Red rice is a type of whole grain rice that derives its distinct red/maroon color from anthocyanins. When compared to white rice or long grain rice, it requires a longer cooking time and more water to cook properly. When cooked well, red rice has a slightly chewy texture with an earthy and nutty flavor.
Its plump grains are larger than regular white rice, though it does not possess the aromatic fragrance of Basmati rice. Nevertheless, it is highly nutritious and considered the most nutrient-dense among the various rice varieties.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Tried and tested: This Instant Pot recipe has been tried and tested to achieve the perfect texture, making it a reliable and foolproof method for cooking red rice.
- Quick and easy: Cooking this rice in an Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to prepare this nutritious grain without having to spend a lot of time watching over a stovetop.
- Versatile: It can be served as a side dish or used in a variety of recipes, such as salads, stir-fries, and grain bowls.
Anthocyanins, a component rich in antioxidants, essential minerals, and nutrients, are responsible for giving this rice its unique color. It is also an excellent source of dietary fiber and is known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Red rice comes in various types such as Thai cargo rice, Himalayan rice, Bhutanese rice, rathu heenati from Sri Lanka, and matta rice from India. In South India, a popular variety is Kerala matta, also known as rose matta rice or Palakkad matta rice, which is widely consumed in Kerala.
Traditionally, this rice is soaked overnight (or for a few hours) and is slow-cooked. However, it can also be made in an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker without soaking, which reduces the cooking time compared to stovetop cooking.
You will only need two ingredients - red rice and water. Where possible, use filtered water to cook the rice.
Step 1: Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water. Drain all the water and add it to the inner pot of the Instant Pot (images 1 and 2).
Step 2: Add 1½ cups of water and give it a good mix. Secure the lid of the Instant Pot pressure cooker and hit the pressure cook button (high pressure) for 20 minutes (images 3 and 4).
Step 3: Do a natural release of pressure (this may take 15-18 minutes). Open the lid and gently fluff up the rice (images 5 and 6).
I used one measuring cup of uncooked rice, which gave me approximately 4 cups of cooked rice. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, or halved as needed.
Before cooking, rinse the rice grains thoroughly under running water to remove any debris or dust. This helps to prevent from getting sticky or starchy grains.
To avoid getting the burn notice on your Instant Pot, it's important to evenly spread the rice and water in the bottom of the pan. Start by mixing the rice and water together, then spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the pot. This will help distribute the heat evenly and prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.
To make softer rice, increase the amount of water by half a cup. Do a natural pressure release for 15 minutes and then release the remaining pressure manually.
You can add ½ teaspoon salt for seasoning. However, traditionally, when making plain steamed rice, seasoning is not added. Similarly, traditionally rice is cooked using plain water, however, to add more flavor, you can replace it with vegetable broth or chicken broth.
Do not do a quick release of pressure. This dish needs a natural release of pressure. Quick pressure release can make the rice clumpy and sticky.
Cooking in a rice cooker
Follow these simple steps to make this dish in a rice cooker:
- Rinse one cup of red rice thoroughly until the water runs clear.
- Combine the rinsed rice with 2 cups of water in the rice cooker pot.
- Close the rice cooker lid and set it to cook.
- Allow the rice to cook completely. It should take 30-40 minutes.
- Once the rice is cooked, let it sit in the rice cooker for 5-10 minutes to allow the steam to redistribute and the grains to become fluffier.
- Fluff the rice with a fork or rice paddle and serve hot.
More Instant Pot grain recipes:
You can replace it with your regular white rice and can pair it with curries of your choice. This rice is also perfect for making salad or grain bowls and fried rice. Here are some delicious recipes you can pair it with.
No. While both the varieties have the hull removed (with bran and germ intact), red rice has more nutrients when compared to brown rice. It gets its unique red/maroon color from anthocyanins, which also makes it rich in antioxidants. Brown rice also has a lesser shelf life.
Again, no. Wild rice is technically not rice. It is grains from four species of grass that grow in the United States. It too is very rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Wild rice has the longest cooking time and needs more water to be cooked when compared to other rice varieties.
It can be paired with both rich curries as well as plain yogurt. See the 'serving suggestions' above for some delicious recipes to serve with Kerala rice. It can also be used to make fried rice, grain bowls, and porridge.
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Make sure to let it cool down to room temperature before transferring it to the container and refrigerating it. When reheating, add a splash of water or chicken stock to prevent it from drying out. You can also freeze leftovers for up to six months.
I use the ratio of 1:1.5 in this recipe, which gives me perfectly cooked grains that are fluffy, separate, and not clumped together.
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Perfectly Cooked Red Rice in Instant Pot
- 1 cup red rice
- 1½ cups water
- Wash the red rice thoroughly in cold water.
- Drain all the water and add it to the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Add 1½ cups of water and give it a good mix.
- Secure the IP lid and set it to Pressure cook mode (high) for 20 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure (this may take 15-18 minutes).
- Open the lid and gently fluff up the rice.
- Serve warm with curry of your choice.
Easy and tasty dish!
I love red rice! Such a fun texture. And great to learn how to cook it properly as I always forget with rice.
I've never seen red rice, but love hearing that it's even healthier than brown rice! If I can make it in my Instant Pot, I'm totally going to give it a try!
another great rice recipe.
Jean Nie says
I love red rice, havent tried adding salt tho. Will try it too. thanks
Very helpful guide! Thank you. I used the rice to make stuffed peppers and it was perfect.
A great and easy to follow recipe! Turned out delish, thank you for sharing.
I can't wait to try this! I have never made red rice at home but it seems so easy.
lovely red rice recipe. didn't know there are so many types of rice
This was so helpful! It turned out perfect and delicious!
This came out perfectly for me! I love that you did the work of perfecting this rice recipe so I don't have to. Thank you!
Thank you so much for sharing this amazing recipe! Will surely have this again! It's really easy to make and it tasted so delicious! Highly recommended!
A friend recently turned me on to red rice and now I'm hooked! I love being able to make it in an Instant Pot!
I love how easy this is to whip up but mostly I love that my kids thought the color was super cool! Great side dish or base toa bowl.
This truly turned out perfectly! The Instant Pot made the process so convenient too. This will be my new go-to method for cooking red rice, for sure.
Mandy Applegate says
My red rice was perfect first time - a great instant pot recipe!