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My family eats a lot of white rice as a staple. For years I've wished to work a few whole grains in the mix to increase the nutritional value, but didn't know how to manage the different cooking times in the rice cooker. I recently figured it out. Right now I'm using 1 part whole grains to 3 parts white rice. It tastes good and they're eating it! Maybe later I'll try increasing the proportion of whole grains--as long as the family still likes it. I've used millet, grits, brown rice, and buckwheat. I'm also thinking of trying red and purple and black and wild rice, barley, whole oats, buckwheat groats, coarse cornmeal, and quinoa. Maybe also sesame and sunflower seeds. At high altitude, lentils, split peas and black-eyed peas don't cook tender enough, but with a pressure rice cooker, or at low altitude, I think they might work. If anyone experiments and learns anything, let me know. This method yields a moister rice like the Chinese prefer, not chewy rice with distinct grains.
- In the morning, measure grains and lentils into rice cooker, adding water to cover. Vary whole grains as desired, to total 1/2 cup. Allow to soak all day. (The soaking will allow the whole grains to cook tender in the normal rice cooker cycle).
- About 45 minutes before dinner, drain off the soaking water (this is only necessary if your are using beans--to throw most of the gas-producing stuff down the drain). Add water to 3/4-inch above the surface of the grain. Measure by placing the tip of your index finger on the surface of the rice--water should be up to the first knuckle.
- Sprinkle in salt if desired. Start the rice cooker. It will be ready by dinner time.
I haven't tried your recipe yet (although it sounds good!). I just wanted to say that I often fix 1 c. brown basmati rice with 1 c. pearly barley, plus 4 cups water (no salt and no butter, although you could add that, plus a tad bit extra water if you wanted to) -- and I and my family love it. I find I have not needed to presoak with this formulation.