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How to cook red rice and 5 recipes to get started

Red rice is one of the most popular rice variants because of its nutritional value. Learn how to cook red rice the right way and get to know some worth-trying red rice recipes.
Red rice recipes
Red rice is good for your health. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 1 Oct 2023, 02:00 pm IST
  • 188
Preparation Time
Preparation Time 30 mins
Cook Time
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time
Total Time 49 mins
Serves 2
Medically Reviewed by

When compared to white rice, red rice has high nutritional value and is rich in minerals such as zinc and iron. In reality, there are around 40,000 variants of rice. But our knowledge is restricted to some very popular ones. Red rice hasn’t been recently discovered, but what’s surely making it popular are its health benefits.

Red rice gets its eye-popping colour due to an anti-oxidant called anthocyanin which is also found in abundance in acai berries. Red rice is a nutrient powerhouse and is known as Rakthashalior Matta rice or Kerala red rice due to its origins in Kerala. It is a nutrient powerhouse and also an integral part of Indian cuisine. Red rice is rich in antioxidants, and fibre, and can help in lowering cholesterol, improving digestion, and more.

But what is the right way to cook red rice? Health Shots got in touch with Dr. Ushakiran Sisodia, Registered Dietician and Clinical Nutritionist, Nanavati Max Super Speciality Hospital, Mumbai, to understand how to cook red rice, and some red rice recipes to help you cook tasty meals using this variant of rice.

How to cook red rice?

Cook red rice in the right way using a simple 2-step method!

Washing and soaking

Begin by thoroughly washing 1 cup of red rice under running water until the water runs clear. This helps remove any impurities. Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.


In a pot, add the soaked rice along with 3 cups of water. Let the water come to the point of boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the water is absorbed. Let it stand for about 5 minutes, then fluff it with a fork.

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5 simple recipes using red rice

1. Red rice pulao

Ingredients: Red rice, onions, tomatoes, green peas, carrots, beans, green chillies, ginger-garlic paste, cumin seeds, and spices (turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala).

• Begin by sautéing onions, followed by ginger-garlic paste and spices in some oil.
• Add chopped veggies and sauté until slightly tender.
• Mix in the soaked red rice, add water, and cook until done.

2. Red rice khichdi

Ingredients: Red rice, yellow moong dal (split yellow gram), turmeric, cumin seeds, asafoetida, and ghee.

• In a pot, heat ghee and temper with cumin seeds and asafoetida.
• Add the washed rice and dal mixture.
• Add water, turmeric, and salt. Cook until soft and mushy.

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3. Red rice salad

Ingredients: Cooked red rice, cucumber, carrot, tomato, lemon juice, fresh coriander, roasted peanuts, mustard seeds, and olive oil.

• Toss cooked red rice with chopped veggies. 4
• Season with salt and lemon juice. In a small pan, temper mustard seeds in olive oil and pour over the salad.
• Garnish using roasted peanuts and fresh coriander.

Also read: The good, bad, and ugly side of red rice, the new obsession for healthy eaters

4. Red rice biryani

Ingredients: Red rice, mixed vegetables (potato, peas, carrot, cauliflower), onions, tomatoes, yoghurt, biryani masala, ginger-garlic paste, and fresh mint & coriander leaves.

• Prepare a masala base with onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, and yoghurt.
• Add the vegetables and partially cooked red rice.
• Layer with herbs and biryani masala. Cover and cook until done.

5. Red rice poha (Flattened Rice)

Ingredients: Red rice flakes, onions, green chillies, mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, and peanuts.

• Rinse the red rice flakes in water and drain.
• Heat the oil and then add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and onions.
• Once onions are translucent, add peanuts, turmeric, and soaked poha.
• Cook until heated through.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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