Indian Basmati Rice

Why Basmati rice?

Basmati rice- the name synonymous with royalty and festivities. Basmati is a slender rice variety that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Slender and sleek, it is essentially the supermodel of food. It gets its name from its intoxicating odour and quite literally translates to “fragrant” in Sanskrit. Basmati was the food of the nobles and rightly so. It made its way to the Middle East and Persia through traders and adorned their celebrations. Basmati lengthens twice as much after cooking while retaining its thinness. The grains do not stick together and remain individual even when cooked. The resulting bowl of rice is fragrant, elegant and exquisite.

Basmati has various health benefits. The Diabetes Association of Canada states that basmati rice has a lower glycemic index as compared to other rice varieties. Foods with a lower glycemic index lessen insulin spikes. This makes it the preferred rice for diabetic people. Basmati is also a good source of vitamin B, magnesium, selenium and various antioxidants. Brown basmati rice is an exceptional source of dietary fiber, with upto 20 % more fiber than other brown rice varieties. When we increase our fiber intake we aid digestive function and reduce harmful levels of cholesterol. These qualities make basmati rice a healthy and delicious choice.

Why Indian Basmati rice?

The first recorded use of the word “basmati” can be traced back to the tragic Indian romance Heer Ranjha (1766) by Waris Shah. It was one of the many delicacies served at Heer’s wedding. So certainly, basmati has been a celebratory food for centuries. Its lithe individual grains are a perfect companion to curries, lentils and gravies. In India, basmati rice can be grown only in the northern regions. Namely the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir. The soil in these states lends itself beautifully to the crop.

Basmati rice grown in the Indian subcontinent is more tolerant of processes. It can handle par-boiling and makes excellent sella rice, with very little breakage. Sella rice the ideal rice choice for dum biryanis.

Basmati has always been associated with royalty and rightly so. Healthy, fine and aromatic, it has always been the food of good health and the food of feasts! Bon appétit!

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