I want to introduce you to my rice cooker, the Tefal 8-in-1. No, I am not in any way connected to the brand or commissioned to publicly genuflect its brilliance. I simply think it’s The Snazz.
Brown rice never seduced me until it came from a rice cooker. The trick is to bypass long grain brown rice altogether. This variety is achingly boring in comparison to the legions of wholegrain rice available in its place.
At one stage, American actress Mariel Hemingway made brown rice so fashionable that Californian grocers struggled to keep it in stock. Mariel is a bit of a beaut, so it’s hardly surprising to find brown rice, lentils and chickpeas at the heart of her diet.
You see, whole grains like brown rice contain those mighty B vitamins responsible for fuelling our batteries and busy bods. Vitamin B3 can especially help lift your mood, like daydreaming about James McEvoy, or making small changes to David Cameron’s Wikipedia page.
There’s far less B3, fibre and manganese in the white starchy stuff. We need fibre to service our pipes and regulate our poops. Nothing nice about constipation. And of course manganese is crucial to an antioxidant enzyme called SOD, the maestro of all antioxidants. One cup of brown rice delivers almost 100% of our daily manga-needs! Manganese comes from the Greek word for magic. ‘Nuff said.
There are plenty of whole grain rice to choose from. Here’s an introduction to a few, alongside cooking instructions for the 8-in-1 Tefl Rice Cooker. You can find rice cookers on Amazon should you feel inspired to surf for deals.
This is the fastest brown rice to cook. Add 1 teaspoon of caraway seeds for a smack of Bombay.
Rinse and simmer 1 & 3/4 parts seasoned water to 1 part rice. Ready in 22 minutes (check the cooking time suggested by the manufacturer on the packet). Soaking rice apparently improves digestibility and seems to shorten cooking time.
For the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker: Measure 2 Tefal cups of brown basmati into the special basin. Pour water to level 2 of the chamber. Press ‘white rice’ programme (this is not a typo – it cooks best on this programme). Will automatically keep warm for a few hours without overcooking the rice.
Rinse and simmer 2 parts seasoned water to just over 1 part rice. Follow directions on the packet, but 30-40 minutes should be just about right. Brown Jasmine rice usually takes less time than long or short grain for example. During the final few minutes, remove the lid and boil off any remaining liquid.
If you have a Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker, measure 2 Tefal cups of brown Jasmine rice into the special basin. Pour water to just under level 2. Use the ‘brown rice’ programme. Will automatically keep warm for a few hours without overcooking the rice.
Among my top two favourites. Rinse very well, and simmer 2 parts seasoned water to 1 part rice. Ready in 45 minutes. Soaking rice apparently improves digestibility and shortens cooking time. There’s no downside to soaking rice, so I think it’s probably a sensible thing to do.
If using the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker, measure 2 Tefal cups of short grain brown rice into the cooker’s basin. Rinse very well. Pour water on top of rice, to level 2. Add a pinch of salt. Press ‘brown rice’ programme. We often do 1 & ½ cups short grain with ½ cup whole barley. Works beautifully.
Brown Long Grain
The most popular brown rice, but certainly the least impressive. Cooked long grain rice does not keep well, so only cook as much as you need. In comparison, short grain and sweet brown rice make for excellent leftovers, loosened up with spicy olive oil and nori sprinkles.
Rinse and gently simmer 2 parts seasoned water to 1 part rice. You can add 1 tablespoon of millet, quinoa, wild rice or amaranth to each cup of long grain brown rice, and cook for 40-45 minutes. It will be stickier than regular long grain, but very nourishing alongside a curry or stew. Soaking rice shortens cooking time by 10 minutes.
If using the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker, measure 2 Tefal cups of long grain brown rice. No need to pre-soak the rice, but please do rinse very well. Pour water on top of rice, to a little higher than level 2. Press ‘brown rice’ programme.
Sticky Brown Sushi Rice
Wash sushi rice very well in cold water. Transfer to a saucepan with twice as much cold water to sushi rice. Soak for 30 minutes, then boil for 40 minutes. Remove from heat, and leave to stand until all the water is absorbed. My Japanese friend advises to use a plastic spatula to avoid splitting the grain and mushing it.
Red (Camargue) Rice
Great for beginners. Rinse thoroughly. Simmer in 2 parts water to just under 1 part rice for approximately 40-50 minutes. Be mindful of the final few minutes of cooking, to avoid the bottom burning.
Or measure 2 Tefal cups of red rice into the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker. Rinse first. Add salt then pour water to level 2.5. Press ‘brown rice’ programme. Will automatically keep warm for a few hours, thankfully without overcooking the rice. We love adding 1 tablespoon of sweet paprika and doing 50-50 barley-camargue. The end result is much chewier and comforting than a regular bowl of white rice. (Please note barley is not gluten free).
Sweet Brown Rice
Our favourite brown rice. Best with curries. Sweet grain is a cross between short grain and sticky brown rice. Great the next day for breakfast with your favourite olive oil, tamari and avocado chunks. Rinse and simmer 1 part rice to 2 parts water and a touch of sea salt. Cook for 35 minutes. Remove from heat, and keep the lid on to dry-steam in the pot for 10 further minutes. The rice should have soaked up all the water.
Or measure 2 Tefal cups of sweet brown rice into the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker. Rinse first. Add salt then pour water to level 2. Press ‘brown rice’ programme. Will automatically keep warm for a few hours, thankfully without overcooking the rice.
Very expensive, so it’s advisable to add a tablespoon into other varieties of brown rice instead of serving it straight. This rice can be soaked and sprouted for hard-core herbivores. Can’t say I’m a fan of sprouted wild rice, but I do harbour pure admiration for those who are dedicated to serving it up!
Black glutinous (sticky) Thai rice
More purple than black, this rice is fabulous cooked in the Tefl pot. Leftovers keep surprisingly well, and can be a quick breakkie with olive oil, tamari and hemp hearts. Measure 2 Tefal cups of black glutinous rice into the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker. Rinse very well. Pour water to level 2.5. Press ‘brown rice’ programme which steams the rice for 90 minutes.
Red and White Quinoa? The rice cooker will do this too!
Rinse the grain very very well. Measure 2 Tefal cups of quinoa into the basin of the Tefal 8-in-1 rice cooker. Add a pinch of sea salt flakes, then pour water to level 2. Press the ‘grains’ function which will gently steam the quinoa for about one hour. Makes the best quinoa you are ever likely to taste.