From Brown to Basmati: A World of Different Types of Rice

Rice forms the foundational ingredient in many famous dishes. Whether it’s the rice in Spanish paella, the arroz in arroz con pollo o con platanos y frijoles in many Central American cuisines, or even the Jambalaya of the south in the United States, rice is an instrumental ingredient in hundreds of different dishes. In fact, in many areas of the world, rice is the most widely consumed staple part of an individual’s diet, particularly in Asia.

However, not all types of rice are the same. Rice varies on a bunch of different factors, ranging from length, shape, texture, color and even aroma! It can often be difficult to keep your mind straight around all these different types of rice. There may even be some with which you have limited prior familiarity. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. Given rice, and in particular basmati rice’s, prevalence in Persian food, we thought it made sense to complete a deep dive analysis on the differing types of rice. As basmati rice is the most commonly used type in Persian cuisine, we’ll be giving basmati rice some extra love. Our golden, crispy Baaz Bites are made only with basmati rice, allowing them to achieve perfect texture, aroma, color and size.

Long Grain vs Medium Grain vs Short Grain Rice

Rice is often divided up into three different camps: long grain rice, medium grain rice and short grain rice. Basmati rice is a type of long grain rice. Their names essentially explain their differences, but long grain rice, when cooked, is characterized less by its stickiness and more so by its fluffiness and lightness. It is very small in its width but has a longer height (therefore giving it its “long grain” rice title). Short grain rice, on the other hand, is more commonly used for sushi, as it has much more of a sticky texture when cooked.

Different Types of Rice

The four most common types of rice are white rice, brown rice, basmati rice and jasmine rice. Each is unique in its own right.

White Rice

White rice is a type of long-grain rice. It is often said that white rice is not the healthiest of the various rice varieties, because it has been stripped of its nutrient-rich bran and germ. Brown rice is therefore considered to be a healthier option than white rice, as it has fewer calories and carbs but more fiber.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is often associated with being the healthiest rice choice, as it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Brown rice is also considered a whole grain food, further contributing to its healthiness. Brown rice is often the perfect accompaniment for stir fry or with a protein.

Basmati Rice

In our opinion, nothing beats basmati rice. When it is cooked, each individual grain is the star of the show, as it does not stick with other grains of rice. It can either be served on its own, or mixed together with fresh herbs, vegetables, spices, or topped with curries and stews. Basmati rice is usually the rice of choice for Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. The long-grained nature of basmati rice makes it the perfect choice for tadig cups!

Basmati Rice

Where Does Basmati Rice Come From?

Basmati rice was originally cultivated in Pakistan and India. India currently cultivates approximately two-thirds of basmati rice supply, therefore making it a popular rice choice for curry-based dishes. In fact, the words “basmati” comes from the Hindi for fragrant, further giving credit to the long grain rice’s incredible aroma and scent.

How to Cook Basmati Rice

The process of preparing basmati rice is quite straightforward. First, the basmati rice must be thoroughly washed in order to remove any starch. This usually requires washing, rinsing and draining the basmati rice, and repeating the process about three times. When preparing the basmati rice over the stovetop, each cup of basmati rice requires about one and a half cups of water. This is usually the perfect ratio to ensure the rice cooks thoroughly to maintain ideal fluffiness for the final product. Total cook time over the stovetop for the basmati rice is about 15 minutes.

Jasmine Rice

Jasmine rice is another type of long-grain rice, similar to basmati rice. Jasmine rice is a particularly aromatic rice. Jasmine rice is unique to being grown solely in Thailand. Jasmine rice is often served as a side dish, or in pilafs and even desserts!

While we’ve covered the four most common types of rice, we thought we’d give red rice some love as well, especially given its nutritional profile and oh-so-intriguing color.

Red Rice

Red rice is a highly nutritious type of rice that is on the chewier side. It is enriched with antioxidants and magnesium, thereby increasing the health attributes of red rice. The rice is often associated with improving oxygen consumption, decreasing the likelihood of diabetes and a whole host of other health attributes. It is often served alongside dishes such as a quinoa salad or other whole-grain plants.

Red Rice

Persian Basmati Rice

Most searches for Persian basmati rice will result in pictures of a beautiful platter of white basmati rice topped off in a golden yellow color. This color can be attributed to either saffron or turmeric, which is often added to the basmati rice either for aesthetic purposes or for slight taste altercations. Persian food would not be Persian food if it were not for basmati rice, and in particular long grain basmati rice. Long grain basmati rice allows for the final product to be fluffy and for each grain to really shine on its own.

The process of preparing Persian rice using long grain basmati rice also products the product for which Persian food is most famous for, and from which Baaz Bites got its original inspiration, tadig! While there are tons of videos on the process of making tadig, including this one here, it is actually quite a straightforward process. By allowing a thin layer of oil to sizzle at the bottom of the pot (which is tadig’s literal translation), the close contact of the oil and rice combine to make a perfect thin layer of crispy basmati rice, known as tadig.

Rice, the Ingredient that Unites Us All

As we’ve seen, rice is an ingredient that is predominant in many cuisines. It is widely consumed because of its nutritional profile, taste, and ease in which it can be prepared. There are also tons of different rice options, from short grain to long grain, and from brown to basmati, that can satisfy any meal. But one thing stands true above all: Baaz Bites’ basmati rice tadig cups are in a class of their own.

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