Cooking Matta Rice in a Pressure Cooker {How-To}

Simple tips and tricks to cook Matta Rice – Kerala brown rice – in a pressure cooker…




Would you believe that this has been a post that I have been contemplating on for at least three years? I wasn’t sure if anybody needed to know about how to cook “matta rice” in a pressure cooker. But when I got a DM on my Insta handle as to how to handle this rice, I knew I had to do it, so here I am! Matta rice, also known as Palakkadan Matta Ari or Rosematta Ari, has been our preferred rice since we can remember. As children, we used to eat the regular white “US parboiled” rice, till my parents were told that matta rice was a much better alternative due to its better nutrition value and its outer bran. It was a sudden change, however we seemed to like this brown rice much better than its white alternative. For the point, it tastes amazing with any Kerala style curry, be it the manja curry or the mulakittath, or even sambar. You just need to eat a limited quantity to feel full. I don’t buy the parboiled rice at all. The only time I eat it is at my in-laws…


I have been cooking this rice only in my big pressure cooker. I find it so much more easier that way. I think I will go straight into some important pointers:

  • Try to stick to buying the same brand of matta rice. Most of the matta rice brands cook decently fast, though there are few that takes forever to cook and stay very sturdy.
  • Use a big cooker so that water doesn’t splutter out of it.
  • Use a huge amount of water. If there is enough water for the rice to cook and float, it wouldn’t be sticky.
  • Wash well before cooking and wash well after cooking in cold water, to avoid sticking.


I guess I have covered the important points. I tend to make rice in a batch for two days and I steam the leftover the next day. It would be as good as new. If I have a small quantity which isn’t enough for a meal, then I either add it to the rice being cooked the next day – wash, drain and add to the raw rice and water before cooking… no, nothing happens! – or I make puttu for breakfast. The latter is the best discovery I have made with rice! However, a little word of warning while trying to use cooked matta into any recipe that needs part cooked rice, like the Kalathappam – it ends up giving a very unpleasant sticky texture once ground, that the end result may not be as expected. It is best to avoid this rice in such cases and go with either cooked parboiled rice or raw rice (pachari). Off to the technique – can I call this a recipe? 😀




How to cook Matta Rice in a pressure cooker...

Course Main Course
Cuisine Kerala
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda AR


  • Pressure Cooker


  • 1 cup Matta rice
  • Water to cook as required
  • Salt optional


  • Wash the matta rice several times till the rice looks cleaned and doesn't leak too much brown liquid.
  • Transfer into a large pressure cooker - I use a 7 ltr one. Fill water to almost 80% of the cooker.
  • Add salt if using and close.
  • Keep on low flame till the "shh" sound comes. As the sound starts and progresses towards a full whistle, switch off - NO NEED TO WHISTLE. (refer notes)
  • Leave the cooker undisturbed for half an hour. Check if pressure is gone.
  • Open the lid and drain into a colander. Wash in cold water a couple of times, running through all the grains and making sure not to break.
  • Drain well. Fluff before serving.


Switching off before the actual whistle comes works if the rice doesn't take time to cook. This comes with experience. But if you are trying a different brand and find that it hasn't cooked well, then allow one whistle and immediately switch off. Rest of the process remains the same.
If I forget to switch off before the whistle, I leave the cooker undisturbed for around 10 minutes and empty up the remaining pressure. This way, I ensure that the rice still holds shape.
This process gives well cooked rice.

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