Have you ever wondered how to cook brown basmati rice in the Instant Pot? If you are a rice lover, you will know that the king of rice is the basmati! We all know this one for sure and use it a lot. But do you know that white basmati is not the only type of basmati available?

Instant Pot brown basmati rice in a white bowl with a wooden spoon on a white background

You can get brown basmati as well! In fact, brown basmati is far healthier than white. That’s because it is unprocessed, and the germ and bran are not removed from it. Because it is a whole grain, the benefits are alleviated. So are the flavor and aroma. Check out our collection of Vegan Brown Rice Recipes and  Vegan Broccoli Rice Casserole.

If you are interested in brown basmati, here is everything you need to know about brown basmati!

What Is Brown Basmati Rice?

The word “basmati” comes from Hindi, which means “pear of scents” or “queen of scents.” Basmati is a type of rice that is known for its long gains and fragrance. It is among the most widely used and best qualities of rice you can ever get.

Once cooked, basmati rice is long, flavorful, and fragrant. It is grown in India and Pakistan and is entirely restricted to a certain geographical location. It is one of the many reasons basmati rice is a popular choice all across the world.

Basmati rice comes in two main types. You will find the white basmati rice, the one you usually use at home and see at Indian restaurants. The other not so widely used type is brown basmati rice.

In simple words, brown basmati rice is the same as white one, except it is unmilled. So, you can say that brown basmati rice is in its purest form. The grains are long and almost like needles. When you cook brown basmati, it is aromatic and a bit chewy to taste. Furthermore, it also has a nutty not to it. Every grain stays separate and is tender. In short, brown basmati rice has its unique flavor and is quite delicious.

Brown Basmati Rice vs White Basmati Rice

Well, the main difference between white and brown basmati rice is the processing. White basmati rice is processed or milled. As a result, the germ, bran, and hull are removed. However, brown basmati rice is less processed as compared to white rice. As a result, the only thing that is removed is the hull.

As for the flavor is concerned, brown rice has a nuttier flavor as compared to white rice.

Because white rice is processed, it is not as chewy as brown rice. Although both types are tender, the brown is a bit chewier.

The fragrance of brown rice is more potent than white basmati, but it is still noticeable.

Because the germ and bran are not removed in brown basmati, it has several benefits of its own, which are not present in white basmati. However, both are considered super grains, and brown basmati gets more points in this matter.

Why You’ll Love Brown Basmati Rice

Well, you might be a rice lover, but what type of rice do you eat? Is it white or brown? If you eat white rice, then try brown rice! It is a far better option and is utterly delicious. Here are a few reasons why you should eat brown basmati rice:

  • It is vegan!
  • It is gluten-free
  • Whole grain
  • Fat-free
  • Low in calories
  • Fragrant and has a nutty flavor
  • Healthier option than white basmati rice!

Health Benefits Of Brown Basmati Rice

Whether it is white basmati rice or brown, there are several health benefits of basmati rice. However, brown rice is said to rank slightly above white basmati in case of health benefits. Brown basmati rice is also known as super grain. The health benefits come from the fact that it is unrefined and unmilled. Here are a few health benefits of brown basmati rice:

  • First and foremost, brown basmati rice is also known for its whole-grain properties. That’s because the germ and bran are not removed from it. Thus, if you prefer a whole-grain diet, you should choose brown basmati over white.
  • It is gluten-free. Therefore, if you are someone who is allergic to gluten, brown rice is a perfect solution.
  • Brown basmati rice is rich in dietary fiber. As a result, it helps in promoting regular bowel movement and aids in digestion.
  • Unlike other rice types, brown basmati rice has less starch. Furthermore, it is also low in glycemic index. As a result, it is ideal for those who want to regulate their blood sugar levels.
  • Brown basmati rice is low in calories. Furthermore, it is also fat-free and a perfect choice for those who are looking for food that aids in weight management.
  • It is also cholesterol-free and sodium-free. As a result, it is a good choice for people who have heart diseases. It also aids in regulating blood pressure levels.
  • It is also rich in Vitamin B and vitamin E.
  • Brown basmati rice is also rich in minerals like Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, Folate, and Copper.
brown Basmati rice washing

