Learn how to cook parboiled rice perfectly every time with this easy-to-follow guide. You will find both stovetop and instant pot methods.
What is parboiled rice?
Parboiled rice is also called converted rice is a uncooked rice that is partially boiled in its inedible husk. Freshly harvested rice is soaked, steamed and dried, with its outer husk intact on the grains. Later, this inedible hull is removed.
This process of pre-cooking whole grain retains the maximum amount of nutrients and is a better source of fiber compared to regular rice. This whole procedure also simplifies the process of removing rice grains from the husk.
Technically, parboiled rice is not a different variety, rather it’s a form of rice. It could be basmati rice, long-grain rice, medium grain or short grain rice. Regardless of which variety of parboiled rice you use, the cooking process is the same, but the cooking time varies.
All different varieties of parboiled rice can be cooked in a rice cooker, pressure cooker, a pot on a stovetop or microwave oven. The water required to cook parboiled rice is higher than regular rice.
Parboiled rice has neither a chewier texture like brown rice nor is it delicate like white rice. It has a firm texture with a subtle nutty flavour and a stronger taste than regular white rice.
Unlike white rice, parboiled rice is not white, it has a slight yellow colour stained by the bran layer and husk from the steaming process. This rice turns fluffy with the best texture, it is non-sticky with separate grains of rice when cooked. Cooking parboiled rice is easier compared to white rice, especially for beginners.
Parboiled rice is quite common in India. It has been used extensively since ancient times. Apart from cooking it to pair with curries, it could be used to cook desserts such as sweet pongal, rice pudding and savoury dishes such as ven pongal, dal khichdi, bisi bele bath, pulao and the most favourite staples in south Indian households - dosa and idli. Short-grain parboiled rice is the main ingredient used to make dosa and idli batter along with urad dal.
- Rice: I have used greek long grain parboiled rice. You can use any long grain parboiled rice.
- Liquid: Plain water to cook rice. This is a cook and drain method, so you would need plenty of water.
Find the quantities and a short video in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Step-by-step stovetop Instructions
Rinse and wash the rice 3-4 times with cold running tap water until the water runs clear.
Soak it for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, drain the rice in a colander.
Place the large pot on the stove and add rice.
Boil water in the kettle.
Pour the boiling water into the pot of rice and switch the heat on.
Stir gently once and cook over medium high heat.
Once rice comes to boil simmer for around 20 minutes and switch the heat off.
Drain rice in a colander.
Transfer the rice from colander to the pot and close it with the lid until ready to serve.
Enjoy perfectly cooked fluffy parboiled rice.
How to cook parboiled rice in instant pot?
Rinse and wash 2 cups of rice 3-4 times with cold water until the water runs clear.
Soak it for 20 minutes.
Drain water and add rice to the pot.
Add 5 cups of water and stir gently.
Secure the silicone sealing properly in the lid and then close the pot.
Move the pressure valve to the SEALING position.
Plug in and switch the instant pot ON, and press the PRESSURE COOK/MANUAL button.
Set the timer to 8 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE.
Once the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
After 10 mins, move the pressure valve to the VENT position to release the pressure manually.
Once the pressure is completely released, the knob next to the pressure valve drops.
Now open the lid and leave it for 5 minutes before you fluff the rice.
Substitutions and Variations
Water: Instead of boiling water in the kettle, you could boil it in a pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat. But make sure to add rice once water comes to boil.
Saffron: Add soaked saffron and a little salt along with water to make a simpler version of saffron rice.
Salt: You could use a pinch of salt to enhance the taste of rice. However, be mindful of adding salt if you plan to serve it with a curry or side dish, as they have salt too.
Oil: A dash of olive oil or coconut oil adds a lovely aroma to the rice.
Tips and Tricks
Rice water ratio: It varies depending on the type of rice you use. Check the packaging. (For the Instant Pot method). I used Greek long grain rice in this recipe that require 1:1.5 (1 cup of rice to 1 and half cups of water).
Stir: Gently stir the rice once when you add water. Later, it’s unnecessary to stir regularly as it causes the grains to break (stovetop method).
Bulk cooking: If you cook a large quantity of rice to freeze for later use, spread the rice on a shallow pan to cool it quickly.
Cook time: It varies depending on various factors - varieties of rice with different grain lengths (long grain rice, extra long grain rice or medium grain), hardness of water, soaked or not.
Soak: Soaking helps to cook rice in a shorter time.
Water quantity: Ensure to cook rice in sufficient water as the rice gets sticky and gloppy if cooked in less water. (stovetop method).
Hot Water: Keep a jug of hot water ready while cooking in case the rice absorbs water and it still needs more water to cook through.
Fridge: Cooked parboiled rice stays fresh for 3-4 days in the fridge if stored properly in an airtight container.
Freezer: Consider storing in the freezer for a longer shelf life. Once the rice is completely cooled to room temperature, divide it into portions; put each portion in a freezer-safe container or a ziplock bag. Store them in the freezer.
Thaw (defrost): Take a portion out from the freezer and keep it in the fridge overnight to thaw.
Reheat: put the thawed rice in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until piping hot. Stir in between for uniform heating.
Perfect to serve with plain curry sauce such as plain salna or curries, vegetable sambar, stir-fry or Indian side dishes.
Great to use in vegetarian zucchini boats and burritos.
There is an array of Indian rice varieties to make with leftover rice such as jeera rice, lemon rice, coconut rice, corn fried rice.
It is more nutritious than raw white rice.
Cooks perfectly fluffy with grains separate.
Do not get mushy so quickly, like raw rice.
The nutritional value of parboiled rice is almost equivalent to brown rice but has a better taste and texture than brown rice.
Put the rice pot back on stove, add hot water, let it cook for few more minutes and then drain it. Unlike regular white rice, parboiled rice won't get sticky.
KEEP IN TOUCH
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📖 Recipe Card
Parboiled Rice (Stovetop + Instant Pot)
1 Cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
- 1 Cup Uncooked Parboiled Rice (Greek long grain)
- 9 Cups Water
- Rinse and wash the rice 3-4 times with cold running tap water until the water runs clear.1 Cup Uncooked Parboiled Rice (Greek long grain)
- Soak it for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, drain the water from the soaked rice.
- Place the pot on the stove and add rice to the large pot.
- Boil water in the kettle.9 Cups Water
- Pour the boiling water into the pot of rice and switch the heat on.
- Stir gently once and cook over medium heat.
- Once rice comes to boil simmer for around 20 minutes and switch the heat off.
- Drain rice in a colander.
- Transfer the rice from colander to the pot and close it with the lid until ready to serve.
- Enjoy perfectly cooked fluffy parboiled rice.
First time making rice like this and it came out perfectly! Thanks!
Nikki, glad it turned out perfect.
Very descriptive and detailed… definitely worth a try!