THERE ARE many types of rice available in the market. Today, I shall be telling you about the most commonly used rice varieties and their properties.
Arborio: Arborio is a starchy white rice, with an almost round grain, grown mainly in the Po Valley of Italy. Traditionally used for cooking the Italian dish risotto, it also works well for paella and rice pudding. Arborio absorbs up to five times its weight in liquid as it cooks, which results in grains of a creamy consistency.
Aromatic rice: These are primarily long-grain varieties that have a toasty, nutty fragrance and a flavour reminiscent of popcorn or roasted nuts. Most of these can be found in grocery stores, but a few may be available only at gourmet shops.
Basmati: Basmati, the most famous aromatic rice, is grown in India and Pakistan. It has a nutlike fragrance while cooking and a delicate, almost buttery flavour. Unlike other types of rice, the grains elongate much more than they plump as they cook. Lower in starch than other long-grain types, basmati turns out flaky and separate. Although it is most commonly used in Indian cooking, basmati can also be substituted for regular rice in any favourite recipe. It is fairly expensive compared to domestic rice.
Glutinous rice (sweet rice): Popular in Japan and other Asian countries, this type of short-grain rice is not related to other short-grain rice varieties. Unlike regular table rice, this starchy grain is very sticky and resilient, and turns translucent when cooked. Its cohesive quality makes it suitable for rice dumplings and cakes, such as the Japanese mochi, which is moulded into a shape.
Jasmine: Jasmine is a traditional long-grain white rice grown in Thailand. It has a soft texture and is similar in flavour to basmati rice. Jasmine rice is also grown in the United States, and is available in both white and brown forms.
Texmati: Certain types of rice some sold only under a trade name have been developed in the United States to approximate the flavour and texture of basmati rice. Texmati is one of these; it was developed to withstand the hot Texas climate (there is also a brown rice version).
Wehani: An American-grown aromatic rice, Wehani has an unusual rust-coloured bran that makes it turn mahogany when cooked.
Wild pecan (popcorn rice): Another basmati hybrid, this aromatic rice is tan in colour (because not all of the bran has been removed, with a pecan-like flavour and firm texture.
Write to Metroplus Foodline column to clarify your doubts. The queries can be mailed to email@example.com
Or snail mail to
Foodline, Metroplus desk,
Hyderabad - 500 016
Or call between 11 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Excutive Chef, Taj Krishna
Send this article to Friends by