Rices with Distinction
Basmati Rice is a variety of long grain rice that has a fragrant, delicate and nutty flavor. It is primarily grown in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The grains are longer than most other types of rice and are characteristically free-flowing rather than sticky. Basmati rice is available in two varieties: white and brown. Interestingly, basmati rice has a “medium” rating for the glycemic index, thus making it more suitable for diabetics as compared to other grains and products made from white flour. This type of rice is best used in pilafs, biryani, and side dishes, but is not very good for puddings or adding to burgers.
A relative of regular Basmati rice is Baby Basmati or tiny kalijira. These rice grains are many times mistaken as couscous but it is not. It is a miniature basmati from Bangladesh. This small, non-glutinous rice can be enjoyed with nuts, dried fruits, vegetables and beans or meats.
Another unique rice grown in Thailand is Jasmine Rice, and interestingly enough, after cooking this type of rice has a slight ‘jasmine’ aroma. It cooks as a firm rice and can be interchanged with white Basmati for variety. Jasmine rice is an excellent choice when cooking Thai or Vietnamese dishes and curries because it’s nutty flavor and rich aroma are pleasing to the palate.