Rice has been a popular staple food all over the world. In fact, more than 120,000 types of rice are cultivated in the world. Today K-agriculture will focus on a special Indian type of rice named Basmati.
In this article, we will explore all you need to know about Basmati rice, including the types of Basmati rice, its characteristics, and its health benefits. Moreover, this article also clears your confusion about how to cook basmati rice.
Let’s dive into the article to explore all the necessary information that you need.
- 1 An overview of basmati rice
- 2 Types of basmati rice
- 3 Nutrition facts of basmati rice
- 4 Health benefits of basmati rice
- 5 How to cook basmati rice
- 6 Some dishes to eat with Basmati rice
An overview of basmati rice
So, what is basmati rice? Basmati rice is a well-known variety of rice, and its name is derived from the Sanskrit word “basmati,” which means “fragrant” or “aromatic.” Basmati rice is a long-grain aromatic rice that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It has been cultivated for centuries and is widely considered to be one of the finest types of rice in the world. Its distinct aroma and flavor come from the specific soil and climate conditions in which it is grown, as well as the traditional methods used in its cultivation and processing.
It’s thought to have come from the Himalayas and been transported to India by traders and missionaries. In Pakistan and India, basmati rice is currently one of the most widely consumed varieties of rice.
The price of basmati rice fluctuates based on seasonal output and import demands. India is the major country exporting Basmati rice. In India, major trading hubs for this commodity include Hyderabad and Karnal, and basmati rice futures contracts are traded on MCX in units of MTs.
Types of basmati rice
Basmati rice comes in several varieties, each with unique characteristics and growing locations that determine their prices. This premium rice has cultural significance in certain regions and is primarily produced by India and Pakistan, with India leading as the largest producer and exporter. Some popular types of basmati rice are:
- Traditional Basmati rice: The original type of Basmati rice is the Traditional Basmati rice, which is cultivated in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is renowned for its long grain, delicate aroma, and light and fluffy texture, which make it perfect for biryani, pilaf, and other dishes that call for a light and fluffy rice grain.
- Organic Basmati rice: is cultivated using pure river water and is produced in accordance with rigorous international organic food standards. This type of rice has a high amylose content, making it a low glycemic index (GI) food. The long and slender grains of Organic Basmati rice fluff out and separate easily during the cooking process, giving it a delightful texture.
- Brown Basmati rice: It is a minimally processed whole-grain variety of Basmati rice that maintains its bran layer and germ, making it a nutritious option compared to white Basmati rice. It is abundant in fiber, vitamins, and minerals and has a nutty flavor and firm texture, making it ideal for use in salads, stir-fries, and other dishes that require a chewier consistency.
- Aromatic Basmati rice: The distinctive fragrance of Basmati rice is renowned, attributed to the aging process of several months. Through this process, the rice’s flavor and aroma are developed, making it an excellent choice for preparing aromatic dishes like pulao, biryani, and other similar rice dishes.
- Sella Basmati rice: is a parboiled variety of Basmati rice that undergoes a steam treatment before milling. This process helps to maintain the rice’s nutritional content and gives it a firm texture. Sella Basmati rice is frequently used in preparing biryanis and other rice dishes that require a firmer consistency.
- Parboiled Basmati rice: is a type of Basmati rice that undergoes a partial boiling process before milling. This technique helps to maintain the rice’s nutritional value and gives it a firmer texture. Parboiled Basmati rice is often used in preparing biryanis and other rice dishes where a firmer texture is desired.
- Premium Basmati rice: is a top-quality type of Basmati rice that is meticulously handpicked for its long grains, gentle aroma, and airy and fluffy texture. It is typically aged for several months, allowing its flavors and fragrance to mature fully. Premium Basmati rice is an ideal option for dishes such as biryani, pilaf, and other rice-based dishes that demand a light and delicate grain.
We can categorize Basmati rice into 2 different types: India and Pakistan basmati rice because these are the two biggest exporters of Basmati rice.
- Indian basmati rice: The frequent Basmati rice from India are: Basmati 370, the R.S. Pusa Basmati, and Basmati 385. The Indian Basmati rice is fragrant, flavourful, and considered to be the most delicious Basmati rice in the world.Colour: Basmati rice has translucent, creamy white color. There is also brown Basmati rice but the most commonly used is white Basmati.
Grain: Basmati is a variety of long-grain rice. The grain is long (6.61 – 7.5 mm) or very long (more than 7.50 mm and 2 mm breadth).
Shape: Shape is another feature to identify basmati rice. This needs to be over 3.0 in order to qualify as basmati rice
Texture: Basmati rice is dry, firm, separate grains. After being cooked, Basmati rice is firm and tender without splitting, and it is non-sticky.
Elongation: The Basmati rice elongates almost twice upon cooking but does not fatten much. When cooked the Basmati grains elongate (70-120 % over the pre-cooked grain) more than other varieties.
Flavor: Basmati rice has a distinctive fragrance. The most special characteristic of them all is the aroma. Incidentally, the aroma in Basmati arises from a cocktail of 100 compounds — hydrocarbons, alcohols, aldehydes, and esters. A particular molecule of note is 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.
