When I first started making brown rice, I was a bit intimidated. I can cook Basmati rice with my eyes closed but when it comes to brown rice, the ratio to water is different, cook time is different, and sometimes, there is a chewy bite to brown rice. I felt so out of my element.
I have tried multiple ways to cook brown rice and this recipe has become my fail-proof method. Even better, I’ve nailed both stove top and Instant Pot methods so you can choose what works for you.
Having rice in the fridge has helped me on numerous occasions. I can use it to make Pineapple Fried Rice, serve it on the side with a salmon, serve it up with lentils and so much more.
WHAT IS BROWN RICE?
Brown rice is actually rice with the hull still on it making it a whole grain. The germ and bran are in there too which gives it a chewy texture and nutty flavor. Because brown rice has the hull, germ, and bran, it takes longer to cook.
Trust me. I feel like I’m constantly on the go, but this one recipe will make you stop and smell the roses. And it’s worth it. All you have to do is keep the cover on the saucepan and not mess with it. Once it’s done cooking, let it rest. Just like all meats, rice also wants a little rest after spending all that time cooking to perfection. The additional 5 minutes of steam will make the rice fluffy and soft.
I feel like almost every culture has their version of beans and rice. There’s the Latin style with adobo seasoning, the African style flavored with smoked paprika and garlic, Creoles use the “holy trinity” for theirs, Jamaican red beans and rice have coconut milk and scotch bonnet peppers, the Japanese use Adzuki beans with their rice, and the Indians have Rajma Chawal. Why are red beans and rice so common everywhere?
I don’t know. But what I do know is they make a complete protein when eaten together so it’s really beneficial to vegetarians and vegans who don’t get their complete proteins from animal protein to feel full.
I never thought Rajma was all that special until my friend Sumit made it one day. He makes the most amazing Rajma so I never bothered to learn because I could just call him up! But now he’s moved to a different state and it’s not as readily available so I have tried and tried and tried to perfect my Rajma.
From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy this classic dish of Rajma!
Set Instant Pot to saute mode and add oil. When it's heated, add in cumin seeds, hing, and cinnamon stick. Let them roast and sizzle for 30-60 seconds.
Add in the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes until tender. Add in the ginger and garlic and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
When the onions are golden brown, add in tomatoes, turmeric, cayenne pepper, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well and cook for another 3 minutes.
Drain the soaked rajma and add to the pot. Mix well to coat all of the beans in the gravy.
Add in the water and mix.
Turn off the saute mode and cover the instant pot with the vent in sealing position.
Set to Bean/Chili mode which will automatically set the time to 30 minutes.
When the timer beeps, release the pressure from the instant pot and open lid. Stir in the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with rice or naan.
For Stovetop instructions:
Follow the same recipe above and cook in pressure cooker for 3 whistles.
For Slow Cooker instructions:
Kidney Beans have a natural toxin called phytohaemagglutinin which is hard to digest and may cause nausea/vomiting. If you don't presoak the beans, then I recommend not using the slow cooker method to cook rajma. If you do presoak the beans, then:
Boil the presoaked kidney beans for 20 minutes, then follow the same recipe above. Set heat to high and cook for 5-6 hours.
** If you don't have time to soak the beans overnight, increase instant pot cook time to 45 minutes ** the amount of water I used gives this rajma a thicker gravy. If you are looking to have a more soupy rajma, add an additional 1/2 c of water.