Let's Make Every Day Red Rice Day! Here’s Why

For those looking for a healthier alternative to white rice, nutritious red rice could be an option. It is packed with the benefits of whole grain, making it an ideal addition to an everyday staple. With a nutty flavour, it combines well with vegetables and meat and lends itself beautifully to a variety of delicious preparations.

Red rice is coated with a component called anthocyanin, which gives it a rich red colour. Though the Indian red rice calories are approximately 455 per 100 grams, diet-conscious people still prefer it for its nutrient-rich qualities.

Red Rice Vs Brown Rice

The nutritional composition of brown rice and red rice is quite similar. The layer of bran and cereal germ is present in both. The presence of an antioxidant gives it a distinct colour and flavour that sets apart the red variety. Red rice nutrients include iron, zinc, and selenium, which makes it score on nutritional value more than its brown counterpart.

Red Rice Benefits

Packed with vital nutrients, it has multiple health benefits:

  1. The low glycemic index makes it the best option for people who have diabetes.
  2. Since it contains antioxidants, regular use can ease breathing issues.
  3. The soluble and insoluble fibre makes it a bowel-friendly food.
  4. As the stomach feels full for longer, it is a sought-after grain for weight watchers.
  5. The properties of anthocyanin are good for promoting skin health.

The commonly available varieties of Indian red rice are Bhutan or Himalayan red rice, considered medium-grained rice. When cooked, it tends to become sticky. Thai red rice is reddish with a hue of brown. This long-grained variety is firmer and does not get sticky once cooked.

How to cook red rice?

Red rice should be washed thoroughly with water at least three times. Ideally, it should be soaked in water for an hour. In a pressure cooker, one part rice and two part water may be added and cooked for three whistles on a medium flame.

Here are three easy-to-make red rice recipes that would make anyone look forward to enjoying red rice more often.

Red Rice Pudding

The red rice pudding cooked in coconut milk is an exotic replacement for white rice desert quite popular in South Asian cuisine.

Serves 2

Cooking time: 45 Minutes.


Red rice: ½ cup.

Coconut milk: 250 grams.

Milk: 250 grams.

Cardamom: 3-4 nos.

Vanilla essence: ½ tsp.

Brown sugar: ½ cup.

For garnishing: Mango slices and coconut chips.


  • Cook red rice in coconut milk and two cups of water until the rice becomes tender. This cooking process takes 20 minutes and requires some patience. 
  • One way to speed up the process is to cook the rice in a pressure cooker and then add coconut milk.
  • Let it simmer on medium heat until the pudding becomes thick and creamy.
  • Add brown sugar, vanilla essence, and cardamom at this stage and take it off the heat.
  • Serve it while still warm.
  • To serve cold, keep the pudding in the fridge for an hour.
  • Garnish it with mango slices and coconut chips while serving.


Red Rice Palau

The Red Rice Palau is an aromatic and quick dish for a meal.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 40 minutes.


Red rice: 2 cups.

Ghee/oil: 2 tbs.

Bay leaves: 2 nos.

Cinnamon: 1-inch pc.

Cardamom: 3 nos.

Cloves: 5 nos.

Cauliflower: 1 small.

Potatoes: 2 medium-sized.

Beans: 100 grams.

Carrot: 1 no.

Peas: 100 grams.

Onion: 2 medium-sized.

For garnishing: Cashew nuts and almonds.


  • Wash and soak red rice in water for at least one hour. 
  • Drain out the water and cook the rice in a pressure cooker with four cups of water and salt for at least three whistles.
  • Cut the vegetables into medium sizes and slice the onions. 
  • In a wok, heat ghee or oil and lightly fry cashews and almonds. Remove and keep aside.
  • Next, add whole spices to the same wok. Stir it on medium heat for 2 minutes, and then add the sliced onions.
  • When the onion turns pink, put in the vegetables. Add a pinch of salt and cook until tender. Take care not to overcook the vegetables, as they should retain their crunchiness. 
  • Gently add cooked red rice to the vegetables and mix well. Cover and let it sit for two minutes on medium flame so that the rice soaks in all the flavours.
  • Sprinkle fried cashews and almonds as garnish before serving. 

Red Rice Tomato Soup

It could be a perfect one-pot light meal for the day when one is feeling lazy.

Serves 2

Time: 25 minutes.


Rice: ½ cup.

Tomatoes: 5-6 medium-sized.

Pepper: ½ tsp.

Olive oil: 1 tbs.

Onion: 1 no.

Garlic: 5-6 cloves chopped.

Bell pepper: Red and green cut into small pieces.

Basil leaves: optional.

Butter: optional.

Green chilly: 1 no.



  • Wash and keep aside red rice soaked in water for at least one hour. Cook the rice either in a pressure cooker or an open pan.
  • Boil tomatoes and puree them in a mixer. The puree can be sieved or used as it is.
  • Sauté the sliced onion in olive oil till it turns pink. Add garlic and fry the mix for a minute.
  • Add diced red and green peppers. Sauté the mixture on medium heat for a few minutes. Add tomato puree, and when it comes to a boil, add rice. Let it cook until the tomato puree turns creamy.
  • Add crushed pepper, basil leaves, and butter, and turn off the heat. Let it rest for one minute before serving.
  • To reduce the tanginess of tomatoes, and if one is not counting calories, cream too can be added.


There is a general inhibition in adopting red rice as a regular staple, considering it takes longer to cook than white rice. The above recipes need to be tried out to dispel any notion.

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