Rice is one of the staples of Indian cuisine. While there are several rice varieties available, basmati has always held a special position. Popular brands like Kohinoor, Daawat, INDIA GATE, and Fortune have released their products in the market for you to choose from, depending on your needs.
Read through to learn about its benefits, varieties, and how to choose the perfect variety depending on the dish you are cooking. Don't forget to shop from our Top 10 list featuring the best basmati rice you can buy online in India. This article has been medically reviewed by nutritionist Ruchi Wadhna, so keep reading to know unique facts about rice!
Ruchi Wadhwa is a certified Nutritionist with a keen interest in Ayurvedic science. She has a wholesome, holistic, and sustainable approach to nutrition.
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Table of Contents
There are several varieties of Basmati rice. You can choose them depending on the length of the grain, dishes, occasions, aging, and many more. Scroll down to learn more.
Parboiled sella or golden basmati is partially boiled while still in its husk before milling. The process retains many nutrients normally lost during the milling process and makes the rice slightly golden. Compared to other varieties, it has fewer carbs and calories and more iron, calcium, fiber, and protein.
If you see 1121 mentioned in a package, it means that the package only has Pusa 1121 grains in it. Since some companies mix various crop varieties, looking for specific information like this can help make better buying decisions. You can find the benefits of choosing long grains in the sections below.
Basmati rice has 29 varieties, and each has its own flavor, aroma, texture, and nutritional properties. For example, Variety Pusa Basmati-1 is known for its easy digestibility, making it good for small children and people with gastric problems, or Sharabti Basmati is the most pocket-friendly variety among all.
Kasturi basmati has the lowest glycemic index among all making it ideal for people wanting to diabetics and weight-watchers. Furthermore, the nutritional value of rice depends on the type of processing it undergoes. Brown and Parboiled rice are much healthier than regular white rice, and they retain most of their nutrients which get lost while processing or milling rice.
The aging process improves many attributes of basmati rice. It reduces its moisture content, grain length, aroma, and taste. Your dish will taste so much better when cooked with aged basmati. Most products in the market are aged for one or two years. Of course, the longer it's aged, the better it will be. Check the package to find out before you buy.
Washing and soaking your aged basmati rice in water for at least 30 minutes will result in firm and fluffy rice after it is cooked. It will also absorb more flavors from the other ingredients in your dish. You can use extra long grain basmati that is aged for two years to make restaurant-style, aromatic, and flavorful biryani right at your home.
The aging of rice is a storage technique that improves the physicochemical, sensory, cooking, and other functional properties of rice. It helps to increase the shelf-life/keeping quality of rice. Also, it affects the elongation ratio, whiteness (Color), volume, water requirement, and pasting properties of rice, making it more palatable and appealing.
Sometimes rice is artificially aged to mimic all the said qualities, but it is not comparable to naturally aged rice. So, one should always buy rice that is naturally aged. To ensure quality, choose products that have voluntary certifications like GMP, AGMARK, etc.
Of course, the length of the basmati rice contributes to the taste of a dish. But premium varieties are expensive, and unless the dish demands, you can use broken or affordable varieties for your dishes. Payesh is a Bengali dessert in which rice becomes more like a liquid after cooking. Desi ghee khichdi makes the rice mushy when cooked, so there is no need for long grains.
But dishes like biryani, pulao, and jeera rice will definitely look and taste good with long grain basmati rice. Keep in mind that short and medium grains have more starch and require more care to prevent them from clumping. That's why long grains are preferred for the above dishes.
Basmati is a premium quality rice that is widely known for its distinct flavor and aroma. Foods like Biryani, Payesh, Paella, Pilaf, Firni are incomplete without the uniqueness of Basmati.
Brown basmati is not another variety of basmati rice. It's just white basmati that didn't go through the milling process, thus retaining their bran and germ. It contains significantly more nutrients like zinc, phosphorus, B vitamins, and fiber.
Compared to other rice, brown basmati has a lower glycemic index, meaning it doesn't spike blood sugar levels quickly. The fiber content in the rice feeds the good bacteria in the gut, thus improving digestive health and promoting good bowel movements.
You can improve your brain health and immune system by including brown basmati in your diet since it has B vitamins in it. Its zinc content promotes quicker wound healing and improves sexual function, while phosphorus helps the body repair tissues and cells.
Brown rice is whole grain and has both bran and germ layer intact. The bran layer gives it a chewy texture and nutty aroma. It contains all the essential amino acids and has a slightly higher percentage of trace elements like selenium, manganese, etc., and vitamin B1.
Moreover, it is high in fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and has a significantly lower glycemic index than white rice, making it an ideal choice for people with diabetes.
