FoodData Central. By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, A Guide to the Most Popular Types of Rice, The Difference Between Basmati and Plain White Rice, What Is White Tea? Basmati rice is very popular served with various Indian curries, as the fluffy grains happily sop up sauces. Long-grain rice is long and skinny, and it includes our beloved basmati, as well as rice like jasmine and American long-grain. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories.

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It is also extremely narrow, with pointy rather than rounded or stubby ends. Brown rice is higher in fiber and has a nuttier, more intense flavor with a stiffer texture. But do you really, truly know it? It is frequently sold in bags of various sizes, from small, 1-pound bags up to 20-pound bags. Because bran provides dietary fiber and essential fatty acids, and the germ contains a number of nutrients, the brown version of basmati rice (and all rice) is generally considered healthier than the white version. Add to an airtight container and use within a few days. Look for cloth packaging, labeled with “extra-long grain,” for that high-quality grain action.Shape: The longer the basmati grain, the better it is. Basmati rice is typically available in white and brown varieties.

US Department of Agriculture. And when it comes to storing it, the shelf life of the white versions is significantly longer, because the fatty acids found in the rice bran can eventually turn rancid and spoil. Pilafs probably originated in India but quickly spread and are now common in many parts of the world. Basmati rice is a variety of long-grained rice that originates in the foothills of the Himalayas and is traditionally served in Indian and other South Asian cuisines. Also, a hybrid of basmati and jasmine rice known as Jasmati, combining basmati's soft grain with jasmine's nuttier flavor, can also be found. Brown basmati rice. In traditional Indian dishes such as the classic biryani, the pilaf is flavored by adding whole spices such as allspice, star anise, whole cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks along with the stock before transferring it to the oven.

All of these varieties are available in white and brown. Compared to many other rice varieties, basmati rice is nutty, floral, and a little spicy. Some recipes call for soaking basmati rice before cooking it, but this is entirely wrong. Pilaf is where basmati rice feels at home. Frequently served alongside various curries, braised or roasted meats, or as the main ingredient in classic biryani, basmati rice is sometimes served plain but often flavored with turmeric or saffron, both of which impart a characteristic yellow hue. Basmati comes from the Hindi word for “fragrant,” and fittingly so. Or maybe rarer?

Basmati rice is all about the flavor and aroma, which is intensely spicy, nutty, and floral (compared to other rice that is, not hot sauce or cashews or like, actual flowers). Similarly, cooking it in the oven ensures that the heat envelops the pot evenly, rather than with stovetop cooking, where the heat comes from directly underneath, causing the grains to stick to the bottom of the pot. This origin is the strong link to basmati rice and its identity to a side for your favorite curry dish. Packaging: Good basmati doesn’t come in a plastic bag. And what do you need to know to buy the good stuff. What is basmati rice, really? Basmati rice can be found with the other dry grains in the supermarket. White basmati rice is more common, but brown basmati rice can be found at many health food stores. There are many countries that grow basmati rice domestically, but it was originally cultivated and grown in India and Pakistan. The textural value lies in the fact that the long grains remain individual, non-sticky grains, allowing curry and other sauces to coat each grain for maximum flavor. Medium-grain falls in the middle of both length and width (medium, duh) and includes varieties like Valencia or Arborio (great for paella, risotto, or just straight-up with a bit of butter, salt, and chopped herbs). The high heat of the oil also imparts a toasty flavor and helps bring out more of the rice's nuttiness. Enjoy the Nutty Flavor and Floral Aroma of Basmati Rice, A Guide to the Most Popular Types of Rice, Thai Mango Sticky Rice Dessert (Khao Niaow Ma Muang). Sautéeing the rice beforehand contributes greatly to fluffiness as it coats each grain with oil, which in turn helps prevent sticking. Fortunately, the pilaf method is simple enough, although it does require an extra step or two. Jasmine rice is most commonly grown and eaten in Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

When cooked, basmati has a slightly softer grain than jasmine rice, while jasmine has a nuttier flavor. Basmati rice tends to have fluffy, clean grains, lacking the starch of jasmine rice. Short grains produce a stickier cooked result so they are great for use as sushi rice. That, somehow, it's fancier than the stuff you're used to. It is a long-grain rice that is characterized by a light nutty flavor and floral aroma, and it's popular in rice pilaf and as a side dish for curry. This is what you need to know: Rice is not a one-size-fits-all scenario, because rice is actually classified in different groups, by size.

Rinse basmati rice until the water runs mostly clear, letting it drain well. Get easy-to-follow, delicious recipes delivered right to your inbox. A restaurateur and food writer, Saad Fayed has published hundreds of recipes and articles about Middle Eastern cuisine. You've heard of it.

While the traditional form of basmati is grown in India and Pakistan, there are a few U.S.-grown hybrids that go by names such as Texmati and Calmati. Basmati rice can be left in its original packaging if it is tightly sealed and stored in a cool, dark place. Get easy-to-follow, delicious recipes delivered right to your inbox. Another important sign is a slightly tapered end of the grain. Brown basmati rice should always be stored in an airtight container and will last for a few months in the pantry.

Aged basmati rice tends to result in a better texture and flavor, and is off-white or golden in color rather than stark white. © 2020 Condé Nast. For longer storage (up to a year), store in an airtight glass or plastic container. It's perfect for pilafs or making tahdig, a crispy Persian rice dish. Armstrong Studios / Photodisc / Getty Images. It is also popular for making rice pilaf, a side dish of grains cooked in a flavored stock and aromatics with other ingredients tossed in like nuts. When cooked properly, the tender grains remain individual and lack stickiness. Given the emphasis on fluffiness rather than stickiness, it's not surprising that basmati rice is typically prepared using the cooking method which happens to produce the fluffiest, least-sticky rice, regardless of variety, and that is via the pilaf method. Of the two, India accounts for about two-thirds of the global supply. Updated April 1, 2019. You can, of course, ordinarily prepare basmati rice, via simmering it or cooking it in a rice cooker, but if you want to experience it in all its aromatic glory, the pilaf method is the only way to go. The rice pairs well with mild and flavorful curries and dishes, complementing but not overshadowing.

Brown basmati also has a more nutty flavor and a firmer texture than white. Read our, The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. Basmati shares the long-grain group with jasmine rice and American long grain. Why do we love it with curries and pilafs and braised meats? Bon Appétit may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers.

It comes down to sautéeing the uncooked rice in oil, along with some finely minced onions and other aromatics, then adding hot stock or broth and transferring the whole pot, tightly covered, to the oven and cooking it until all the liquid is absorbed.