It’s a common mindset that almost all rice looks the same. It is really hard to differentiate between basmati and jasmine rice. This confusion is understandable because both rice varieties prove to be a great substitute for regular white rice.
Well, if you are finding it hard to understand what the difference is, no worries. Here, we will help you find the real difference between basmati rice and jasmine rice.
Basmati and jasmine rice both are fragrant. These two varieties make an integral part of Indian and Asian cuisines. Basmati rice hails from India and is much loved in the Middle East, while jasmine rice is produced profusely in Thailand and makes an integral part of Southeast Asian cuisines.
Jasmine rice oozes a sweet and floral fragrance just like jasmine flowers once cooked. Basmati rice, on the other hand, gives off a nutty but pleasing smell. Undoubtedly, there are olfactory and geographical differences that make them different. All you need to do is look closely for these differences.
The difference between basmati and jasmine rice becomes more apparent after cooking
The most apparent difference you may notice between these two varieties is the tangible one. Jasmine rice, once cooked, feels softer than basmati rice. Also, the grains of jasmine rice stick together as compared to basmati.
So, the sticky and starchy rice is jasmine, and the fluffy, separated grains are basmati.
You can also find some physical differences between these two varieties. Both come under the long-grain varieties, but basmati rice tends to be long and slender than jasmine rice.
It’s the most apparent factor to differentiate between these varieties.
Many people think that all rice varieties have the same cooking method. But that’s not the case. Cooking rice is not about boiling it in water using a pot or rice cooker. Different kinds of rice grains can be cooked differently or need additional steps. Both jasmine and basmati rice also need to be cooked differently.
When you cook basmati rice, it results in a dry and fluffy texture. But to achieve this result, you need to soak the rice for about 30 minutes. This will allow the rice grains to get cooked evenly.
Contrary, you don’t need to soak jasmine rice. You can simply rinse it and then cook it with the right water ratio.
If you have enough time, you can experiment with the cooking method and find out which one works best for you.
Just like other differences both basmati and jasmine rice also have nutritional differences. One cup of jasmine rice packs 205 calories, while basmati rice has 238 calories. It means the fragrant jasmine has fewer calories than basmati.
But before you may consider doing so, you also need to look after its glycemic index rating. Basmati rice has a glycemic index of 58, while jasmine rice has a glycemic index of 109! It’s nearly twice the basmati rice.
Dishes and cuisines
Since basmati rice hails from India, you can find it in almost every Indian traditional dish. Indian recipes like biryani, curries, and pulao, all need one ingredient — basmati rice. Besides Indian cuisines, there are other dishes and cuisines in which basmati make an integral ingredient. You can use basmati rice in cuisines like chicken rice, saffron rice, and more.
Jasmine rice originating from Thailand makes an integral part of Southeast Asian cuisines. You can use it to make risotto or desserts such as pudding. Besides, recipes like Thai red chicken curry, cilantro-lime rice, etc. can also be prepared.
So, it doesn’t matter which rice you choose — basmati or jasmine — it’s sure to add a dash of fragrance to your recipe.
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