How to Cook Basmati Brown Rice

Minoo served the Turkey Black Bean Chili with Brown Basmati Rice. Brown rice is more nutritious than white rice as some of the nutrients have been removed from the rice in the process of removing the bran rice. These nutrients include vitamin B1, B3, iron, magnesium, fiber and fatty acid.

Brown rice is unmilled or partly milled rice. It is considered as a kind of whole grain, i.e. it’s a natural grain that remains unbleached. Brown rice is more chewier than white rice. Brown rice also becomes rancid more quickly than white rice.


The Brown Basmati Rice has a mild nutty flavour to it. You may garnish it with a bit of tamari and sesame seeds and can be served with steamed vegetables for a healthy meal.

This Brown Basmati Rice recipe will add another way of cooking rice which I had listed here.


  • Brown Basmati Rice
  • Water in the ratio of 2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice

You may substitute some of the water with broth to make a more tastier rice. You may add other ingredients like peas, lemon zest, dried chilies, raisins, herbs ginger, minced sun-dried tomatoes into the rice for extra flavours.



brownbasmati-10-300x200Wash the rice well like 4 to 5 times before cooking.for a more nutty flavour, you may roast the brown rice in the oven for 10-15 minutes in the oven or dry frying pan on the stove. Roasted brown rice will need lesser time to cook.

Put the brown rice and water in a pot. Season with salt to taste.

brownbasmati-2-300x200Set heat high and bring to a boil uncovered.

Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat.

brownbasmati-4-300x200Cover it with a lid wrapped in a kitchen towel to absorb the excess liquid. Simmer on low for 35 to 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the rice sit in the covered pot at least another 10 to 20 minutes.

brownbasmati-6-300x200Drizzle a little oil into the rice and fluff with a fork.
brownbasmati-5-300x200The rice will be separated and not mushy.

Minoo, thank you for sharing again in the South Arm Community Kitchen.

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. KimHo

    I like brown rice too; however, I have found most people don’t purchase it because (1) it is way more expensive than regular rice – supply and demand I guess and (2) it takes longer than white rice to cook. Here is my recipe for brown rice:

    1 cup of brown rice (basmati or short grain)
    2 cups of water/broth

    Pre-heat the oven at 200C/375F. In a pan, heat some oil at low. Then, add the rice (unwashed!) to brown it. Make sure it does NOT burn! In the meantime, in a kettle or a saucepan, warm the liquid and some salt (if using water, not that much if using broth) and the bayleaf. Crack some pepper if you feel like it. When the rice is lightly brown, transfer it to a glass baking sheet. Pour the liquid. Watch out for this step as it might splatter and the liquid could burn you!. Stir to evenly distribute the mix. Tightly cover it with foil and transfer it to the oven for 50 minutes. When time is up, remove the foil (watch out for the steam!), remove the bayleaves, fluff and serve immediately.

    1. Shannon

      Best brown rice recipe I have used! thank you!!

  2. Edgar

    People always complain about the time it take to cook brown rice. I actually find it to be a time saver. I cook it for the week, unlike white rice, it reheats well and I can do different things with it. Often I make a batch of brow basmati nasi goreng and freeze it for easy healthy dinners.

    One thing I think is odd, next to no restaurants serve it as an option in Vancouver. In the US it seems to be much more available even at fast food joints.

    1. maha

      Reheating rice makes it toxic…check the science of ayurveda to verify if you cant take it at face value

      1. Paul

        ayurveda is a traditional Indian healing practice, not a science. reheated rice is not toxic.

  3. ainwa

    I use a pressure cooker and it cooks in half the time. It’s really handy for brown rice and raw unsoaked beans — saves a lot of time.

    Try freezing the rice on a cookie sheet so you can scoop it out of a container. This is IQF or individually quick frozen. Really handy because you can make a lot of brown rice at a time that way.

    I have often microwaved it, but make sure you put in enough water or you may burn your microwave pot if it runs dry. Microwaving doesn’t save time, but the rice will never burn on the bottom (unless you don’t measure correctly…says voice of experience)

  4. Can Scott Bishop Cook?

    I love the idea of using the dish towel to absorb the condensation. Great idea! Thanks!

