A simple guide to cooking perfect Sona Masoori rice in the instant pot. Ready in a jiffy, this aromatic Sona Masoori rice pairs well with curries or just a plain bowl of yogurt.
Sona Masoori rice is a popular Indian rice variety that is available easily in Indian grocery stores, or even in bulk stores such as Costco. I usually buy Sona Masoori from Costco. Cultivated in Andhra Pradesh and many other parts of India, this rice is a staple pantry item of many Indian households across India and other parts of the globe.
What is Sona Masoori Rice?
Sona Masoori is medium-grain rice that is a hybrid combination of two types of rice species- Sona and Masoori. Individually, both these species are well known for their distinctive qualities of aroma, nutrients, and softness. This hybrid combination gives you the best of both worlds and they also carry an extra punch in the flavor department. Sona Masoori Rice is often overlooked due to the popularity of basmati rice, however comes with a whole lot of benefits.
- It is an unpolished grain that has its nutrients intact.
- It is easy to digest and has low calories
- It also has less starch content making it a better choice for weight loss.
It is quite an aromatic rice, so be prepared for a surprise if you have used only standard rice variety up until now. Sona Masoori rice comes in both brown and white varieties. Sona Masoori Brown rice has higher protein and less carbohydrate content. This rice is very versatile and goes well with both savory and sweet dishes.
Sona Masoori Rice vs Basmati Rice
When it comes to Sona Masoori rice vs Basmati Rice, Sona Masoori is undoubtedly the winner. Sona Masoori is the unpolished rice and hence is more nutritious compared to polished basmati rice. It also contains less starch than basmati rice. So. if you are looking for ways to have fewer carbs, but still have rice as your meal option then Sona Masoori is a better choice.
When compared to Basmati Rice, Sona Masoori rice requires more water content for it to cook perfectly. When cooking this rice in Instant Pot, I usually add 2 cups of water for 1 cup of Sona Masoori rice whereas for Basmati I just add 1.25 cups of water for a cup of rice.
How to cook Sona Masoori Rice in the Instant Pot?
Before cooking Sona Masoori rice in Instant Pot, it is important that you rinse the rice well. The reason is you want to remove the starch as much as possible from the rice. It will also remove any debris present in the rice grains.
- Start by washing the rice well till the water runs clear
- Then drain the remaining water and add the rice to the Instant Pot steel insert.
- Add the required amount of water to the rice and close the vent. I usually go with 1:2 ratio for perfectly cooked sona masoori rice.
- Make sure the vent is in the sealing position and start the Instant Pot on Pressure Cook (also called manual) mode.
- Cook the rice on high pressure for 4 minutes and let the pressure release naturally.
- Open the Instant Pot and fluff the rice gently with a ladle or fork.
- If you like your rice to be soft in texture, then you can increase the ratio of water to 2.5 cups for 1 cup of rice. This same water ratio can be used when making curd rice with Sona Masoori rice.
- But, if you are making biryani or fried rice, the 1:2 ratio works perfectly.
How to cook Brown Sona Masoori Rice in the Instant Pot?
Follow the same steps as above when cooking Sona Masoori brown rice in Instant Pot. But, instead of 4 minutes, you need to set the timer to 22 minutes.
How to cook pot-in-pot Sona Masoori Rice?
One of the best advantages of cooking Sona Masoori Brown rice in Instant Pot is that you can set the timer and walk away. It makes the perfect brown rice, just the way I like it, not too mushy or not too soft.
If you want to make a complete meal in one go, then cooking pot-in-pot rice along with a dal or curry is a great option. I usually make the curry in the main pot, and the rice pot-in-pot.
One important thing with pot-in-pot cooking is to consider the cooking time for the dishes you want to cook together. As an example, toor dal takes about 5 mins to cook at high pressure and sona masoori rice take about 4-6 mins at high pressure. Hence if I add rice pot-in-pot with these lentils, they would get cooked well. I would not cook brown rice along with toor dal, however they would work well with kidney beans that cook in about 30 mins at high pressure.
Before you go for cooking the rice, you need a trivet to place inside the Instant Pot and a bowl to place on the trivet. If you are just cooking the rice, you can use the trivet that comes with Instant Pot. If not, you need to go for a taller trivet so that you can have the curry or dal in the main pot.
- Add 2 cups of water for one cup of Sona Masoori Brown rice. You can also add some ghee or salt to it. It gives an aromatic flavor to the rice.
- Before placing the insert inside the Instant Pot, add 1 cup of water and then place the trivet. Then place the steel bowl with rice on top of the trivet.
- Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook (manual) mode. 6 minutes for white rice or 25 minutes for brown rice.
- Once the pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally.
- Then fluff the rice with a fork. Sona Masoori Rice is ready to be served.
If you are looking to cook others types of rice/grains in the instant pot, check out the recipes below:
- Basmati Rice
- Jasmine Rice
Check out this collection of 23+ instant pot rice recipes.