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Sweet Brown Rice Kugel

Sweet Brown Rice Kugel

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Kugel is one of those words that doesn’t really have a good English translation. It's not quite a casserole, or a pudding, but those are probably the closest descriptions.

Traditionally kugels were fried, and since most frying pans are circular, the kugels came out round, which is where the name comes from. Kugel means “round”/“circular.”

Nowadays, kugels are typically baked in square or rectangular pans.


Some of the more traditional kugels include sweet noodle & raisin kugel, Yerushalmi kugel (very thin noodles in a burnt caramel syrup), salt and pepper noodle kugel and, of course, potato kugel.

But almost anything can become a kugel, and some of the less traditional but increasingly common varieties are broccoli kugel, onion kugel, rice kugel, cauliflower kugel and butternut squash kugel.

Probably the most “different” kugel I’ve ever eaten was a heart of palm & tomato kugel.

Today I’m sharing my brown rice kugel recipe with you. It’s similar to rice pudding, but a little more solid so you can cut it into pieces.


You’ll need short-grain brown rice, and water to cook it in. Also orange juice (ideally, with pulp), eggs, sugar, oil, raisins, cinnamon and vanilla.

Place brown rice and water in a strong pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, turn the flame down as low as it goes and let it cook about 40–50 minutes until all the water is absorbed in the rice. Do not open the pot or mix while the rice is cooking.


Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover with water. Let them soak about 15–20 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and orange juice. When the rice and raisins are ready, add them in and mix well.


Pour the batter into a greased 9″ × 13″ baking pan.

Bake at 350° F for 1½ to 2 hours, until firm and browned on top. (As you can see below, the edges are much darker after it’s baked.)


Cut into pieces and serve warm.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup short grain brown rice
  • 2½ cups water
  • ⅓ cup raisins, soaked
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup orange juice, with pulp
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place brown rice and water in a strong pot. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. As soon as it begins to boil, turn the flame down as low as it goes and let it cook about 40–50 minutes until all the water is absorbed in the rice. Do not open the pot or mix while the rice is cooking.
  2. Put the raisins in a small bowl and cover with water. Let them soak about 15–20 minutes.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, cinnamon and orange juice. When the rice and raisins are ready, add them in and mix well.
  4. Pour the batter into a greased 9″ × 13″ baking pan.
  5. Bake at 350° F for 1½ to 2 hours, until firm.
  6. Serve warm.

For some people, kugel is one of those foods that brings back old memories and strong nostalgia. What does kugel mean to you? Leave a comment and share your thoughts—I’d love to hear.

Miriam Szokovski is the author of the historical novel Exiled Down Under, and a member of the Chabad.org editorial team. She shares her love of cooking, baking and food photography on Chabad.org’s food blog, Cook It Kosher.
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Anonymous Los Angeles August 4, 2016

Thank you. My grandmother (who came from southern Russia) used to make rice kugel, albeit with white rice, every Shabbat. I am now almost 72 and I still remember how I looked forward to it. Reply

Anonymous Chicago, Il. September 9, 2015

Except for the brown rice, this sounds like my grandma's rice pudding, which was parve and looked just like this. I can't wait to try it for Rosh Hashanah, as she never shared a recipe and I haven't had it since she died 40 years ago! Thank you! Reply

inge reisinger zwickau germany September 23, 2014

B'H
thank you I'll try this new receipt I have never made one before but after the holydays I'll tell you how it was for me because in Israel I always liked the kugels with noodles very much but anyhow I wish you and your wonderful team a happy Rosh Rashana Reply

ER January 10, 2014

my next practical question: how long does it last in the fridge? Reply

Katie Cross January 10, 2014

Yummy I've never even heard of this before, but I love the texture of puddings/casseroles, and I love brown rice, and I love trying new things, so I'll keep this bookmarked. Thanks for sharing! Reply

