The Old World Kitchen

Contact Us : (720) 613-4191
[email protected]

Brown Basmati Rice Pilaf


There are few tried and true ways to cook brown rice. The quickest method involves using a rice cooker. This does not require any prior soaking. The stove top method requires soaking which is how I list the cooking method in this recipe. When you cook over one cup of rice, you want to decrease the water to 2 cups of water. Try experimenting with different spice combinations to make your favorite pilaf!



  • 1 cup of brown basmati rice
  • 2 ¼ cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil or ghee
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick broken in half
  • 4 green cardamom pods 
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • Garam masala for garnishing
  • Water for soaking



  1. Soak the rice overnight. The water should be a few inches over the rice. The alternative to this is what is known as a quick soak. In the quick soak method, pour boiling water over the rice and allow it to sit for at least an hour. Strain the rice and rinse well. Set aside. Heat oil or ghee over medium high head in a medium size pan that has a tight sealing lid.
  2. Add bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin. Cook for about two minutes or until fragrant.
  3. Add strained rice; stir well. Cook until rice turns white in color, around five minutes.
  4. Add 2 ½ cups of water. Bring water to a boil and allow boiling for ten minutes. It is important to make sure that all of the water does not evaporate at this point. If it begins to look dry, add a little bit more water.
  5. After ten minutes, make sure there that the rice still remains a little bit wet. Place lid on pan and turn heat to low.
  6. Cook for another ten minutes. Do not remove lid.
  7. After ten minutes, turn heat off and allow rice to sit for ten minutes. Do not remove the lid during this time.
  8. After ten minutes, remove lid and stir. Place in serving dish and garnish with garam masala.