White Basmati Rice
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White Basmati Rice is Brown Basmati Rice (Basmati Rice with the outer Rice Husk removed) that has been further milled to remove the Rice Bran. White Basmati Rice is sometimes also polished.

By the way, “Basmati” is a Hindi word that is translated as “fragrant” which describes the delicious smell, which is the product of a chemical compound called 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline. It smells something like popcorn when cooked.

Season

Basmati Rice, like most Rice, is sown in the late Spring and harvested in the Summer.

Cultivation

See the General Rice Resource for broad Rice cultivation information.

Production

White Basmati Rice produced in the U.S. has 6 standard grades: Extra Fancy Rice (U.S. No. 1), Fancy Rice (U.S. No. 2), Extra Choice Rice (U.S. No. 3), Choice Rice (U.S. No. 4), Medium Rice (U.S. No. 5), and Sample Grade Rice.

See the General Rice Resource for more Rice production information.

Purchasing

White Basmati Rice is seldom found at retail as Converted Rice or Minute Rice.

White Basmati Rice tends to be more expensive than Jasmine Rice, which is a close substitute.

Most Basmati Rice is pre-packaged after processing making it hard to visually inspect the product. If the package you are considering has a “window” or other way to peek in on the product, look for Basmati Rice with the fewest number of broken kernels.

The most preferred form of Basmati Rice is Dehra Dun from India. You should be able to find Dehra Dun Basmati Rice at well-stocked South Asian markets.

Be aware that the Food Standards Agency in Britain found in 2005 that about half of all Basmati Rice sold at retail was “cut” with other types of long grain of rice. It is difficult for the average consumer to identify the more expensive, long, needle-like Basmati Rice grains and some unscrupulous types took advantage and mixed in crossbred Basmati Rice or plain old Long Grain Rice. With increased scrutiny, results improved, somewhat.

In a similar test in 2010 in the U.K., results improved by 47% to a still dismal 27% failure rate of the Basmati Rice samples provided by the wholesalers. That means that 27% of the Basmati Product submitted for testing was adulterated with cheaper rice. One sample had no Basmati Rice in it at all. Look for long, needle-like grains with a floral fragrance and nutty taste when cooked. If you feel you are being cheated, let your retailer and the manufacturer know.

Storage

Because it is a dried Grain, an unopened container of Basmati Rice will keep almost indefinitely in a pantry at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or frozen. Once opened, the only real risks to the shelf life are pests, including bugs and rats. Keeping the container sealed and airtight can protect against most of these pests.

Let cooked White Basmati Rice cool to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator. Cooked Basmati Rice will last about 4-7 days in the refrigerator but it is best to use it within 2 days.

Culinary Uses

White Basmati Rice has a “nutty” flavor and fragrance and is favored in many Indian or Middle Eastern dishes. White Basmati Rice is a Long Grain Rice and a Starchy Rice so it should cook up fluffy and light. With cooking, the long rice grains will expand dramatically and feel “drier” and be easy to separate. White Basmati Rice does not tend to be sticky.

Smart Kitchen has an Exercise on Cooking Starchy Rice which demonstrates exactly how to properly cook White Basmati Rice; the ratio of water to Rice is roughly two parts water to one part Basmati Rice. Put another way, 1 Cup of White Basmati Rice will require 1.5 Cups to 2 Cups of water.

If the White Basmati Rice is still is crunchy at the end of the Simmering time, the Rice is undercooked and you may need to add 1-2 T of liquid and Simmer a bit longer. If it’s falling apart then it is overcooked and you should start over. Remember, you can fix undercooking but you can’t fix overcooking. Start checking the Rice early.

The same Simmering effect can also be achieved by Baking White Basmati Rice and liquid together in the Oven. White Basmati Rice can also be Pan Fried, once it has been Simmered.

White Basmati Rice is smoother, lighter and less nutritious than Brown Basmati Rice. White Basmati Rice also cooks more quickly and is less subject to spoilage than Brown Basmati Rice.

Substitutes

Jasmine Rice is a good approximate substitute for Basmati Rice. A near substitute would be any other Long Grain Rice.

Nutritional Value

Serving Size 225 g

Amount Per Serving

Calories from Fat 7

Calories 240

 Total Fat 0.76 g 1%

Saturated Fat 0.178 g 1%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.244 g        

Monounsaturated Fat 0.255 g    

Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

Sodium 685 mg 29%

Potassium 64 mg              

Total Carbohydrate 50.16 g 17%

 Dietary Fiber 0.8 g 3%

 Sugars 0.09 g     

Protein 7.04 g    

 Vitamin A 0%                   

Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 2%                        

Iron 13%

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database.

Nutrition

White Basmati Rice is Fat Free and Sodium Free and contains only 206 calories per serving (1 C). White Basmati Rice is also a source of Protein (5g), Niacin, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Zinc.

White Basmati Rice contains Protein and is a staple food, but is not a Complete Protein (containing all of the Essential Amino Acids) and should be combined with other foods (Nuts, Seeds, Beans, Fish, Meat, etc.) to ensure proper nutrition.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes