How To Cook Black Rice? – A Complete Guide!

Miraba Chudasama
Miraba Chudasama Food & Recipes
148 Min Read
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Do you want to have black rice but don’t know how to cook them? So, here is your complete guide on how to cook black rice.

Certainly, white rice, brown rice, and red rice are already famous across the world for ages. However, black rice got recognized later. In the past few years, black rice has gained much popularity in the market due to its unique taste, nutritional benefits, and low glycemic index. Nowadays, it is considered a healthier alternative to white rice, as it contains higher amounts of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

1. Origin Of Black Rice

Black rice, also known as forbidden rice, is believed to have originated in ancient China. After that, it spread throughout Asian continents. Its species is Oryza sativa.

It has intense dark color due to the high concentration of anthocyanin. Apart from that, this anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant pigment. And it is present in blueberries, blackberries, and black grapes too. Due to this pigment, the rice has a unique black or deep purple color.

Additionally, this Anthocyanin has various health benefits and provides antioxidant protection to the body.

how to cook black rice
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In ancient China, black rice was a symbol of wealth, power, and fortune. As a result, it became a prized grain.

Subsequently, it became a staple in various Asian countries, like India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Today, it is also cultivated and consumed in North America and Europe.

As black rice continues to gain recognition for its nutritional value and versatility, it remains an important part of cultural as well as culinary traditions. Similarly, it is also a popular ingredient in various dishes and recipes worldwide.

2. Different Names And Varieties Of Black Rice

Each variety of black rice has special culinary uses and can be used in savory as well as sweet dishes. Moreover, black rice is also packed with nutrients, which makes it a healthy and flavorful option for your meals.

Across different regions and cultures, black rice has different names.

For example:

  • Forbidden rice/Emperor’s rice, as it originated in ancient China, where black rice was reserved exclusively for the Chinese emperors and royalty. It was so special and valuable, that commoners were forbidden.
  • Purple rice, as the rice turns into a deep dark purple color when cooked.
  • Longevity rice, as is believed to be associated with longevity and good health due to health benefits.
  • Noble rice, which highlights the high regard and value of black rice historically.

Varieties Of Black Rice:

  • Chinese Black rice, which has a soft texture and a bit of sweet, rich flavor.
  • Black Japonica rice is a hybrid variety that combines medium-grain mahogany rice and black short-grain rice. It has a nutty flavor and a slightly sticky texture when cooked. Additionally, the combination of black and mahogany grains gives it a striking appearance.
  • Ketan Hitam, which is Indonesian black rice, is used in various traditional dishes. Furthermore, it is a medium-grain rice with a chewy texture and a subtle nutty flavor. It is commonly used in traditional Indonesian desserts and rice-based dishes.
  • Khao Hom Mali Dam, which is Thai black rice, is used in desserts and savory dishes.
  • Thai Jasmine black rice, this variety from Thailand has a floral aroma and a slightly sweet taste. So, it is often used in desserts and savory dishes.
  • Kuro-Mai, which is Japanese black rice, is used in traditional Japanese cuisine.
  • Chak Hao Amubi, black rice from Manipur, India. In Manipur, India. It is famous for its pleasant aroma and non-sticky, soft texture when cooked.
  • Himalayan red rice, which is not entirely black, has a dark burgundy or reddish-brown hue and is often included in discussions about black rice. It also has a nutty and pleasant flavor and a firm, chewy texture.
  • Camargue black rice, grown in the Camargue region of France, has a deep black color and a subtle nutty flavor. It is popular in Mediterranean cuisine and goes well with a variety of dishes.
  • Kalo dhaner chaal, black rice from Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Kavuni rice, black rice from Bangladesh.

3. Black Rice Health Benefits

Indeed, black rice offers innumerable health benefits, as it has many nutrients and high levels of antioxidants.

Nonetheless, black rice is one of the most antioxidant-rich rice varieties, as it contains anthocyanins. These antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Moreover, it also decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Additionally, it is a good source of essential nutrients such as iron, manganese, and zinc, and important vitamins like vitamin E, B complex, and folate. Certainly, they are vital for cell repair, the immune system, and energy production.

