. I'm not trying to promote a thread in a self-promotional, obnoxious way!

                                                  recipes using brown rice that actually taste good:


                                                  1. Allegra_K RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 09:48 AM

                                                    Have you ever considered trying one of the semi-milled rices as a bit of a compromise? I came across a pinkish-hued jasmine rice recently, and it was labeled as semi-milled, with some but not all of the bran/germ remaining. Perhaps that would be a way to slowly get used to the taste/texture; I hear it's not as nutty and chewy as regular brown rice.

                                                    ETA: I see now this has already been discussed upthread....apologies for the repeat!

                                                    1. Niki in Dayton RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 11:07 AM

                                                      We now prefer brown rice over white, although it took a bit to acclimate, as others have mentioned. Like many below, I use the "pasta" method, but with a few differences. I think the "recipe" we use is from Cook's Illustrated, but am not positive. We use both long grain brown and brown basmati; brown basmati has more of a popcorn flavor to our palates. I bring a large, unsalted pot of water to the boil, rinse 2 cups of rice under running water for about a minute, then add it to the boiling water. Boil for 30 minutes, drain it and salt it, then put back in the pot with the lid on for 10 minutes (or longer, if it takes longer to complete the rest of the meal). However, one trick for saving time is to make double or triple batches and freeze the leftovers. I just spread the cooked rice on wax paper on a cookie sheet and pop into the freezer for a couple hours (or overnight), then move it to a ziplock. Then, when we want rice, it just takes a minute to nuke in the microwave and presto - hot brown rice!

                                                      1. Will Owen RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 11:57 AM

                                                        The first brown rice I had was also the first arroz con pollo I had, cooked in a pressure cooker. So I definitely got off to a good start with brown rice! Forty years later it still makes my tongue hang out … I've made that, and I've also made pilaf with it, frying first about a cup of fragmented vermicelli in butter (with a pinch of salt and a good sprinkling of cayenne) until it gets golden brown, then a cup of rice until it starts looking chalky. This is over high heat, stirring constantly. Then I dump in two cups of broth (chicken or good "chicken-less") all at once - it won't boil over that way - and then cover and cook over low heat as usual. I've never done this with plain brown rice; we like TJ's brown jasmine. Of course we also like it just plain, but almost always as a base for a curry or something.

                                                        6 Replies
                                                        1. re: Will Owen
                                                          buttertart RE: Will Owen Sep 11, 2012 03:36 PM

                                                          Rice a Will Owen! The (name your locality) treat!
                                                          Lots of good ideas here, shall experiment and report. Thanks.

                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                            Will Owen RE: buttertart Sep 12, 2012 04:10 PM

                                                            My ex-wife learned to make this pilaf from her Armenian grandma. Their whole tribe scoffed loudly whenever the Rice-A-Roni commercials came on.

                                                            1. re: Will Owen
                                                              buttertart RE: Will Owen Sep 12, 2012 04:42 PM

                                                              I can imagine. There were quite a few Armenian restaurants in the Bay Area when we lived there, sure wish there were more around these days. Assimilation...sigh...just like with the Hungarians.

                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                sandylc RE: buttertart Sep 12, 2012 05:56 PM

                                                                Assimilation can really suck. So sad to be headed toward one homogeneous nothing full of chain restaurants all with the same menu.

                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                  Will Owen RE: buttertart Sep 12, 2012 09:21 PM

                                                                  Current crop of Armenian immigrants are from Soviet Armenia, the accent being on Russian-type meats and more elaborate pastries. A lot of the old granny dishes are forgotten. I learned to make the pastry for boereg the old-fashioned way, as Judy's grandma taught her, a kind of noodle dough worked until stretchy and then rolled super-thin - about the hardest thing to do with a rolling pin there is. When I announced that I'd mastered it she looked at me, pity in her eyes, and said, "Just use filo dough. Everyone nowadays uses filo dough."

                                                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                                                    buttertart RE: Will Owen Sep 13, 2012 03:41 PM

                                                                    Love it!!!

