3 Rice Varieties to Try Before You Die

“Without rice, even the cleverest housewife cannot cook.” – Chinese Proverb

Over half the global population survives on it. It is the second most produced cereal grain in the world. There are over 40,000 varieties of it worldwide – and I have selected for you, the three best ones to eat, before you die! Go forth ladies and gentlemen, I highly recommend you to embark upon this culinary journey!

1. Basmati: Aged, long grain Basmati is one of India’s most prised culinary gifts to the world. Not many people know that the name of the variety is derived from the Sanskrit term vasmati, meaning “aromatic”. This fragrant variety with a nutty flavour can undergo prolonged cooking, a property that becomes useful in the preparation of the renowned dish, biryani. Basmati and tender meat/ moist seafood/ fresh vegetables, richly flavoured with carefully selected herbs and spices, make a heavenly one-pot meal! Since the grains can withstand long, slow cooking, they soak up all the flavours from the pan.

2. Arborio: Moving on to a short grain variety – Italian Arborio is creamy, almost as if coated in a sauce, when cooked! The creaminess is a result of the rice leaving its starch upon cooking. It is named after Comune di Arboro, where it is grown. Like pasta, Italians cook it to al dente texture, meaning “firm when bitten”. The most famous preparation made with it is risotto. Arborio is cooked with meat/ seafood/ vegetables/ mushrooms, butter and wine to a smooth consistency! Cheese (Parmesan, unless it is a fusion/ modern recipe.) is incorporated at the end. Now that’s every connoisseur dream come true!

3. Jasmine: Thoughts about this one conjure up images of long, slightly sticky, floral-scented (Akin to the flower of the same name.) rice grains being served with comforting Thai curries. It is not as long or slender as the Basmati. Even though originally a Thai variety, it is grown in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos too. The best way to cook it is in less water, hence absorption method. (It is the method of rice-cooking that uses a measured amount of water. This is unlike drainage method where a lot of water is used, and then discarded at the end of the cooking process.) Jasmine is great plain boiled, but any leftovers are also good for fried rice. Soft grains are stir-fried with onions, garlic, chillies, soy sauce in a veg. or non veg. dish with bold, bright flavours!

Source by Fahad A. Khan

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