What Are Basmati Rice and Jasmine Rice and how to cook them?

Both basmati rice and jasmine rice are aromatic varieties of long grain rice. These types of rice figure prominently in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Though both basmati rice and jasmine rice are used instead of one another in recipes, there are some major differences between the two.

Basmati Rice:

The best Basmati rice is sourced from the foothills of Himalaya Mountains in the Indian subcontinent.  Some varieties are grown in North America but they do not match the quality of Basmati fromSouth Asia. This long grain rice is available in both brown and white varieties.

This rice needs to be soaked for half an hour before cooking. This permits the absorption of water by the grains so that it cooks evenly without breaking. It is cooked traditionally by boiling in water. Basmati rice assumes a fluffy texture after cooking and is not sticky.

Jasmine Rice:

It originates from Thailand and is used extensively in South East Asian cuisine. This is a long grain rice with pearly white colour, subtle aroma of Jasmine flowers and a sticky, soft texture when cooked. The grains of this rice are thicker and shorter than Basmati rice.

Recipes:

Boiled Basmati Rice

Ingredients:

  • Basmati rice-1 cup
  • Kosher salt-optional

Method:

  • Wash rice thoroughly by keeping it covered in cold water. Use your hand to swish the rice till water becomes cloudy.
  • Drain and do this again till water is less cloudy; it usually takes 3 rinses.
  • The rice must now be drained and transferred to a large saucepan.
  • Cover it with cold water around 1 to 2 inches and allow to soak for half an hour.
  • Keep the pan on high heat and cook till it boils.If you desire, add some salt to the rice.
  • After 3 minutes, take out a spoon of rice and taste. It must be cooked properly like pasta but with slightly firm to the bite.
  • If it is not cooked, resume boiling and taste every 30 seconds.
  • It may take 5 minutes for proper cooking but take care not to overcook lest it becomes mushy.
  • The rice must be drained and placed back in pan.
  • Keep pan on low heat by covering it tightly and cook for 5 minutes till rice becomes dry.
  • Take away the pan and allow to cool for 3 minutes in a covered way. Next you can serve it after fluffing the rice.

Steamed Jasmine Rice:

Ingredients:

Best Thai Jasmine rice-1 cup

Kosher salt-1/2 tsp (Optional)

Method:

  • Wash rice by keeping in bowl covered with cold water. Swish the rice till water becomes cloudy.
  • Drain and repeat till cloudiness disappears; it may take 3 rinses.
  • The rice must be drained and kept in a metal bowl. Stir in 1 cup water and salt.
  • Fit a steaming trivet or rack into a pot, which is big enough to place the metal bowl.
  • Pour an inch of water in the pot.
  • Keep bowl of rice on the rack without touching the water in the pot.
  • Cover pot and bring to boil, on high heat.
  • When water in pot starts to boil, keep a timer for 25 minutes and reduce heat so that there is steady generation of steam.
  • Once timer goes off, remove pot from heat and remove metal bowl from pot using tongs. Serve after fluffing rice with a fork.

These are some aspects about Basmati and Jasmine rice.

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