                                                          2. Duppie RE: buttertart Sep 11, 2012 04:01 PM

                                                            Boil in rice cooker with a pinch of salt, fluff with fork when done and add 2 tablespoons of salted butter and combine.
                                                            For a treat, fluff with a teaspoon of bacon fat.

                                                            1. KitchenBarbarian RE: buttertart Sep 12, 2012 11:19 AM

                                                              Has anybody tried the red matta rice? It's partially milled, not polished. I have some I bought just recently but haven't had the opportunity to throw it on the stove yet.

                                                              Our current rice cooker does a crummy job with brown rice, it comes out gummy and overcooked except when it comes out crunchy and underdone. But it's a cheap crummy rice cooker; my original rice cooker, a Panasonic from about 30 years ago, did just fine with brown rice.

                                                              9 Replies
                                                              1. re: KitchenBarbarian
                                                                qianning RE: KitchenBarbarian Sep 13, 2012 05:22 AM

                                                                May I ask, where (what kind of store) did you find the red matta rice? US or India grown?

                                                                1. re: qianning
                                                                  KitchenBarbarian RE: qianning Sep 13, 2012 08:41 AM

                                                                  India grown. And I trust the proprietor - he has stopped stocking stuff in the past for quality/authenticity issues.

                                                                  For those who don't know - there is a LOT of "fake" red matta rice out there that has been dusted with magenta dye to make it look "red".

                                                                  1. re: KitchenBarbarian
                                                                    qianning RE: KitchenBarbarian Sep 15, 2012 12:59 PM

                                                                    Are you buying it at an Indian Food store? Any particular brand?

                                                                    1. re: qianning
                                                                      KitchenBarbarian RE: qianning Sep 15, 2012 05:38 PM

                                                                      Yes, at an Indian food store. And I already put it in my stoarage bins and tossed the bag, so I can't tell you what the brand was! I'll look next time I'm over there and write it down and let you know.

                                                                      1. re: KitchenBarbarian
                                                                        qianning RE: KitchenBarbarian Sep 16, 2012 07:38 AM

                                                                        Thanks...I'll look for foe matta at my go-to Indian shops. I've noticed over the years the types/brands & etc of rice they have in stock change pretty often, no sooner do I find something that I like than it disappears never to be seen again. But if you ever do see the brand you bought again, I'd love to know.

                                                                        1. re: qianning
                                                                          KitchenBarbarian RE: qianning Sep 16, 2012 09:56 AM

                                                                          Well there are a few brands I always see everywhere I've ever lived. One of these is Royal, which the basmati comes in a burlap bag. They also make a sona masoori rice that comes in a white canvas bag. AND they make a rose matta rice which is labeled "rosematta". That's not the brand I bought, but Royal is my go-to for basmati and the quality is VERY high. Though I've had trouble recognizing it since they changed the packaging, LOL! I've been buying it for 30 years and they go and change the packaging on me? LOL!

                                                                          So if you find the Royal rosematta I think it would be worth your while to give it a try.

                                                                          So, pictures of the old Royal basmati packaging, the NEW basmati packaging, and the Rosematta packaging (if you can find it).

                                                                          1. re: KitchenBarbarian
                                                                            qianning RE: KitchenBarbarian Sep 19, 2012 06:20 AM

                                                                            Just saw this, thanks very much! Funny, I don't think I've seen "Royal" brand, in any packaging, around here; but now I'll be paying more attention, which sometimes makes all the difference.

                                                                            1. re: qianning
                                                                              KitchenBarbarian RE: qianning Sep 19, 2012 08:32 AM

                                                                              I've lived all over the US and I've always been able to find it - Sam's has carried it for years, though Costco only carries it off and on. If I didn't find it in an Indian grocery, I probably found it at Sam's or Costco.

                                                                              The packaging company is based in CA, so it may be more readily available on the West Coast; but I live on the East Coast now and both the closest Indian markets carry it.

