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Types Of Rice

Updated on October 22, 2011

Rice is the most important and the consumed cereal grain of the world. It is the second most cultivated grain after maize in the world and more than half of the world’s population consumes this cereal.

Basically rice is a seed of a monocot plant known as Oryza sativa. It grows best in damp environment and its cultivation requires an ample supply of water therefore it is grown along the riversides.

Rice is rich in carbohydrates and is considered as one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Today many different types of rice are cultivated in different parts of the world.

Following are some popular varieties of rice amongst the masses:


Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is one of the most oldest cultivated and the most popular rice variety of the world. They have been cultivated for centuries in the subcontinent and have been exported to different parts of the world. Today they are most commonly cultivated in south Asian countries Pakistan and India which produce are the greatest basmati rice producers of the world.

Basmati rice is non glutinous, aromatic long grain rice perfect for cooking all sorts of dishes. These are easily boiled and produce a special nutty aroma on boiling due to which they are named basmati- a Hindi word meaning ‘queen of scents’.

They make some of the most delicious rice dishes due to their beautiful texture and rich unique taste. The most famous dish in which they are used is the famous Indian pilau.

Wild Pecan Or Louisiana Pecan Rice

This variety of rice is most commonly cultivated in the bayou country of southern Louisiana. They are like basmati are long grain rice and are some what similar in taste to the basmati.

They too have a strong aroma but not as pleasant as the basmati. This rice is rich in iron, foliate, niacin and thiamine.

They are mostly used boiled as a side dish along a curry in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. They need to be soaked overnight before boiling and also require a lot of water for boiling.

Jasmine Rice
Jasmine Rice

Jasmine Rice

This variety of rice is commonly cultivated in Thailand. They are long grain rice and can also be used as replacement for basmati rice in many dishes.

When cooked they swell more lengthwise and give a strong aroma of jasmine on boiling. Although they remain firm when cooked, they get slightly sticky unlike the basmati which never get sticky on boiling.

The best thing about jasmine rice is that they are easily boiled and can be used in variety of dishes. They too can be eaten plainly boiled as a side dish along any curry. They compliment Thai and Vietnamese curries perfectly and are therefore most commonly used in Thai and Vietnamese cuisines.

Della Rice

This special variety of rice was cultivated exclusively in America to mimic the Basmati rice. Before boiling they have long kernels but as they are cooked they swell equally length wise and width wise unlike the basmati that remain long and slender even after cooking.

The Della rice has a unique taste and is easily boiled. Although they are used as a replacement for basmati in some types of pilaus, they are best suited for making casseroles and puddings. They can be eaten boiled or steamed; in fact when eaten plain boiled they taste even better than the basmati.

Arborio rice grains
Arborio rice grains
Black Rice
Black Rice

Arborio Rice

This variety of rice is completely different form the above mentioned varieties. The Arborio rice is very small grained and polished rice that is used for making risottos- a special Italian dish.

They have a characteristic dot at the centre of each grain which sets them apart from other small grained rice.

When cooked they give a creamy consistency. They have a specific aroma and are famous for their ability to absorb any kind of flavor excellently as they themselves do not have a specific flavor.

Other than risottos these rice are also used in the making of some stews and soups.

Black Rice

This special variety of medium grained rice grows in Indonesia and Philippines.

They have a nutty flavor and get very sticky when boiled.

Although they may be eaten boiled in many of the Asian cuisines they are best suited for making rice puddings and cakes.


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