Rice is a staple in any kitchen, especially in East Asian countries such as India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and others. Rice is in the spiritual and temporal standard of India. It is among the main courses and the heart of most meals.
Rice is available in a wide range of types and you can also have several recipes to prepare with rice. There are no limits. Even you can make a custom recipe with rice as it can be mixed with almost anything.
You will find a wide range of rice types in an Indian grocery store and each type of rice has its texture, color, unique properties, and taste and you need to decide which one to use for your cooking process. In this post, we will discuss some of the factors that differentiate rice types.
Types of rice
Types of rice in the context of length and shape
When you need to discuss the types of rice in terms of length and shape, you can categorize them into three varieties: long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain rice. As the terms suggest, long grain rice has a long cylindrical shape and short-grain rice has a shorter shape which is much wider than the long grain rice.
Long grain rice
Long grain rice has a long cylindrical shape and has milled grains that are long and wide. You will find this rice separate, light, and fluffy when cooked due to its starch composition.
Medium Grain Rice
This type of rice has a shorter wider kernel and will be sticking together due to its properties being more moist and tender.
Short Grain Rice
This type of rice is widely used in sushi and is less than twice as long as they are wide. It has a sticky texture.
Don’t we all want that desired texture while cooking rice, and for that matter, any dish we cook? The texture is important and mostly it depends on the starch content and will decide whether the rice is sticky, light, or fluffy.
Sticky rice is also known as sweet rice and can be found in Southeast Asia and used in many traditional Indian and Asian dishes and desserts.
Parboiled rice is the type of rice that has gone through a steam-pressure process before milling which gelatinizes the starch in the grain. Now, you have a light and fluffy rice grain when cooked. Most of the hotels and restaurants use this parboiled rice. Also, converted rice is a type of parboiled rice which is cooked more.
The natural color of rice is brown after harvesting, but you will find a wide range of hues for rice types. Generally, when the nutrient-rich outer layer of the bran is removed, the color changes from brown to white. You can also see red, black, and purple rice which are unique pigmentations in the bran. Also, to add the nutritional value and visual appeal, the bran layer is not removed.
When the outer layer of bran and germ is removed, the polished rice remains. Also, it is called milled rice.
Brown rice is the healthy type of rice that has more nutrients due to its intact bran layer. However, it takes more time to cook, but it is high in vitamins and minerals.
Mostly used in Chinese and Thai dishes, this rice is also known as black rice and has a mild nutty flavor. It is high in nutrition value and is sticky when cooked. Some of the popular forbidden rice dishes are Chinese Black Rice and Mango Sticky Rice.
This type of rice is high in protein and has a colorful and exotic flair and can be incorporated with stir fry, mushroom soups, vegetable curries, lentils, and casseroles. It is harvested from the genus Zizania of grasses.
Yes, aroma makes a difference, a pivotal one, right? Several rice types offer appealing and pleasant fragrances when you cook them. Don’t you want to mesmerize your guests when they arrive at the dining table?
Years back, the famous basmati was from Dehradun; it was more expensive than the many other varieties of rice grown and available in the fields.
It is one of the most preferred rice types in India and has a long grain. It has a popcorn-like nutty flavor when cooked and is famous among many Indian cuisines and dishes.
Also known as Thai Fragrant Rice, it has a long kernel and sticky texture and has the aroma of jasmine and if you want the same flavor, you can use it while cooking the dish.
Different types of rice and their uses
You will find a central white dot in this medium grain rice type. The name arrives after the Arborio town of Italy and it is a widely popular rice type in central Europe and other countries. It has a chewy and sticky texture and is used in risotto, rice pudding, and soups.
Basmati Rice is a long-grain rice type that is very popular in Indian and Asian cuisines and has a nutty aroma when cooked. It is used in making Dal, curry, saffron rice, and other Indian dishes such as Biryani and Pulao.
Brown rice is high in nutritional value and has a chewy texture when cooked. It also has a nutty aroma and has an intact bran layer that keeps the color brown. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and is considered as a 100% whole grain food. Mostly used in stuffed peppers, casseroles and rice pilaf.
As we have discussed above, Jasmine rice is used widely in many dishes to bring the jasmine aroma and is a medium-grain rice type.
Rice is one of the most used food items that is used widely in almost all parts of the world. It is rich in carbohydrates, vitamins, and fat content and can be used in many dishes to add flavor and taste. Just visit an Indian grocery store and find the type of rice that you want.