Belinda Y. Hughes Louisiana January 10, 2014

Gluten Freedom It's nice to have such a nutritious gluten free kugel recipe to try. The raisins and orange juice are delicious with the brown rice. Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 6, 2014

Freeze ER - yes, you can freeze this kugel. Reply

ER NY January 5, 2014

Does it freeze well? Made it for shabbos, kids loved it. but I have too many leftovers. Do you think it will freeze well? Reply

Joyce Oxfeld Philadelphia January 2, 2014

Challah Kugel shortcut Because I am not living within walking distance of a full fledged Grocery store with produce, without mass transit to get me there. I substituted applesauce, which I purchased from the one mini market, instead of Apples. I came out really nice without having to purchase heavy and costly apples with less than Idea storage options in my apartment. I only wish this type of mini store, only could also carry the unsweetened applesauce.
Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 2, 2014

Thank you Anonymous - thanks for coming back to let me know how it came out! I appreciate the feedback.

Thanks, RD. True, it's a lot of oven time on a Friday, but this can be a Thursday night dish if necessary. Refrigerate and reheat right before Shabbat.

Esther - you're welcome. I know gluten free kugel can be hard to come by!

Joyce - Challah kugel sounds good. I'll have to give it a try.

Patricia - Thanks for coming back to let me know, so glad you made it and enjoyed.

Anonymous from Morristown - thanks for your kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying my recipes. Reply

Miriam Szokovski January 2, 2014

Presentation Hmm... I'm not sure what went wrong. I would recommend gently picking up each piece with a flat spatula and transferring to a serving plate. Reply

Patricia Arcadia, ca. via chabadpasadena.com January 1, 2014

This is great. I made your recipe and it is fantastic! Never made a rice Kugel before, but this was tasty. Thanks. Reply

Anonymous December 29, 2013

Presentation So I made this for shabbos and my guests looooved it!! It was a real hit! My only question is-how do u serve it so it looks presentable? Hot was tricky and I thought cold would be easier but it didn't cut very well at all and was pretty crumbly. Any suggestions? How did u get your pieces to look like that?! Other than that it was delicious. Thank you! Reply

Miriam Szokovski December 26, 2013

Yerushalmi kugel Thanks Dina, will definitely consider doing a step-by-step yerushalmi kugel post!

Esther, I don't think rice would work in a yerushalmi kugel. Reply

Miriam Szokovski December 26, 2013

Some answers... H.A. - I've never tried it but I would imagine you can use the fake eggs just fine. The apple sauce won't work, I don't think. It works will in cakes but this is a different consistency.

Esther R - you can definitely rewarm this and serve it a day or two after you make it.

Anon - I don't think it will taste good cold, but if you let it come to room temperature it should be good. Reply

Joyce Oxfeld Philadelphia December 26, 2013

I used to make sweet noodle kugel, and sampled rice kugel, now Challah kugel While staying by my Kind Rabbi and Rbrz house for Shabbos. I noticed she put all her broken Challah pieces or left over challah in her freezer. I live alone and am too far away from my community to be there for many Shabbot. I said I hated to waste so much challah from the store for just me. She told me that she makes Challah kugel to not waste the bread. I went through three Kosher cookbooks I own to find a recipe I could manage without ingredients that were hard to get without a grocery store nearby. Second time it came out perfect. Nice desert. Reply

Esther Brooklyn December 26, 2013

Dina's favorite kugel with brown rice? Dina, Maybe you can make a Yerushalmi kugel and use brown rice instead of noodles?

Has anyone ever tried it? Do you think it will work? Reply

Esther R Brooklyn December 26, 2013

Must it be served immediately? can I make this a day ahead and then reheat and serve warm? Reply

Anonymous Morristown December 26, 2013

Healthy recipes I enjoy reading your blog very much! It's always clear, simple and not so typical. I appreciate recipes with healthy ingredients, especially the ones that don't include white wheat, sugar or margarine. Reply

Anonymous December 25, 2013

Cold? Will it taste good cold? Reply

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