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BASMATI RICE CLASSIC
Premium Quality Basmati for Special Occasions
Extra Long Grains Cook up Light and Fluffy
Signature Basmati Rice
85% of the Grains Are More Than 8.4mm Long
Organic Basmati Rice
Organic Basmati for a Healthy Meal
Super XL Parboiled Sella Basmati Rice
Parboiling Process Retains Most of the Nutrients
Brown Basmati Rice
More Vitamins and Minerals Compared to Regular Basmati
Dubar Basmati Rice
Elongates by 3x Its Normal Size
Everyday Basmati Rice
Regular Basmati for Everyday Use
Tibar Basmati Rice
Tibar Variety Grown in North-Western Himalayas
Slender White Grains With Good Elongation
INDIA GATE Classic Basmati rice is one for special occasions. With grains that are aged and extra-long, the rice will grow 20% more in length and 30% more in volume compared to a non-aged variety when cooked.
The company advertises it as "for special occasions" due to its premium quality and extra-long grains; you can cook everyday dishes with it too. Customer reviews show that the rice is aromatic, tastes good, and doesn't stick together when cooked.
Cultivated in the foothills of the Himalayas, the Kohinoor Supreme will indulge you in an aromatic feast. The grains are fluffy and have a good texture. Since the rice is aged for two years, it won't clump while cooking.
You can be assured that the extra-long grains will make your biryanis taste delicious and aromatic too. Customers have posted reviews with images of the dishes they made with the rice. You can see that the rice elongates well after it's cooked.
Pansari Signature is another premium product of aged and extra-long basmati rice. The company promises that 85% of the grains are 8.4mm long, and the rest are 7.8mm long, which is expected from a premium 1121 variety crop.
Among the customers who purchased this product, some people have been brand loyalists for about three years. The rice has a pleasant aroma, elongates well when cooked, and dishes like pulao taste delicious when prepared with this.
If you are looking for an organic variety of basmati rice, this product is for you. 24 Mantra has always been at the forefront when it comes to selling organic products. The company promises that the cultivation is without the use of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) and pesticides.
Customers vouch for its aroma and taste, but some reviews show that the length is comparatively less, which may not be an issue if you want to prepare dishes like pilaf, payesh, or desi ghee khichdi.
This product has basmati rice that has gone through parboiling, which is a process that makes the rice absorb nutrients from the husk and retains many it already has. The rice is cultivated in the foothills of the Himalayas, and the company promises that it is non-GMO and gluten-free.
Since the rice is parboiled, it is comparatively better at absorbing the flavors of spices present. Customer reviews and pictures show that the rice elongates decently upon cooking.
Brown basmati is a variety that has its bran and germ intact, meaning it's unmilled. Compared to the regular varieties, it has more zinc, B vitamins, phosphorus, and fiber. When cooked, you can experience slightly chewy rice with a light, nutty flavor.
The product comes in a plastic pet jar, so you can store it easily. You can prepare dishes like pulao, risotto, and all kinds of biryanis. The company promises that the rice cooks in just 15 minutes, so go for it if you want something prepared quickly for guests.
NDIA GATE's Dubar Basmati is a broken rice variety with 75% grain length. The price is comparatively low since the grain length is lower. It is aged to reduce the moisture content making it fluffy, less sticky, and aromatic.
Go for this product if you are looking for affordable basmati with grains long enough to make delicious fried rice and pulao. INDIA GATE promises you will get 3X elongation and 3.25X more servings when cooked. Customers could cook the rice quickly, and the biryanis turned out aromatic and tasty.
Fortune everyday Basmati rice is a full-grain variety that is affordable. The rice is specially aged to make it fluffy and long. The shelf life of the product is 24 months, and the packet has cooking instructions for people who are new to preparing basmati dishes.
Customers reviews show that the grains are indeed full-grain, and no one could find any broken ones among them. The superior quality and affordability are the factors that attracted most to buy this product.
Tibar is a broken basmati rice variety of grains 60% the length of the original rice. It is aged for one year compared to other varieties that are usually aged for two years. You don't have to worry about the rice sticking together.
Most of the reviews talk about how the grain is long enough to make biryanis. Many customers found this fit for daily use, and the package gives you cooking tips to prepare the rice perfectly.
INDIA GATE Feast Rozzana is intended for everyday consumption. This variety has 3/4th the length of the full-grain variety. Since it is broken rice, the price is lower and hence affordable. The elongation is decent upon cooking, but not as impressive as the premium varieties.
The rice is aged, enabling it to absorb the flavors of the spices in the dish. Some customers found that the aroma is not up to the mark. Since it is broken rice, you can use it for making dishes like gulab phirni, payesh, chicken paella, desi ghee khichdi, in which the length of the rice doesn't matter.
Do you want to learn how to chook restaurant-style chicken biryani at home? It's not a difficult task at all. Watch this video to make yourself this delicious dish in just three steps:
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Choosing the right basmati for your needs is easy. Check for grain length, age, and rice variety on the package. For example, expensive premium grains will have more grain length, aroma, and flavor. It's intended for special occasions like weddings, while Dubar, Tibar, and Rozana can be considered for your daily diet. For those who watch their weight, brown basmati can be a wise option.
Author - Arun F Xaviour
No. 1：INDIA GATE｜BASMATI RICE CLASSIC
No. 3：Pansari｜Signature Basmati Rice
No. 4：24 Mantra｜Organic Basmati Rice
No. 5：Kitchen King｜Super XL Parboiled Sella Basmati Rice
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