What is Basmati Rice?
Basmati Rice is one of the favorite rice varieties in the world. Many times we tend to wonder how basmati got its name or what does the word ‘Basmati’ means. It is derived from Hindi which is the national language of India. Combined from words ‘Bas’ meaning aroma and ‘Mati’ Meaning Full of, Hence the word Basmati meaning “Full of Aroma”.
Basmati has been referred and reported since early 19th century in India. Basmati is different from other rice varieties because of its unique aroma and elongation after the cooking process. Basmati elongates twice when carefully cooked.
Basmati rice is a perfect accompaniment for any kind of Indian Curries
The characteristic aroma and flavor of basmati rice is caused by aroma compound: 2-Acetyl-1-pyrrolin which is also a characteristic compound in jasmine rice and some varieties of white bread.
In the year of 1997 a USA company called RiceTec was granted US patent on “Basmati rice grains and Lines” however faced an international outrage over allegations of bio piracy. It was also a cause for a brief diplomatic crisis between Indian and the United States of America. RiceTec lost or withdrew most of the claims of the patent including one of the most important factors that is to call a variety of rice “Basmati “
“Basmati” is grown widely in the states of Punjab, Uttaranchal foothills, Jammu and Kashmir, and Haryana. It can only be called so if it is from one the many regions in India which has suitable conditions necessary for this variety. It’s similar to the term “Champagne” which can only be called so if it’s from the region of Champagne in France or it’s simply called “Sparkling Wine”
Cooking Basmati Rice
Closed pan/Absorption method (4 servings)
- Basmati Rice: 250 grams
- Water: 500 Gram equivalent/ 500 ml or water
- Salt (optional): ½ Tea spoon
- Vegetable Oil/Butter (optional) 1 Table Spoon (Makes the rice not stick to each other)
- It is recommended to wash the rice once and soak it for 30 minutes before cooking for maximum fluff and elongation
- Bring Water to boil add salt(optional), add 250 grams of basmati rice, Cover the lid and cook for 12-15 min depending on the rice variety on low flame, Pure Basmati cooks exactly in 12 minutes.
- Do not open the lid for 12 minutes even if you are tempted.
- Stir gently with a fork while adding 1 tbsp of oil/butter let it stand for 5 minutes before serving
Variation: Jeera Rice (Cumin Flavored Basmati Rice) (4 servings)
- 250 Grams of cooked Basmati rice
- Golden Onion (Chopped): 1 (small)
- Salt: To taste
- Ghee/Butter: 2-3 Tbsp
- Cinnamon: 1 stick
- Peppercorn: 4
- Bay leaf: 1 leaf (Optional)
- Heat Ghee/Butter to a pan, add whole spices and fry add onions, salt and fry till golden brown, add cooked rice and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes on a low flame covered. Gently stir the rice with onions without breaking the rice.
- Garnish with a sprig of Cilantro, Serve hot.