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What is Wehani Rice?

By Morgan H.
Updated May 16, 2024
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Wehani rice™ is a red-brown colored variant of long-grain brown rice. Wehani was derived in the late 20th century from basmati rice seeds. The rice is very aromatic when cooked, and tends to separate out into single grains, rather than clumping up as other types of rice do.

Lundberg Family Farms, which is located in Richvale, Cal., developed Wehani rice™ over a period of ten years. The farm derived the variety from Indian basmati rice. Basmati rice is usually known for its delicate flavor and fragrance, as well as its free flowing grain when it is cooked. The basmati origination also passed on the trait of unusually long grains to the Wehani derivative. Wehani rice™ is trademarked by Lundberg Family Farms. The farm, which is a family operation founded in 1937, is also the sole producer of the rice variety. The name is a mnemonic derivative of the names of brothers Wendell, Eldon, Homer, Albert and Harlan Lundberg.

The grain of Wehani rice™ resembles that of wild rice. It is brown-red in color and when it is prepared, instead of clumping, the grains separate from each other. Wehani is known for its nutty aroma when it is cooked. This rice also may have a slightly chewy texture, which is more common to types of brown rice.

When buying Wehani rice™, it is important to make sure that the kernels are intact and undamaged, with no scratches or marring on the grain. The rice is sold whole-grain either prepackaged or in bulk at many health and grocery stores. At home, the rice should be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry location, away from moisture and the open air.

Wehani rice™ can be prepared by using a ratio of two cups of water for every one cup of rice. The mixture should be brought to a boil, then the heat should be reduced to medium, and the rice should be covered and simmered until it is tender. Being a brown rice, Wehani will take longer than similar white rice grains, up to about 40 minutes. After it is cooked, the rice can be stored for up to seven days in a refrigerator, or frozen for up to six months with no ill effects.

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Discussion Comments
By serenesurface — On Dec 23, 2013

Wehani rice reminds me of brown Basmati and I think it was bred from a type of Basmati rice so that's not surprising. It tastes a little like popcorn. I think I like brown Texmati rice more.

By burcidi — On Dec 23, 2013

@ddljohn-- I have cooked with Wehani a few times. I can't say that I'm an expert but both times I made it, it turned out very good.

I do recommend soaking the rice first, or washing it for 5-10 minutes under running water. If you soak it, it will steam more easily. I use the 1:2 rice to water ratio, it works perfect. If you have a rice cooker, just use that. If you steam it on the stove, make sure that you use the lowest heat and let it steam slowly until all of the water is gone. When it's done, put a paper towel between the pot and the lid to absorb excess steam and let the rice sit for fifteen minutes.

I keep my Wehani rice simple. I just steam it because it's already a fragrant rice, but you can also add butter and spices. It pairs nicely with meats and veggies.

By ddljohn — On Dec 22, 2013

I bought some Wehani rice from the organic market. I don't usually eat brown rice but I couldn't resist this one. I love the color, it's such a unique type of rice. I don't know about the taste but I think it will look beautiful served on a plate, decorated with some fresh herbs.

Has anyone here cooked with Wehani brown rice before? I know that it takes a while for it to cook. Do I need to soak it before cooking? Does the 1:2 rice to water ratio work well or will I need to adjust the water? And what types of foods does this rice pair up nicely with?

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