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Learn how to cook plump and nutty Kerala matta rice in a fraction of the time with the Instant Pot. Made with just three ingredients, this hands-off recipe for fiber and protein-rich red rice makes the perfect addition to your dinner plate.
A visit to our ancestral house in Mangalore meant we had to eat red rice that was cultivated at home. At that time, it was not my favorite! It was plump, chewy, and with a light pink hue with a very different texture than the white rice, we used in Mumbai.
Hate to admit it, but my brother and I would make a face every time it was served, and mom had to get the white rice from the store so that we would eat. Though my grandma and mom tried to convince us that red rice was much healthier, we didn’t budge.
Thank goodness my taste buds evolved, and I now love red matta rice. This fiber-rich rice keeps me satiated for a long time and tastes so good with Mangalorean curries.
What is Kerala matta rice?
Matta rice is one of many varieties of red rice. Often grown in the Palakadda region of Kerala, India, matta rice has a distinctive nutty and earthy flavor with a wide variety of colors, from a yellow-tinted husk to a red, pink hue. This hearty rice is mostly consumed in Southern India and Sri Lanka.
Other areas red matta rice is grown include Tamilnadu and Karnataka. It might have a different name based on where the rice is grown. Some other names for matta rice include Palakaddan matta rice, Kerala red rice, red parboiled rice, rosematta rice, or kuthari rice.
Kerala matta rice packs higher nutritional value than its processed white rice rivals. There are several different benefits to adding this filling rice to your diet.
- Nutrient-rich – Great source of magnesium, calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin B.
- High in fiber – With roughly 4 grams of fiber in a 100g serving, this fiber-filled rice is both filling and healthy.
- Packed with plant-based protein – In a 100g serving of matta rice, you can get about 7 grams of protein.
- Naturally gluten-free, making it a great addition to your gluten-free diet.
How is it different from white rice?
Matta rice is parboiled before the milling process, while white rice goes straight to the milling process. Parboiling the rice allows it to retain more nutrients than white rice. Some other differences include the following:
- Less processed than white rice.
- Matta rice contains a higher fiber content.
- The grains are harder than white rice.
- Kerala Matta rice takes longer to cook than white rice.
Looking for more information about red rice? Check out this article from The Hindu on The Traditional Red Rice Varieties.
Reasons to love this recipe
You know I love how the Instant Pot makes dramatically cuts down cooking time while also making recipes easy and hands-free; here are just a few reasons we love making this Kerala matta rice in the Instant Pot pressure cooker.
- No pre-soak is required – This significantly reduces prep time, making it great for busy weeknights.
- Filling and flavorful – Loaded with protein and fiber, this plump, nutty rice will keep you full and satisfied.
- Mess-free and hands-free – The Instant Pot cooks the rice mess-free, unlike the traditional stovetop cookers.
Here’s what you need to make matta rice in the Instant Pot
- Kerala matta rice – Rinsed before you begin cooking.
- Salt – Adds a little flavor to the matta rice.
- Water – Softens and cooks the matta rice quickly in the Instant Pot.
- Rinse your red rice before cooking – Be sure the water runs clear before you stop rinsing.
- Use a standard measuring cup, not the rice cup with Instant Pot, to measure your rice.
- Let the rice rest – Once cooked, let the rice rest – this allows the steam to redistribute, and all the layers of the rice are evenly cooked. That is why it is important to wait 10 minutes before releasing pressure.
- Fluff the rice once it is cooked to prevent it from sticking to each other.
- Remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot if you are not serving the matta rice immediately. This prevents the rice from drying out and sticking to the bottom.
How to prep ahead
This Instant Pot recipe for matta rice makes a great meal prep recipe. With limited hands-on time, you can make this red rice recipe and eat it all week long.
- Make red matta rice up to 3 days in advance.
- When ready to serve the matta rice, reheat by adding a tablespoon of water to every cup of leftover rice.
- Mix the water and rice well and pressure cook for zero minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, move the valve to ‘venting’ to release pressure immediately.
If you plan to keep your Instant Pot matta rice instead of serving right away, here are some things to keep in mind for storing the rice.
- Allow the rice to cool completely before storing
- Keep in an air-tight container
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
Serve it with
Matta rice serves up as a filling and flavorful side for many main courses such as:
- Mangalorean shrimp curry – Serve this prawn gassi with steamed rice or dosas for a complete gastronomic experience.
- Mangalorean Fish Curry – Amaze your friends and family with this dish – tangy and spicy Mangalorean Fish curry.
- Yeti ajadina (shrimp/prawn dry dish)– This Mangalorean-style shrimp side dish is spicy and full of flavor. Pair with rice and any curry to make it a complete meal.
Frequently asked questions
Kerala matta rice is a variety of red rice grown in the Kerala region of Southern India.
Kerala red rice might be helpful for people with diabetes because of its low glycemic index. This helps control your insulin levels which is great for people with diabetes.
Matta rice is a healthier option than matta rice. It contains higher amounts of fiber and protein per 100g serving, keeping you full and satisfied longer.
Matta rice is called Red parboiled rice.
Using 2 parts water to 1 part rice yields plump, non-clumpy matta rice every time in the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Kerala Matta Rice Recipe
Instant Pot Kerala Matta Rice
- 1 cup Kerala Matta Rice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups water
- Rinse the red rice using a strainer till the water runs clear.
- Drain the rice and add it to the inner pot.
- Add water along with salt to the inner pot. Mix well.
- Close the lid and set the steam valve to sealing.
- Pressure cook for 15 minutes under high pressure.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, wait for 10 minutes before moving the valve to 'venting' to release pressure.
- Open the lid and let the steam escape. Wait for a minute or two and then fluff the rice gently with a fork and it is ready to serve.
- This recipe was tested in an Instant Pot Duo – 6 quart. To make this in an 8-quart Instant Pot, make at least 2 cups of Kerala matta rice since 8-quart needs at least 2 cups of water to come to pressure.
- I used a standard measuring cup for the recipe, not the rice cup that comes with Instant Pot.
- If not serving immediately, remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot to prevent the rice from drying out and sticking to the bottom.
- Reheating leftover rice – Add a tablespoon of water for every cup of leftover rice. Mix well and pressure cook for zero minutes. When the cooking cycle is complete, move the valve to ‘venting’ to release pressure immediately.
Disclosure: This recipe contains affiliate links to products we love and recommend. As an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Disclaimer: Approximate Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.