Beans and Rice are a staple food in so many cultures around the world. It’s nutritious, it’s widely available, it’s inexpensive and above all- it’s hearty food which leaves you full and satisfied. In northern India, this popular rustic combination is called Rajma Chawal, where Rajma refers to any variety of kidney beans, and, Chawalmeans rice. This dish is very close to my heart- it represents my Punjabi roots and has countless childhood memories attached to it.
If I have time to plan ahead, I soak the dry kidney beans the night before. Then, I cook these rinsed and drained beans in a mildly spicy, tomato based curry, seasoned with warm Indian spices. Beans take around 45-50 minutes to cook on a stove-top, so I always pressure cook them, which cuts the cooking time in half. For weeknights, using canned kidney beans and crushed tomatoes in the same recipe, makes this comfort meal possible in 5-6 minutes of cooking time. In the same amount of time, you can cook white rice or quinoa.
Brown Jasmine rice is a variety of long grain rice originally grown in Thailand. It is one of the popular varieties of rice due to its nutty flavor and floral aroma. When cooked, it has a little bite to it. It pairs very well with most curries and grilled meats. Brown rice tends to be a healthier choice than white rice since it doesn’t go through the milling process to make it white. Since it retains its ‘brown’ husk, it also ends up retaining fiber and many essential nutrients. It’s often recommended to people following a low-carb or a low calorie diet.
Everyone likes their rice a certain way. Almost every culture has their unique way of eating it. So, the end result can wary between a sticky texture to firm kernels. Which is why cooking time and water-to-rice ratio is different for everyone. The time and ratio is different for a short-grain brown rice. So you see, one size doesn’t fit all here!
I did many experiments with cooking times and water ratios to find the perfect combination for Jasmine Brown rice. I found that Basmati Rice had similar results. Here is what I realized:
My family likes our rice to be in between soft and firm. So, the ratio of 1 cup rice to 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water + 1 teaspoon ghee/oil, Manual (High) 22 minutes, NPR, works best for us. We typically eat our rice with curries or stir-frys.
If you like your rice more firm than soft, then a 1: 1 ratio, Manual (High) 20 minutes, NPR.
If you like your rice more soft and fluffy, 1:1.25 ratio,Manual (High) 22 minutes, NPR.