The Gandy Dancer’s Rice Pilaf

I have found a new rice and a delicious recipe to use it in. Parboiled rice was brought to my attention with Chef Larry’s recipe, a former chef at The Gandy Dancer. I did not quite understand what parboiled rice was so once again I searched the internet for answers to my questions. I used the article from http://www.healthyindiandiet.com/blog/healthy-basmati-rice for a lot of my information. I was very interested in reading about this.

I absolutely love rice, except for the rice you get in Chinese restaurants and I still struggle with the nuttiness of brown rice.  White basmati rice was my preferred type of rice which has a lower GI value than other varieties of rice. There is also brown basmati rice which can have the same and sometimes lower GI values than white rice and recently I learned of a third; parboiled basmati rice which has variable GI values. What this means is that basmati rice is healthier than other rice. Then I have minute rice and also sushi rice – I mean 5 kinds of rice – no wonder my pantry is full!

Parboiled rice in this sense is not a means of cooking – it is processed quite differently from other types of rice. Because of the special processing, parboiled rice is a better source of fiber, calcium, potasium and vitamin B-6 than regular white rice. It is also called converted rice, made by partially boiling brown rice so that the starchy endosperm (the white rice) absorbs some nutrients like thiamine from the bran and germ.

The brand I bought from Yummy, Pure Indian Basmati Rice is suitable for diabetics due to a low GI Index (between 50 and 70). Glycemic Index  is an index that measures the ability of a food substance to raise blood sugar level.The carbs in parboiled rice do not cause a large spike in blood sugar. It is kosher certified, premium aged Indian Sella rice, low in fat, cholesterol free, gluten free, GMO free and vegan.

After the rice is harvested, its hull is removed to produce brown rice. If there is a second step of processing to remove the bran, it then becomes white rice. The process for parboiled rice begins before the hull is removed. The rice is soaked, steamed and dried, then the hull is removed to make parboiled rice. The process of steaming allows the rice to absorb nutrients and changes the starch so that it cooks into a firmer, less sticky dish of rice than regular white rice. It still needs to be cooked for 12 to 14 minutes.

I have been wanting to try this recipe for some time as there is a mixture of beef and chicken stock, plus a little butter. Butter always makes things a little better! I did not realize I would be learning something new about a different rice. You can see the difference in colors below. White is white, brown is brown and parboiled is yellow.

Parboiled rice is a compromise between  brown and white and I like it a lot. A healthier alternative which is always a good thing. I also would use oil to saute the onions and  would probably forget about the 2 tbsp. of butter on top.

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Chef Larry also mentions you can add other ingredients such as black or red beans, sauteed squash or peppers, or even 1/2 cup of cracked wheat.

By the way, The Gandy Dancer is a popular restaurant here in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Great seafood, great salads, great everything! Plus, the building was once a train station in my beautiful city before it was transformed into a restaurant.

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For other rice recipes on my blog see Rice Pilaf and Ginger and Jasmine Tea Sushi Rice.

The Gandy Dancer's Rice Pilaf

  • 2 tbsp. butter for sautéing, could use oil instead
  • 1/4 cup onions, finely diced (I might be tempted to add another 1/4 cup as I love onions)
  • 1-1/2 cups long grain rice, parboiled (converted)
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth (I used low-sodium)
  • 1-1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. cold butter to finish (optional)
  • other ingredients as desired such as veggies

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and saute onions for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and toss to coat until the rice glistens. Add both broths and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer on the lowest flame for 12 to 14 minutes or until the broth is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Immediately place rice in a serving bowl and toss with 2 tbsp. of butter to coat the rice and prevent sticking. Did you know that cold butter halts the cooking process as it coats each grain? Well, you do now!

Recipe by Cooking With Aunt Juju

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Isn’t this parboiled rice beautiful? It does not stick together and  is perfect as a side, fried rice or with a stir-fry. The flavor is enhanced in this recipe by using chicken and beef broth and then of course a little butter never hurts.

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Linking to Fiesta Friday and Antonia and Petra.

19 thoughts on “The Gandy Dancer’s Rice Pilaf

  1. I’m with you Judi, basmati is my favorite rice and I have tried to like brown rice but just don’t, given the choice I would not eat rice if all that were available is brown. This pilaf looks delicious. I actually bought some of the parboiled basmatic because it is lower in carbs. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

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    • Thanks Suzanne – it was really delicious and not sticky. The chicken and beef broth added some great flavor, along with the butter of course! I didn’t plan to research the rice but I am glad I did, now I will only use parboiled/converted basmati rice in the future. I know you will be having a beautiful Thanksgiving with the feast you’re fixing.

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  2. Five kinds of rice!? I love this post and I learnt a lot about rice. I don’t cook enough and I have to admit it is usually a boil in bag kind of stuff, clearly cheating. I will have a look out for par boiled rice, like you I love white rice but I know it is more of a treat.
    Your rice looks perfectly cooked and sounds delicious with the added flavours! 🙂 Happy FF!

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    • Thanks Petra – it was the best rice I can ever remember eating – I will use this recipe often! I like to experiment and try to come up with healthier food that I can eat. Brown rice is just not for me even with all of its benefits. The Parboiled rice is better than white but not as good as brown basmati – and so a compromise. Happy FF!

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      • I am with you on the born rise I have to admit. I also tried wild rice and I can eat it in smaller amounts but not much at the time. Parboiled rice sounds like a great option 🙂
        I like to make food healthier and I love when it works out!

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  3. Right, so I’ve now gone and google parboiled rice to learn more. How neat, I had never heard of it before. Given the prevalence of Indian food in the UK, they are bound to sell it here somewhere. I think I may have found a new rice for my Wednesday night curry!

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    • Thanks Matt – isn’t it fun to learn new things. That’s the “retired” teacher/librarian in me – I love to share things that I have discovered. This rice is especially tasty using chicken and beef broth, plus a few onions and butter is optional. I hope you try it and like it as much as we did!

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  4. Thank you Julie! It’s delicious with the two broths and of course a little butter – this will be my “rice of choice” from now on. Of course you can always add other ingredients to kick it up. Enjoy your Thanksgiving – I’m sure you’re cooking.

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  5. A great line-up of all the various rice available. But now I’m intrigued by the par-boiled basmati? I’ll have to check out the Indian store the next time I visit. I like that it has lower carbs. I too can live on rice alone, your pilaf looks delicious 🙂

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  6. I love parboiled rice, Judi. It always cooks perfectly! Btw, I noticed you signed up to follow FF by mail but I think you may have opted out of email subscription, check your setting. And Sandhya and I have a request for you to be her cohost this Friday 😄😄 I hope you’ll consent. Pleeease…. 😘

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  7. Hi, Judi! I did see that you’ve agreed to cohost this week but as I was trying to let you know and thank you, my site crashed!! Still unable to get it up, and my email doesn’t work either. I know it’s the server host problem even though they’re denying it 😄 Anyway, thanks so much, I’ll tell Sandhya 😘😘

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