                                                                              The last time we shopped at Costco, they had the Royal basmati in the new packaging and I didn't recognize it, so I ended up buying a 25 lb bag of Blue Ribbon long grain rice instead. OMG, I was never so glad to work my way through something in my life! The only way it was edible (as far as I was concerned) was in dosa or fried rice. I'll never touch a bag of the stuff again!

                                                                              I brought home some Royal Basmati a few weeks again and it was like I'd died and gone to heaven. I'd forgotten how good rice can be. I will need to go out and buy some idli rice now, though, since basmati makes for lousy dosa.

                                                                    2. re: KitchenBarbarian
                                                                      qianning RE: KitchenBarbarian Dec 27, 2012 01:19 PM

                                                                      I finally found some rose matta rice....my options were either Laxmi or Swad brands....any idea if either of these are OK or not?

                                                                2. aching RE: buttertart Sep 12, 2012 05:38 PM

                                                                  I'm probably not the best person to respond, since I love brown rice, but I do agree with all the others who recommended brown basmati and brown jasmine rice. In addition to the taste, the great thing about these rices is that you can simply boil them in water like pasta and don't have to worry about getting the ratio exactly right. Just drain and serve.

                                                                  1. c
                                                                    Chefpaulo RE: buttertart Sep 13, 2012 02:06 AM

                                                                    Lots of discourse here but few recipe options for our OP.

                                                                    This is the sole surviving recipe from two courses in macrobiotic cooking I took back in 1977. It has turned devout vegetable-despising carnivores who had never heard of brown rice into life-long fans. Plain, simple, filling and delicious. But, please, no substitutions.

                                                                    Brown Rice with Sauteed Vegetables

                                                                    Soak two cups of short grain brown rice overnight. When ready to cook, rinse and drain the rice. In a large sauce pan, bring two cups of water to a boil. Add rinsed rice and simmer covered for 20 minutes on low heat. Do not uncover during the simmering or you'll lose the steam dome important for cooking. After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and place a folded cloth towel between the pot and lid to absorb steam and prevent rice from sticking (a Julia Child technique - not macrobiotic.)

                                                                    Meanwhile, rinse and slice two large carrots, chop one large yellow or white onion into coarse dice and thin slice one green bell pepper. Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven and add 1/3 cup of raw sesame oil (the yellow oil sold by Hain or Erehwon, NOT the brown toasted oil used in many Asian dishes). Immediately add and toss the carrots, simmering until they start to brown. Then add the onion and finally the bell pepper. Toss several times to coat with the sesame oil while simmering covered for about 8 to 10 minutes.

                                                                    When rice has thoroughly cooked and all water absorbed, transfer the rice to the skillet with the vegetables and toss well. Add another Tbs. of sesame oil if desired. Serve in bowls with tamari soy sauce on the side. A few drops will do as it is so concentrated.

                                                                    I have made this countless times. I've experimented with other vegetables but nothing compares to this original. The nutty richness of the raw sesame oil with the sweet carrot and onion salted by the drops of tamari are an indelible combination.

                                                                    1. s
                                                                      sflorist RE: buttertart Sep 13, 2012 12:35 PM

                                                                      fried rice!! make a great gravy or stew to pour over it! from Louisiana - make an ettoufee with either crawfish or shrimp and put some in it! Over cook it! Use more water than it calls for to make brown rice and cook slightly longer. I hated it too at first. But you get to like it just like white rice.

                                                                      1. chef chicklet RE: buttertart Sep 19, 2012 09:19 AM

                                                                        After a long time of not wanting to give up my white rice, swearing nothing could be better than jasmine, I finally started to listen to those with nutritional experience and tried brown rice. What I found out is there are differences in brown rice, texture,quality, and flavor. Hinode is my favorite and just like white it needs help. I add salt just like pasta, it can be bland. You need to adjust to your tastes. I don't have much success using brown rice in my cooker. Yes it's new, I've tried more water, less water, I can't get it right and revert back to the stove top method. I love to add a little chicken broth, and depending on what we're eating it with I will add herbs. Cilantro and scallions or chives make a wonderful rice. Anyway, if this suggestion has been made already, my apologies! Like most things in time I grew to love the nuttiness and chew.

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