- Pakistan Basmati rice
Besides India, Pakistan is also well-known for producing Basmati rice. D-98, PK 385, and Super Kernel Basmati Rice are three types of Basmati rice that Pakistan supplies on the market. Having many shared features but the Basmati rice from Pakistan is considered to be more aromatic, flavourful, and has higher quality so usually, it is sold at a higher price than India Basmati rice.
Nutrition facts of basmati rice
Basmati rice is known as a nutritional and healthy type of rice. Let’s find out the nutritional value of basmati rice in the following table:
Health benefits of basmati rice
Not only is Basmati favored for its flavor and aroma, but it also offers health benefits. There are three primary benefits of basmati that you should know.
Basmati rice stands out among most rice varieties, especially white rice, due to its lower glycemic index. While most rice has a high glycemic index, basmati rice falls within the low to medium range, with a glycemic index of 50 to 58. This characteristic of basmati rice allows for a slower and more gradual increase in blood sugar levels. Consequently, small portions of basmati rice can be included in a healthy diet for individuals with diabetes.
Apart from its lower glycemic index, basmati rice can be a good source of fiber, although it’s important to verify the fiber content by reading the nutrition label. Consuming sufficient amounts of dietary fiber is linked to a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
A lack of fiber in the diet may cause digestive problems, including constipation. However, the soluble fiber present in basmati rice aids digestion by adding bulk to stool and facilitating its movement through the digestive system.
Diets rich in fiber have been linked to a decreased risk of certain cancers, especially colorectal cancer. Ingesting at least 3 ounces of whole grains per day is associated with a
17% reduction in the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Hence, incorporating brown basmati rice into one’s diet can contribute to reducing the risk of this type of cancer.
Reducing the threat of heart disease
Brown basmati rice is included in the category of whole grains, which are considered to lower the risk of heart disease and have a low level of cholesterol. It can also mitigate the threat of high blood pressure or hypertension.
Better Brain Health
Basmati rice stemmed from India, which is a rich source of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B1 (thiamine), with each serving containing 22% of the daily recommended intake. Thiamine plays a vital role in maintaining brain health and preventing the onset of neurological disorders. A deficiency in thiamine can lead to a condition known as Wernicke encephalopathy, which is characterized by confusion, memory loss, and unsteadiness in walking. Therefore, incorporating basmati rice into one’s diet can be an effective way of maintaining healthy levels of thiamine in the body and supporting brain health.
How to cook basmati rice
There are various ways to cook basmati rice, such as on the stovetop, in a rice cooker, or in the oven. Here are the 5 basic steps to cook basmati rice.
Step 1: Measure 1 cup of basmati rice and 1-½ cups of water into a medium-sized saucepan.
Step 2: Rinse the rice thoroughly under cold water to remove any excess starch.
Step 3: Bring the rice and water to a boil over high heat.
Step 4: Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and cover the saucepan. Let the rice simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 5: After 20 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it sit for 5 minutes. Then, fluff the rice with chopsticks before serving.
Basmati rice is versatile and can be used in many dishes, such as pilaf, biryani, or fried rice. It can also be incorporated into soups or stews and pairs well with a variety of curries, vegetables, and meats. You might like to try this recipe for Lamb Meatballs with Jeweled Rice to add a touch of exotic flavors to your meal.
Some dishes to eat with Basmati rice
Basmati rice is an indispensable part of many cuisines from India and Pakistan. Here are some delicious dishes to eat with Basmati rice.
Basmati rice With Chicken
You can pair the cooked Basmati rice with spicy chicken gravy and serve with vegetables on the side. You can also grill or stir fry or chicken when the Basmati rice is cooked and pair the two for an appetizing meal.
Basmati Rice With Turmeric and Coconut
The recipe to cook this dish is really simple.
Heat oil in a pan and fry chopped onions, garlic, and ginger, with salt for a few minutes. Add in the pan turmeric powder and Basmati rice, mix them well. Add coconut milk and water to the pan and let the Basmati rice cook for about 18 minutes. Finally, you have a scrumptious dish to eat.
Lemon Basmati rice
Lemon Basmati Rice is a delicious Basmati rice recipe that will definitely explode with flavor in your mouth. Here is how this Basmati rice dish is cooked. First, fry chana dal and urad dal in oil for some minutes. Add in salt, turmeric powder, Basmati rice, and water. Mix them well and add in the lemon juice. Fry until the Basmati rice is fragrant and take this off the stove
You can also add roasted peanuts to create more texture to the dish!
To sum up, this article is your comprehensive guide to Basmati rice, covering everything from its various types and unique characteristics to its potential health benefits. Additionally, we also provide you with tips on how to properly cook Basmati rice to perfection, ensuring that you can enjoy this versatile and delicious grain to its fullest potential.
So go ahead, grab a bag of Basmati rice, and start experimenting with this wonderful ingredient in your own kitchen! K-Agriculture hope you enjoy our article. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below for free explanations.