Monday 21 April 2014

Caramelised Brown Rice

Caramelised Brown Rice
also referred to as Brown Rice

Served with Dhansak, Dodhi Chawal and Rus Chawal 

Vugharela Chawal | Caramelised Brown Rice


This type of basmati rice is typically served with dhansak, rus chawal, and dodhi chawal (dodhi ni buryani). Its brown colour comes from the caramelization process with jaggery or sugar. This is not to be confused with whole grain brown rice, which is completely different.

Rinsing the raw rice at least ten times before cooking ensures the grains to be almost starch-free and will give you wonderful individual grains of cooked rice—khula dana, a term often used by Parsis who like their rice not to be lumpyloncha jayva.

Caramelised Brown Rice for the Dhansak, Dodhi Chawal and Rus Chawal


Serves 6 persons

2 cups basmati rice

2 tsp jaggery
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp crisp fried onions 
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves
6 black peppercorns
2 whole green cardamom

2 tsp salt

Optionally a dry bay leaf, star anise and black cardamom

4 cups water

In a pan melt and caramelise the jaggery until it is dark.
Immediately add the oil, onions, whole spices, and salt. Add a cup of water. Add the washed rice and the rest of the water. Bring it to a boil on a high flame. Once the water evaporates, and the rice shows through the water, keep a watchful eye on the pot for ‘'holes'' to be formed. Lower the flame, tightly cover, and steam the rice for 22 minutes.
Gently fluff the rice with a fork to keep it separated and serve.


Mis en place is important in this recipe – keep all ingredients ready.

Instead of a cup measure, try the age-old perfect rice finger test. Put your index finger on the very top of the rice. Pour cold water until the first indentation “cut” of your finger. This always seems to work!

The colour of the rice will depend on how dark your caramel is.

Do not soak the rice.

For more Parsi Food recipes and its origins click for my cookbook
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.

Photo courtesy Sheriar Hirjikaka

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