Indica Rice
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Indica Rice (Oryza sativa var. Indica) is an offshoot (no pun intended) of Asian Rice and is the forefather of most of the Long Grain Rice types that are grown today. In many places you will find the terms “Long Grain Rice” and “Indica Rice” used interchangeably.

The very common Indian Basmati Rice and Jasmine Rice are both Indica Rices. Most Indica Rice are also of the Starchy Rice type.


Rice is basically a grass and can be harvested a few times a year in warmer climates. The season is therefore dependent on the farming methods used and the climate.


Indica Rice is primarily a lowland rice type which grows most productively in the flooded rice paddies of equatorial Asia. Rice is raised most often as an annual plant, though in tropical areas it can survive as a perennial plant and produce a crop for up to 30 years. Although quite hardy, Indica Rices yield less than Japonica Rice types.


Both White and Brown Indica Rice are categorized into “Grades” (official U.S. Standards set by the Secretary of Agriculture) by the Rice growers before it even moves on to the Rice dealers. The standards are principally based on the cleanliness of the White Rice, its purity (whether or not they are intermixed with other varieties), and the wholeness of the Rice Kernels.

White Indica Rice 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. Brown Indica Rice only has 4 standard grades: Extra Fancy Rice (U.S. No. 1), Fancy Rice (U.S. No. 2), Choice Rice (U.S. No. 4), and Sample Grade Rice.

Smart Kitchen’s General Rice Resource Page has more information on how Indica Rice is grown in flooded rice paddies.


Indica Rice (Long Grain Rice) is generally available both prepackaged and from bulk bins in Brown Rice and White Rice forms. When purchasing Rice, always check the expiration date because Rice can go bad if stored too long.

When buying Indica Rice in bulk from a bin, make sure the merchant has high volume and that the Rice bin is, and has been, properly covered: You don’t want any surprises in your purchase. While selecting your Rice (in bulk or in packages), keep an eye out for any signs of moisture which can ruin Rice. Also, try and buy as few broken grains of Rice as possible. Your final dish will likely be a mess of overdone and underdone Rice if you cook with broken grains and whole grains: broken grains are smaller than whole grains and the two sizes won’t cook together uniformly.

Finally, if you are conflicted about buying Organic (for budgetary or philosophical reasons) you may want to lean towards buying Organic Rice. Research indicates that domestic Indica Rice contains 1.4 to 5 times more arsenic than organic Indica Rice from Europe, India, or Bangladesh. 


Indica Rice can be purchased as either White Rice or Brown Rice. White Rice has the oily Rice Bran removed and is more easily stored because it is less subject to going rancid. We will treat each type of Indica Rice separately just below.

Store White Indica Rice varieties in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. They do not need to go into the refrigerator, nor should they. If stored properly, White Indica Rice will remain fresh for about a year.

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

Because Brown Rice retains its Bran Layer (with the Rice Bran Oil which will go Rancid), it has a shorter shelf life than White Rice and requires a little different handling to maximize your yield and value.

How you store Brown Indica Rice revolves around how quickly you plan to use it. If you plan to use it all in a few weeks, store the Brown Indica Rice in an airtight container in a cool dark place like your pantry. Sealed, it may last 3-6 months but will be best for only a few weeks.

If you need a longer shelf life, refrigerate your Indica Brown Rice for 6-12 months in an airtight container or freeze it for 12-18 months (for best quality). Also, if you open your package from the pantry, store the unused portion in the refrigerator or freezer for a better shelf life.

Culinary Uses

All Rice, including Indica Rice, must be cooked before being eaten. Moist Heat Methods of cooking are very popular with Rice because you can kill two birds with one stone: cook the product and allow the dry Starch granules to absorb moisture, soften, and swell.

Because Indica Rice is a Starchy Rice it should be cooked by Simmering, which Smart Kitchen describes in the Cooking Starchy Rice Exercise, where the ratio of water to Rice is roughly two parts water to one part Indica Rice. Put another way, 1 Cup of White Indica Rice will require 1.5 Cups to 2 Cups of water.

If the Indica Rice is still 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, it is overcooked and you should start over. Remember, you can fix undercooking. Start checking the Rice early.

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

Yield:1 C dried, uncooked Rice yields 2-3 C of cooked rice.

Nutritional Value

Amount Per 1 cup (195 g)

Calories 216

Total Fat 1.8 g 2%

Saturated fat 0.4 g 2%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.6 g            

Monounsaturated fat 0.6 g         

Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

Sodium 10 mg 0%

Potassium 84 mg 2%

Total Carbohydrate 45 g 15%

Dietary fiber 3.5 g 4%

Sugar 0.7 g         

Protein 5 g 0%

Vitamin A 0%         

Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 2%         

Iron 4%

Vitamin D 0%         

Vitamin B-6 15%

Vitamin B-12 0%         

Magnesium 21%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. 


White Indica Rice and Brown Indica Rice have different nutritional characteristics: the Brown Rice has all of the benefits of the White Indica Rice plus additional benefits from retaining the Rice Bran.

White Indica Rice is Fat Free and Sodium Free and contains only 206 calories per serving (1 C). White Indica Rice is also a source of Protein (5g), Niacin, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Magnesium, and Zinc. Brown Indica Rice, at 216 calories per serving (1 C), has the additional benefit of containing Dietary Fiber, Thiamine, and Iron.

Indica Rice contains Protein and is a staple food but it 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


Low Fat


Low Calorie