Being whole-grain rice, it remains a great source of dietary fiber after cooking, too. Dietary fiber promotes regular bowel movements and helps in preventing constipation. Moreover, high-fiber food helps you feel full, which may assist in controlling appetite and supporting weight management efforts.

Moreover, the glycemic index of black rice is lower compared to many other rice varieties, including traditional white rice. As a result, it causes a slower rise in blood sugar levels, making it a suitable option for diabetic patients.

Dr Chan compares Black Rice, Brown Rice & White Rice - Protein, Fiber, Antioxidants, Glycemic Index

Above all, black rice is gluten-free, that’s why it is one of the safe and nutritious whole foods options for gluten-sensitive or celiac disease patients.

Also, the presence of anthocyanins and other phytochemicals in black rice has potential anti-cancer effects.

Do remember, moderation is key. So, it is essential to incorporate black rice as part of a balanced diet to get the most out of it.

4. How to Cook Black Rice?

Traditionally, you can cook black rice by similar methods used to cook white rice or brown rice. However, cooking black rice is a little bit more tricky than that of white or brown rice. Because black rice is glutinous rice. Moreover, it is advisable to soak them for some time before cooking, if possible.

how to cook black rice
Image by Subho Md Dali from Pixabay

You can cook the rice mainly by three cooking methods, absorption method, pasta method, and pilaf method. But the rice-to-water ratio is very important to cook black rice. Because black rice turns more sticky and gummy after cooking than white rice.

So, if you are not using the pasta method, then it is always advisable to maintain a black rice-to-water ratio of 1:2. That means, for one part of rice, take two parts of water. Please note, if you are soaking the rice before cooking, then take only 1.5 cup water for 1 cup of rice. Moreover, if the rice is still not cooked fully, you can add 3–4 teaspoons of water at a time.

how to cook black rice
Image by Jan Kuss from Pixabay

Furthermore, you can cook black rice in an open pot as well as in a cooker. You can cook it in an oven or air fryer. Let’s take a look at different cooking methods.

4.1 How to Cook Black Rice By Absorption Method

First and foremost, it is the most straightforward way to achieve perfectly cooked, fluffy black rice.


  • 1 cup of black rice
  • 2 cups of water or vegetable broth
  • salt (as per taste)


1. First, take a fine-mesh strainer and rinse black rice with water. To remove excess starch, rinse it till the water runs clear.

2. If possible, soak the black rice for about 30 minutes before cooking. That reduces cooking time and also improves the texture. After soaking, drain the soaking water and proceed to the next step.

3. Now, for every 1 cup of black rice, take 1.5 cups of water or vegetable broth, if rice is soaked. Otherwise, take 2 cups of water. Most importantly, adjust the quantity of water based on the amount of rice you are cooking.

4. Next, take a saucepan and add rice and water.

5. Also add a pinch of salt to the mixture. This will enhance the flavor of the rice. But always remember, less is more.

6. Place the saucepan with the rice and water on the stove over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat and cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid.

7. Let the black rice simmer for about 25–35 minutes. The cooking time is depended on whether you have soaked the rice or not. Soaked rice will generally cook faster.

9. After 25 minutes, start checking whether the rice is cooked or not. The rice should be tender but chewy. If needed, continue cooking for a few more minutes till you get the desired texture.

10. When the rice is cooked, remove the saucepan from the stove and let it sit, covered, for approx. 5 minutes. This resting time allows any excess moisture to be absorbed and helps ensure the rice is evenly cooked. After resting time, use a fork to fluff the black rice gently.

How to Cook Black Rice on the Stove Top & what is black rice?

Your black rice is now ready to be served.

4.2 How to Cook Black Rice By Pasta Method

The pasta method gives you control, and you can achieve the desired texture for your black rice.


  • 1 cup of black rice
  • 6–7 cups of water
  • salt (as per taste)


1. Follow the first step of the absorption method.

2. Now, take a large pot and add 6–7 cups of water. Please note, you need enough water to submerge the rice freely during cooking, as you do for pasta. Then, bring the water to a boil.

