Who says rice can’t be nice if you’re trying to lose weight? Just make the healthier choice, by swapping brown rice with white. Paired with vegetables and spices, the brown rice pulao recipe I’ve given below can work as a small snack, or even a complete meal, based on your preference.

Brown rice, unlike white rice, still has the side hull and bran, which renders quicker cooking times and makes it easier to digest as it’s lighter for the stomach. The side hulls and bran are rich in fiber, proteins, thiamine, calcium, magnesium and potassium. With its low glycemic rating, its particularly beneficial for those trying to lose weight or suffering from diabetes.

Some reports point out how brown rice contains high levels of arsenic, which is a natural element (mineral) that occurs in water, soil, the air and our food. Keeping that in mind, there are a few pointers you should keep in mind while using brown rice:

– Check brand labels and select Basmati brown rice, as according to consumer reports the Basmati variety has least.

– Rinse the rice thoroughly before cooking. Add excess water like 3 cups water for one cup rice and boil. After 30 minutes strain the water and cook the rice in steam so that the arsenic is lost in the water.

Brown Rice Pulao recipe

2 cups brown rice

1 carrot, chopped

1 capsicum, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 sprig spring onion, chopped

½ cup peas, shelled

lemon, juice extracted

Salt to taste

Masala, ground to a powder

2 cloves

1 bay leaf

½ inch piece cinnamon

1 pod cardamom

Masala, ground to a paste

3 to 4 green chillies

1-inch piece ginger

2 flakes garlic

2 stalks kadipatta (curry leaves)

2 stalks basil leaves

2 stalks pudina (mint leaves)

½ cup fresh dhania (coriander leaves)


  1. Place plenty of water (about 2 litres) to boil. Add juice of half a lemon and add rice. Add 2 tsp of salt and bring back to a boil. Cover and cook rice till it is almost done. Drain out any excess water, and cover and keep aside till required.
  2. Heat a non-stick pan, add onion and stir cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add ground powder and paste and stir, cook further for 2 minutes. Transfer to a large microwave pan and add all other vegetables. Add ½ cup water, cover loosely and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes before you remove. The vegetables should be almost cooked, but just firm. Repeat for 2 minutes if required and allow to stand covered for 2-3 minutes. Remove lid, pour any excess liquid into the rice first and mix well.
  4. Add cooked vegetables, remaining lemon juice and salt if required to the rice. Mix well till the rice and vegetables are properly blended.
  5. Retransfer to microwave dish and micro on high for 1 minute. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve piping hot.Serve with curd or chutney.

Total calories (100 gm serving) 80.5; Protein 1.9, Fat 1.2

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Written by Neha Jain

Neha Jain

She may have multiple degrees to back her expertise, but Neha Jain believes there’s nothing complex about nutrition. There is no magic formula for a healthy diet – the trick lies in balancing a variety of food groups and ensuring you’re eating the right portion size. With an MSc in Food and Nutrition from Delhi University and diplomas in naturopathy and yogic sciences, Neha is also a certified diabetes educator with extensive experience in endocrinological disorders and weight reduction, having worked with renowned endocrinologist Dr Ambrish Mithal in Delhi. Her goal is to help people find easy ways to make healthy choices, and believes HealthifyMe has simplified her task with its technology. Neha’s made the right choices for her family – she’s helped her husband control his high cholesterol levels and borderline diabetes by changing the meal plan at home, and introducing him to regular exercise – and now she’s hoping to ‘healthify’ you too.

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