Basmati, the queen of rice

Basmati when literally translated means, queen of fragrance. If I walk into a home which has the aroma of Basmati being cooked wafting about, I surely don’t need much persuasion to stay back for a meal. So irresistible is its appetite stimulating fragrance!

In India, whenever there’s a happy occasion or there are guests over for a meal, out comes the Basmati rice. Duly soaked in water before going in for the boil, seasoned with aromatic spices, ghee and vegetables, it is truly food for the gods! As mentioned earlier the fragrance and taste of Basmati rice is so divine that it really doesn’t need any other enhancer, but yes, adding spices and other elements makes it even more appealing. The perfect rice for cooking up a pulao or a biryani, the Basmati even by itself is a great accompaniment with curries and yogurt.

Basmati rice in India comes from the Himalayan foothills and Madhya Pradesh. Some varieties make their journey from Pakistan. There are some key factors I look for while buying Basmati rice. I rub the grains of the rice in my palms and the aroma it releases tells me that the rice quality is good, and I am particular about the length of the grain too. Usually Basmati grows twice its original size post cooking, its best if the grains are uniform in size, so that it cooks evenly.  I have found all of these qualities in Daawat Basmati rice. So, in packaged rice, I go for Daawat Rice. It’s hygienic and branded. Don’t forget to check the packaging date, you don’t want expired rice.

I have often been asked about the right ways of soaking and cooking Basmati. Well, one has to remember it is only soaking the rice that will bring out its length and breadth. First wash the rice under running water 2-3 times. This removes starch and ensures that the rice does not stick. Do not rub it too hard while washing as the grains may break, be gentle. Post washing, soak it, the level of water for soaking should be an inch above the level of the rice. Soaking time is 15-20 minutes, whatever the quantity. After which drain off the excess water and let the soaked rice stay in the same bowl till you are ready to cook.

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There are two ways of cooking rice, one cooking by absorption method and the other is cooking by draining. If the rice is soaked for a good amount of time, the rice doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to cook. In the cooking by draining the water method, we can get to know if the rice is cooked by feeling the grains to see if it’s done. A batch of well cooked rice will not be sticky and you will not feel the hardness in the center. It will not have a mushy texture. Many bachelors and spinsters enquire with me on how to find if rice is well cooked.  It is simple, always add water in 1:2 ratio while cooking rice. If rice bends a bit when you press it; with your finger, know that its well-cooked, but keep in mind if you add too much water, it is sure to take revenge. Also, cooked Basmati is fragile, so don’t over mix it and handle with care.

Daawat, the specialists of the rice industry for decades brings to you Basmati rice in many varieties. Rice with aroma that stimulates appetite, grains that are extra-long and slender, sweet to taste, soft texture and extra elongation breadth wise, upto 24 mm post cooking! Daawat follows the unique Octa-Q process which guarantees perfect grains in every pack. Be it sourcing, ageing, milling or processing, quality is of paramount importance here.

Daawat also has different varieties meant for different dishes, like there’s a variety for biryanis and a separate one for jeera rice and pulavs. What’s more there’s a range of Basmati rice called Rozana that is meant to be eaten every day!

Basmati rice need not be used only for pulaos and biryanis; there is a mindboggling range of dishes that can be prepared with it! Try making rice stuffed parantha or even cooked rice fritters or with leftover rice.  Now shouldn’t Basmati rice be a regular part of your daily plate?

Try these delicious recipes using Daawat Basmati Rice and do let us know how they turn out!

Indian Traditional Steam Rice
Simple Jeera Pulao
Chicken Biryani Hyderabadi
Fried Rice
Vegetable Pulao


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