3. Also add salt as desired.

4. Now, add the rinsed black rice to the pot. Keep stirring gently to prevent the rice from clumping together.

5. Then, boil the rice for 25–35 minutes. Don’t cover it. However, the exact cooking time depends on whether you have soaked the rice or not.

6. Next, follow step 9 from the absorption method.

7. Once the rice is cooked, pour the water-rice mixture from the pot into a fine-mesh strainer. Drain the cooked rice thoroughly to remove excess water.

8. To prevent the over-cooking process, you can rinse the drained black rice with cold running water. This step is optional. After draining and rinsing, transfer the black rice back to the pot and fluff it gently with a fork.

How To Boil Rice Like Pasta!

4.3 How to Cook Black Rice By Pilaf Method

You can cook black rice pilaf using this method to add extra flavor and richness to the rice.


  • 1 cup of black rice
  • 2 cups water, or chicken/vegetable stock
  • 2–3 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil or butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • salt (as per taste)
  • herbs or spices (e.g., mustard, cumin, etc.)  of your choice (optional)


1. First, follow the first step of the absorption method.

2. Follow these steps, if you want to add extra flavor.

In a saucepan or medium-sized pot, heat the vegetable oil or olive oil, or butter over medium heat. Now, add the chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté them till you get a translucent gravy. It will usually take about 2–3 minutes. Moreover, you can use herbs or spices too.

You can also toast the rinsed rice in the pot with the aromatics and spices for about 1–2 minutes. It will give a slightly nuttier flavor to rice. These steps add flavor to the rice.

3. Now, simply follow steps 3 to 10 of the absorption method. Here, do use chicken or vegetable stock to get an amazing taste. Similarly, you can also add other veggies or kinds of seafood to it.

Finally, your aromatic black rice is ready to mesmerize your guests!!

how to cook black rice
Image by Tony Prats from Pixabay

4.4 How to Cook Black Rice In Pressure Cooker

This is a quick method that can give perfectly cooked black rice.


  • 1 cup of black rice
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock/broth
  • salt (as per taste)


1. First, follow steps 1 to 3 of the absorption method.

2. Now, securely close the pressure cooker with its lid and place the pressure cooker on the stove over medium-high heat. However, please make sure the pressure release valve is intact.

Once the high pressure is achieved, lower the heat to the optimal level. Cook the rice for about 20–25 minutes under pressure.

3. After that, turn off the stove and wait for 10–15 minutes to release the pressure naturally. After that, you can carefully open the lid.

4. Check the black rice using a fork, and decide whether it is cooked or undercooked. If needed, you can pressure-cook it or cook it without a lid for a few more minutes to adjust the texture.

5. Finally, fluff the rice with a fork.

Your pressure-cooked black rice is now ready, enjoy it!

how to cook black rice
Image by 林 舜 from Pixabay

4.5 How To Cook Black Rice In Rice Cooker

Cooking black rice in a rice cooker is a simple yet convenient method, and it requires minimum effort.


  • 1 cup of black rice
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • salt (as per taste)


1. First, follow steps 1 to 3 of the pressure cooker method.

2. Then, close the lid of the rice cooker and turn it on. You can choose the ‘cook‘ or ‘white rice‘ or ‘brown rice‘ setting, whichever is available.

5. The rice cooker will automatically turn off when it’s done. Black rice generally takes around 20–30 minutes to cook in a rice cooker.

6. Finally, proceed as per steps 4 and 5 from the pressure cooker method.

My Oster DuraCeramic 6-Cup Rice Cooker: Cooking Black Rice

4.6 How To Cook Black Rice In Instant Pot

Cooking black rice in an Instant Pot is a quick and efficient method to cook perfect black rice.


  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • salt (as per taste)


1. Firstly, follow the first step 1 from the pressure cooker method or steps 1 to 3 of the absorption method.

2. Then, close the instant pot securely and do check the pressure release valve seal.

3. Now, you can proceed to select the ‘Pressure Cook‘ or ‘Manual‘ settings for the instant pot. Also, select the cooking time to 22–25 minutes. Now, start the instant pot.

4. Finally, follow steps 3 to 5 of the pressure cooker method. Please note that if you are in a hurry, here you can quickly release pressure by moving the pressure release valve to the ‘Venting’ state. Meanwhile, remain cautious while hot steam escapes from the vent.

