Long and fluffy, thin-grained and sweet-smelling. That’s Basmati rice for you!
Traditionally from the Indian subcontinent, Basmati rice is now a favourite all around the world. Cultivated at the foothills of the Himalayas for centuries Basmati rice has been in use in cuisines of the Indian, Middle-Eastern and Persian regions.
Derived from the Sanskrit language Basmati literally means ‘queen of fragrance’. Grown in India for generations Basmati rice was introduced to the Middle East and other regions by traders, who would sell it in exchange for other goods that they collected on their travels! People started using it gradually in their day to day cooking for its unique characteristics.
Basmati rice has a distinctive aroma, unique to this variety. Along with a significant flavour and fragrance, every grain when cooked stands out separately. So a landmark fragrance and non-sticky fluffiness – these seem to be the two unique qualities that Basmati rice possesses! A lot of research has gone into the fragrance part of rice, and scientists state that Basmati rice contains a specific chemical compound that gives it its unique aroma!
There’s another thing about this rice – it is exceptionally long, for a rice and becomes even longer when cooked!
Can we imagine having a pungent, flavorful Indian curry all by itself? Or making a pulao or biryani without using Basmati rice? Difficult to do that, isn’t it?
Basmati rice is an ideal accompaniment to so many Indian and Asian preparations curries and meat recipes.
Basmati rice goes well with many dishes, curries and meats. But a unique way to enjoy its flavour is to make a pilaf with it. To put it simply, pilaf is a dish made up of rice along with vegetables and/or meat and spices. There are many variations – each culture has its own style and preferences, but the base for the pilaf is usually fried onions sauteed in oil, along with other vegetables and meats, if preferred. Top it all with aromatic spices like cloves, peppers and cinnamon, and you have one heavenly dish!
Yes, that’s Basmati rice for you! A unique gift of both fragrance and flavours!