  5. Mort

    I had messed up by “winging it” on my first attempt so your instructions are just what I needed. The dish towel wrap is an appreciated tip. Your clear directions will remove all future fear of sticky rice in the future so thank you.

  6. Evan

    This worked perfectly. Thank you!

  7. lynn

    If you make ahead, how do you suggest reheating it? and how do you make the nice formed cups of rice? Thanks!

    1. Suanne

      Hi lynn, if you make ahead the rice, you can microwave it to reheat it. As for the shape of the rice, just lightly press the rice in a cup or bowl and unmould it onto a plate. Suanne

  8. Grigori

    Followed this recipe EXACTLY, using 1.5 cups of rice and 3 cups water and the ; the rice came out overcooked and with water remaining in the pot. The rice was both mushy and chalky. I probably lowered the temp too much after reaching a boil, but the instructions are somewhat vague on this point.

    1. JennaL

      Hi! I always cook my brown rice for exactly 40 minutes after it comes to a full boil. I then cover it and simmer it on low (but not the lowest…it’s like between low and med low…kinda vague but as long as it’s not the lowest you’re on the right track.)
      Then I LET IT SIT on the stove (heat off) where I cooked it on for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice immediately after that 10 minutes. Now if for some reason your rice is still too wet or you can salvage it by drying it out with the lid open and heat on medium low for 5 or 10 minutes (sometimes if it’s only a tad bit wet you can just remove the lid and wait 10 minutes and you might end up with perfect rice!). Make sure you check and move the rice around so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. At this point, you shouldn’t close it because you want the liquid to evaporate. There is nothing you can do about mushy rice – that just means you overcooked it with too much water or too low of a heat during your simmering process. That’s why I don’t recommend lowest setting for cooking rice.
      Cooking rice perfectly is an art. I am of Asian background – it comes from years of observing my mom cooking rice. I screw up once in a blue moon too especially when I am using a different pot, stove, new rice..etc.

      GOOD LUCK!

  9. mary

    the rice came out great except that the rice at the bottom of the pot is dry and undercooked, any advice? you stated that the rice should be moved around, but when should this be done?


    1. Suanne

      Hi mary, dry and undercooked rice can only be caused by insufficient water. You can add a bit more water the next time you cook it. The rice should be fluffed at the very end, i.e. after finishing cooking and sitting for 10 minutes. Hope this help.

  10. kevcampbell

    nice article thank you, i recently switched from white basmati to brown basmati today and i got some questions i hope you can help

    do you personally roast or fry the rice before cooking the rice? and what oil do you use to drizzle over the rice? can i use vegetable oil? what oil do you use? olive oil or something?

    and when simmering on low should that be on the lowest heat setting?

    thank you

    1. Suanne

      Hi kevcampbell, no, I do not roast the rice first. You can use vegetable oil to drizzle over the rice. I usually use canola oil which is the most common oil in my pantry. When simmering on low, I usually set it to 2.5 to 3 on an electric stove. You will be able to gauge the heat and time after a few times.

  11. Gwyn

    My rice has always been mushy or dry so thank you for this recipe. I followed this to the letter and it turned out fantastic. I have a gas stove so turned it down as low as it would go, as I knew this would keep it at a low simmer. Thanks again!

  12. Stacy

    Followed the recipe exactly and it turned out perfect. Thanks!

  13. Nita Charron

    Wow! This turned out perfect! Finally, I can cook brown basmati rice. So delish. Thank you!

  14. sarwer etbash

    thanks chef you have solved my problem I’m also chef but just yesterday i have tried for the first time but i couldn’t but now i will try your recipe. thanks again 😉

  15. betty mackenzie

    sounds so simple, gonna try it today to serve with swiss steak

  16. Lynn

    I like to put cumin seeds in the water with the rice -adds a great flavor! Also coconut oil is tastey with it.

  17. Laura

    These instructions were incredibly helpful! The rice came out moist and delicious. Thank you!

  18. Alex Dean

    I am always wanting to try different things in the kitchen, and always open to different suggestions. Recently, I had a friend suggest that I try basmati rice for some of the recipes that I would usually use brown rice for. It sounds pretty interesting, I just want to make sure that when and if I do use it then I know what I am doing. It’s good to know that one thing that might make it taste better is to use broth instead of water. That it will be something that I will have to try! Thanks for all the different suggestions and ideas!

Leave a Reply