(1) When Cooking Rice, Add In Some Pandan Leaves & Herbs To Make Your Rice Healthier; (2) How To Cook White & Brown Rice Together

Pandan and Centella Asiatica Leaves for adding into the automatic rice cooker

Pandan and Centella Asiatica Leaves for adding into the automatic rice cooker

Pandan leaves & Centella Asiatica herb added when cooking rice

Hi there, dear friends 😀

I usually cook my rice plain to go with one soup, two meat and one veggie dishes for a meal. The only time when my rice got all jazzed up was when I cooked Nasi Lemak, i.e. rice that is cooked in coconut milk and with aromatics like pandan leaves, lemon grass, shallots and ginger thrown in and some salt added. 

Yummy Nasi Lemak (Coconut Rice) with all the sides

I was first introduced to the method of adding herbs for cooking together with rice when Master atan said the healthy benefits of herbs can be infused into the rice and the whole family will be eating healthier rice, compared to just plain, white rice.

A few months back, my foot reflexologist,  a healthy 70-year old man, also taught me to add pandan leaves when cooking rice as a natural remedy for knee joint pains. Not only will the rice smell great from the pandan leaves, but it  will also have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties. 

In 2010, I had written about the wonderful health benefits of Centella Asiatica/Gotu Kola, which is also known as “The Elixir of Youth,” “The One-Herb Pharmacy” and is good for enhancing memory ===>

Daun Pegaga/Gotu Kola/Centella Asiatica – The Elixir of Youth

So, with the Daun Pegaga added to the rice, there are even more health benefits to be enjoyed with the rice!

Recently, I found a cute, little stainless steel container that has a lid and I was able to cook white rice separately in it at the same time in the same rice cooker. My husband and eldest son absolutely refused to eat brown rice with the rest of the family.  

White rice in a little container, cooked together with the brown/red rice

White rice in a little container, cooked together with the brown/red rice

The pandan leaves also help to make the brown rice more fragrant. Actually, pandan leaves are also known as the “Vanilla of the East.” 

Oh, I usually soak my brown/red rice with a little apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and water for a few hours first. Then, I will pour away the water, give the rice a few rinses and add sufficient water to cook the rice with pandan leaves and daun pegaga.  

Soaking the brown rice helps to reduce phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient, and soaking beforehand  makes the brown rice taste better like white rice, but much healthier than white rice. 

To know how much water is enough for the white and brown rice ===>  just dip your index finger into the water until it reaches the top of the rice. The level of water should reach the first line from the tip of our index finger.

Next time, I will make my brown rice more “interesting” by adding black beans, barley, etc….

Now, you can cook healthy rice for your family! ❤

Take care and stay healthy! 

With best wishes,

choesf  🙂

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10 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    P.S. By using that little container for cooking jasmine white rice separately and with a lid in place, the jasmine rice can also retain its aromatic fragrance…and the perfect amount of water is used, compared to more water needed to cook brown rice 💡

    Like

  2. 2

    Some other healthy stuff to put into your rice cooker when cooking rice 💡 ===>

    1) lemon grass

    2) dandelion greens

    3) ginger and shallots (good for removing wind or bloatedness in stomach)

    4) turmeric

    5) rosemary

    6) thyme

    I use Pandan Leaves a lot (also in sweet soups or “tong sui”) because I have some growing in my backyard

    Like

  3. 4

    p2rv said,

    these look so good!
    we also use pandan leaves when cooking rice. banana leaves as well.
    a multi-level steamer allows us to cook a variety of rice grains at the same time. proportion of water to rice grains can control consistency of the cooked rice. thai jasmine, japanese rice, basmati, calrose … cooked whole grains or mushy in texture … no crust formed and all in one go.

    Like

    • 5

      Hi there, dear p2rv 😀

      Thank you for sharing your technique of cooking a variety of rice grains at the same time in a multi-level steamer – that is such a great tip! Yes, that will result in perfectly cooked texture of the different rice grains. Once, I bought a packet of mixed 10 multigrain rice – though the notion of eating multigrain rice was good, the texture was not that appealing. Lol!

      Have a great weekend!

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

      • 6

        p2rv said,

        hello, choesf 🙂 !
        you’re welcome. credit goes to the people who sell steamed rice for a business. and large kitchens who feed so many persons. they use steamers the size of refrigerators … 🙂

        Like

  4. 7

    Rowena Yap said,

    A few members of my family hates the red/brown rice that I mix with the white rice. One of my sons once asked if it I put white rice next to the brown rice whether it will work. Like the yin yang logo. Your little container is a very good idea that I will adopt. Do you put the container on top at the same time to cook?

    I am sure you know that carbs are not good for diabetics. I am diabetic and I have stopped eating carbs in the form of rice, pasta, bread and grains. I am on a low carb high fat diet (ketogenic diet) now. Check out Dr. Westman on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSLf4bzAyOM. Perhaps this will help your husband.

    Regards,

    Rowena

    Like

    • 8

      Hi there, Rowena 😀

      Thank you for your link to Dr. Westman’s video and your tip on a low carb high fat diet 💡 – it sounds like a good way for my husband to control his sugar level and lose some weight effectively! Unfortunately, he loves foods that are mainly carbs, but at least nowadays, he has cut down on his amount of rice consumption and have switched to half-white and half brown rice.

      I have tried cooking both the white and brown rice together, like the yin yang pattern you mentioned, but I found that the white rice became too soft and the taste of brown rice was infused into the white rice. Hence, I had to resort to using that little container to cook the white rice separately. I put the container of white rice into my rice cooker first, before putting in the brown rice and water.

      I also find that pre-soaking the brown rice with some acid (white rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, lemon or lime juice) for a few hours (overnight is good, too), discarding the soaking water, and then cook the rice like usual results in a very tasty brown rice and for that reason, my husband has switched half his rice amount to brown rice. 😉

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like

  5. 9

    Rachel Chung said,

    Hi !

    Just wanted to share another alternative for healthier(?) nasi lemak by using coconut oil instead of coconut milk!

    We’ve tried substituting coconut milk with virgin coconut oil (I buy the Health Paradise Virgin Coconut Oil brand from a pharmacy) which we realise also gives the same fragrance but without the ‘high cholestrol’.

    Maybe you can give it a try next time.

    We also use coconut oil in making pancakes or chiffon cakes or waffles (things that need oil) and it turns out more fragrant for us!

    Like

    • 10

      Hi there, Rachel 😀

      I really love anything coconut and I do use virgin coconut oil for various purposes. Thank you for you tip of using coconut oil in place of coconut milk. I must try it out. I used coconut oil in my chicken curry once but my family didn’t like it.

      With best wishes,

      choesf 😀

      Like


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