Having lived a large part of my life in Northern India, I witnessed the lush green fields of Basmati rice every time I took a trip to the countryside. The saplings of this aromatic crop submerged in water form an integral part of my childhood memories. Every vacation we would pack our bags and head to Dehradun, a small town where my maternal grandfather lived. En route, we would find farmers tending gently to their rice crop, known by the name Basmati.
Basmati which literally translates to “Queen of Fragrance” in the local dialect, is famous for its long grain and delicate flavour. It elongates to almost twice its original size after cooking. Long slender grains, fluffy texture, fragrant aroma and finger-licking taste give Basmati rice a preference over other varieties of rice.
One of the best quality white rice, Basmati can be incorporated into your daily cooking if eaten in the right quantity. Let’s understand why Basmati is also called a healthy “supergrain”-
- Basmati rice has low to medium glycemic index, meaning it helps reduce blood sugar levels, aids weight loss and lowers the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Basmati rice is gluten-free, low in fat and sodium, and has no cholesterol. Packed with 8 essential amino acids and folic acid, it makes for a good choice for every day eating.
- Brown Basmati rice is healthier than the white one as it contains dietary fibre and a number of nutrients.
How to cook Indian white basmati rice?
Basmati rice is a dream to cook. With the fragrance of sun-baked wood and flowers, complemented with a nutty flavour, Basmati rice is a taste sensation. Let's discover the secret to cooking this flavorsome delight-
- Boil the rice in a pot filled with ample amount of salted water (just like you boil pasta). The water should be 4-5 times the amount of rice. Boil on high heat for 20-25 minutes. After this, check one grain of rice if it is soft and cooked. If it is still hard then you can boil for a few more minutes.
- Drain water from the cooked rice.
- Almost all the starch is removed from the rice resulting in the fluffiest and most aromatic rice.
Note: Add a teaspoon of ghee in the boiling water to get an amazing flavour. This also prevents the rice grains from sticking to each other.
Recipes with Basmati rice
The open texture of Basmati rice makes it extremely versatile. It blends well with other spices making it an agreeable partner to a host of recipes. Some of the favourite dishes made with basmati rice are-
- Biryanis- Basmati rice is most commonly used to make robust vegetarian and non-vegetarian biryanis. See different biryani spice mixes here.
- Kheer- Celebrate a happy occasion by making Basmati kheer loaded with milk, saffron, rosewater, cardamom and Basmati rice.
- Lemon rice- A tangy and delicious rice preparation with lemon juice, curry leaves, turmeric, mustard seeds and raw peanuts.
- Coconut rice- An easy and appetizing delicacy dished out of Basmati rice, fresh coconut, mustard seeds, curry leaves and raw peanuts.
How to store Indian White Basmati Rice?
Likened to old wine, Basmati is suffused in centuries of traditional love and cultural heritage. It improves with age resulting in a deeper and richer flavour. It can easily be stored for years in a cool dry area, in an airtight container.
When to discard Indian White Basmati Rice?
If dry Basmati rice gives out bad odour or appearance, or is infested with insects or contaminants, it should be immediately discarded.
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