How To Cook Instant Pot Brown Basmati Rice

The thing about instant pot is that it makes everything quickly. So, if you want to make basmati rice quickly, the instant pot is the best solution. Furthermore, making brown rice in an instant pot is super easy as well. Here are a few steps you have to follow:

  1. First of all, rinse the rice in a strainer to get rid of all the impurities.
  2. Next, place the rinsed rice, salt, and water in the instant pot. Stir well.
cook brown rice
  1. Seal the lid tightly and select manual mode.
  2. Set on high pressure for 22 minutes.
  3. Once the timer is up, release the pressure naturally for about 15 minutes. Follow quick release after this.
  4. Remove the lid, and fluff up the rice using a fork.
  5. Serve.
brown Basmati rice in Instant Pot

Tips And Tricks For Cooking Brown Basmati Rice

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when making brown basmati rice:

  • Make sure you rinse the rice a few times until and unless you get rid of dirt and debris.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of vegan Earth Balance butter for more flavor.
  • If you want to soak the rice before cooking them, reduce the quantity of water to 1 cup. So that the rice doesn’t get mushy.
  • If you want the rice to stay fluffy, add a tablespoon of oil, preferably olive oil. You can also use vegan butter.
  • To bring in more flavor to the rice, use vegetable broth instead of water as the cooking liquid and stir in 1 tablespoon of vegan Earth Balance buttery spread after it is finished cooking.

Storage Tips

You can store cooked leftover brown basmati rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about three-four days. If you want to freeze leftover rice, you can do so by placing it in an airtight container. It will stay fresh for up to a month.

Serving Suggestions

You can serve brown basmati rice with almost anything. Here are a few ideas:

  • Stir-fry: Serve it with your favorite Vegetable Stir Fry and enjoy.
  • Thai Curry: Whether it is red Thai curry or green Thai curry, brown basmati rice tastes perfect with either.
  • Coconut Curry: Serve it with delicious creamy coconut curry and enjoy the flavors.

Recipe FAQs

How do you choose brown basmati rice?

Brown basmati rice is easy to find and is readily available at any grocery store or Online. Although the quality is unmatched, when buying brown basmati rice, make sure the rice grains are long and are not broken. Furthermore, it is said that the older the rice is, the more flavor and aroma it has. So, don’t worry if the packaging date is older. The only thing you need to worry about is that the grains should be intact.

What is the difference between brown basmati rice and white basmati rice?

White basmati rice is processed or milled. As a result, the germ, bran, and hull are removed. However, brown basmati rice is less processed as compared to white rice. As a result, the only thing that is removed is the hull. The means the brown rice has a nuttier flavor and more nutritional value.

Other Instant Pot Recipes

  1. Instant Pot Jamaican Rice And Peas
  2. Vegan Instant Pot Black-Eyed Peas
  3. Instant Pot Potato Soup
  4. Instant Pot Vegan Chicken And Dumplings
basmati rice instant pot version in a white bowl on a white background

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(Per serving)
  • Energy: 169 kcal / 706 kJ
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 3.3 g
  • Carbs: 37 g

Cook Time

  • Preparation: 3 min
  • Cooking: 22 min
  • Ready in: 25 min
  • For: 4 Servings



  1. In a fine-mesh strainer, wash brown basmati rice for about twice or thrice.
  2. Place the rice in an instant pot along with water and salt.
  3. Seal the lid tightly and select manual cooking.
  4. Cook at high pressure for about 22 minutes.
  5. Once the timer is up, release the pressure naturally. It will take about 15 minutes
  6. After 15 minutes, quickly release the pressure.
  7. Remove the lid and fluff the rice using a fork
  8. Serve alongside your favorite gravy.
Recipe author's Gravatar image

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.