The most recent rice consumption statistics are impressive. Americans have been helping themselves to almost twice as much rice as they were a decade ago, a trend the Rice Council, a grower's advocacy group, attributes to an influx of immigrants from rice-eating countries and to new rice products.
This run on rice seems to be confined to the white varieties. Despite its vitamin and fiber laden-bran layer, brown rice accounts for only 5% of the rice we eat.
The fact that brown rice takes twice as long as white to cook may be the problem. There is a solution. Combine one cup of brown rice and two cups of water in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Let it sit, refrigerated, overnight. When ready to cook, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low flame and cook 20 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before lifting the lid.
Here's a hearty, fruity brown rice to go with curried dishes.
BROWN BASMATI RICE WITH MANGO
2 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 large ripe mango or 2 large ripe nectarines, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon butter or avocado oil
1/4 cup chopped dry roasted, unsalted almonds
1/4 cup golden raisins
Combine water, pineapple juice and rice in saucepan. Cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 45 minutes. Turn heat off. Let stand 10 minutes before removing lid.
Combine mango with orange juice. Stir butter, mango mixture, almonds and raisins into rice. Return to low heat and stir until liquid is absorbed and rice is heated through. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Note: Orange juice may be substituted for pineapple juice if desired. Brown basmati rice is available at health food or specialty food stores.