How To Cook Perfect Rice in the Instant Pot

4.7 How to Cook Black Rice In Oven

Cooking black rice in the oven can yield a somewhat distinct texture and flavor compared to stovetop cooking.


  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 cups water or vegetable stock
  • salt (as per taste)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or oil (optional to add richness)


1. First of all, follow the first step of the absorption method.

2. Now, preheat your oven to 375 °F, or let’s say 190 °C temperature.

3. Meanwhile, please combine rinsed rice and required water only in an oven-safe casserole dish or baking pan.

4. Also add a pinch of salt and butter or oil to the mixture. The butter or oil will add richness and flavor to the rice.

5. Next, you need to tightly cover the container with a lid or aluminum foil, so the rice cooks evenly and remains chewy.

6. Now, place the covered dish in the preheated oven. You need to bake it for about 45 minutes to one hour. However, you are advised to check first after 45 minutes and, if needed, bake it for a few more minutes.

7. Finally, fluff the rice using a fork.

How to Make Perfectly Cooked Oven-Baked Rice 🔥🍚

4.8 How to Cook Black Rice In Air Fryer

This method is great when you have leftover rice. Firstly, you should keep leftover black rice in an airtight container. And then, when you want to eat, simply stir-fry it in the air fryer.

Indeed, cooking black rice in the air fryer provides a crunchy and unique twist. Also, you can even partially cook the black rice as per any of the above-mentioned methods and then stir-fry it.


  • Leftover black rice, or uncooked rice and water as per the above-mentioned methods
  • salt (if not added to the cooked rice)
  • Cooking spray or oil to prevent sticking

How to Cook Brown Rice using Air fryer / Cooking Brown Rice in an Air fryer / Air fryer Rice


1. First of all, if you are using leftover rice, take the container out of the fridge. Secondly, keep it outside at least for 15–20 minutes before cooking them in the air fryer. And if you are in a hurry, you can microwave it for 10 minutes and then stir-fry it.

2. Next, preheat the air fryer to 400 °F or 200 °C temperature for a few minutes. Meanwhile, you can chop the veggies if you want to add them to the rice.

3. Now, lightly spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray or brush and transfer the partially cooked or leftover black rice to the air fryer basket.

4. Remember, you need to cook the black rice in the air fryer for approx. 8–10 minutes. Most importantly, don’t forget to shake the basket occasionally for even cooking.

5. Finally, you can season it with some sauce or gravies, or you can enjoy it as it is.

5. Other Black Rice Recipes Ideas

how to cook black rice
Mango Black Rice Lao, Image by Chengzhu from Pixabay

Indeed, you can make different dishes of black rice. You can try:

  • Risotto with artichokes, you can add mango, avocado, and berries.
  • Pilaf with coconut milk, and mango.
  • Gratin with broccoli and porcini mushrooms.
  • A black rice soup with Thai chicken.
  • Sweet black rice pudding with a touch of honey,
  • Mango black rice Lao,
  • Porridge,
  • Traditional Chinese black rice cake,
  • Bread,
  • Noodles.
how to cook black rice
Black Rice Risotto, Image by Van3ssa 🩺 Desiré 🙏 Dazzy 🎹 from Pixabay

6. Summary

In brief, black rice aka purple rice aka forbidden rice is believed to be a Chinese cultivar. Moreover, it has different varieties and names as per different regions and cultures. Furthermore, it is known for its color, taste, and nutritional qualities.

Nowadays, black rice is considered a gourmet food. Nonetheless, you can consume it in various forms of recipes. Also, there are various cooking methods to cook black rice. You can choose it as per your preference of texture, test, availability of instruments, utensils, and time.

Whichever cooking method and recipe is there for white rice or brown rice, you can try them with black rice too.

In short, from now on, whenever in doubt that how to cook black rice, just go through this blog and enjoy your delicious, at the same time nutritional black rice dish.

6.1 Please share!

If you have liked this blog, you can like it and share it. Also, don’t forget to post your feedback and questions in the comment box below.

Last Updated on by Sanjana

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