Pressure cooker, Side dish
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Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

A bowl of brown basmati rice with uncooked rice and ground turmeric in the background
Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice. Looking for a healthy side dish, especially for a curry or dal, ready in about a half an hour? Pressure cook a pot of brown basmati rice.

When I’m trying to eat healthy, brown rice is a big help. It’s still wrapped in its bran coating, and, as someone who grew up in the big Bran Fiber boom of the 90’s, I know all about its health benefits. The problem is how much time it takes to cook brown rice. Stovetop white rice takes 30 minutes, in the background, while I prepare the rest of the meal. Brown rice is an hour plus on the stovetop. That is, until my pressure cooker came along. It gets me my rice in that 30 minute window that matches with my weeknight cooking style.

Now, I’ve covered brown Jasmine rice on the blog before, but I keep getting questions about brown Basmati rice. So, I’m writing this recipe down to make it easy to reference when I’m asked.

The cooking methods are very similar between the two – they are both long grained rice. There is a subtle flavor difference; I can easily taste the difference between jasmine and basmati rice, but I don’t have the words to explain them. It’s like the difference between Indian and Thai curries – there is a lot going on, and they’re obviously different, but I don’t know how to write it down.

When I was testing this recipe, I wanted to have the sprinkling of yellow grains in the rice that I get at my local Indian restaurant. They get this by soaking some of the cooked rice in turmeric, to give it that yellow color, then mixing it back into the larger batch of white rice. I tried this with brown rice, and the difference is barely noticeable. (The picture above is from when I used the technique. I can see the yellow grains, but it’s very subtle.) I have the turmeric soak as an optional step.

One other thing I investigated was soaking the basmati rice before cooking. A lot of recipes made a big deal about soaking, to keep the grains separate. In my testing, I didn’t see much of a difference in the final product. So, I don’t bother with soaking the rice. (Now, if you Indian auntie insists that you have to soak, don’t let me stop you…)

Recipe: Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

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A bowl of brown basmati rice with uncooked rice and ground turmeric in the background

Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x


Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice. Looking for a healthy side dish, especially for a curry or dal, ready in about a half an hour? Pressure cook a pot of brown rice. 


  • 2 cups brown basmati rice (Or long grain brown rice)
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or ghee, optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)


  1. Rice in the pot: Stir the rice, water, salt, and (optional) butter into an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker.
  2. Pressure cook the rice for 20 minutes with a Natural Release: Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes in an Instant Pot or other electric PC (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 16 minutes in a stovetop PC. Let pressure come down naturally, about 15 minutes (If you’re in a hurry, you can quick release any remaining pressure after 10 minutes).
  3. Yellow a handful of rice (optional): In a small bowl, Stir the ¼ teaspoon of ground turmeric in 2 tablespoons of water until it dissolves. Add ¼ cup of the cooked rice to the bowl, toss to coat with the turmeric water, and let it sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, to absorb the color.
  4. Serve: Fluff the rice with a fork, stirring in the yellowed rice and serve. Enjoy!


Make sure you get fresh brown basmati rice – the bran and wheat germ give it health benefits over white rice, but also contain oils that go rancid after about 6 months in the pantry. Try to get your rice from a store with a lot of turnover – I pick mine up from local health food stores or Indian specialty groceries – and get it in smaller quantities. (I know that big bag of rice looks like a deal, but it’s not if I have to throw most of it away.) If you need to extend the shelf life, store the rice in the fridge or freezer, which gives it about a year before it starts to turn.


6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot 6-Quart Pressure Cooker)

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice, Pressure Cooker Brown Basmati Rice

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Pressure Cooker Brown Jasmine Rice
Instant Pot Coconut Brown Rice
Instant Pot Indian Black Lentils and Kidney Beans (Dal Makhani)
My other Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Side dish


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

1 Comment

  1. Caryn Hart says

    Just want to know if you wash the rice before cooking it.

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