Basmati Rice is a variety of long, slender-grained aromatic rice, which hails traditionally from the Indian subcontinent. It is a ‘one-of-a-kind’ specialty rice variety that has been grown for centuries at the foothills of the Himalayan range.
India meets more than 70% of the world’s demand for this rice, with Pakistan accounting for the remainder. India has the widest network of Basmati Rice exporters.
It’s popular in Central Asian, Persian, Arab, and other Middle Eastern cuisines. This rare variety of rice is cultivated in India and supplied to other countries. India is said to be the global leader in growing the most unique variety of nutritionally rich, aromatic extra-long grain Basmati rice.
Here is a look at some interesting and lesser-known facts about Basmati rice that makes it special from other varieties of rice.
Properties of Basmati Rice:
- Basmati rice has been a popular ingredient on the rich and royal menus. It offers a harmonious blend of fixed kernel sizes, appealing flavor, fluffy rice texture, high expansion post-cooking, linear elongation of the kernel with minimal swelling of the width and sweetness, fast digestibility, prolonged shelf life.
- It is the world’s longest grain rice, both in raw and cooked form, well-known and liked for its delicious taste and irresistible fragrance. It is cautiously grown to preserve its nutritious value.
- Basmati Rice is high in nutritious value and can be used in a variety of cuisines. It is an aromatic delight, widely used in Indian, Mughalai, Continental, and Chinese cuisines.
- It has extra-long slender milled grains, a cooked kernel elongation ratio of 2.5 with a cooked kernel length of up to 22 mm, volume expansion of more than four times, pleasant aroma, fluffy texture, and easy digestibility.
Health Benefits of Basmati Rice:
- The best thing about this rice is that it is gluten-free and high in vitamins including niacin and thiamine. Moreover, the rice is fully cholesterol-free, which greatly contributes to the health and fitness of the human heart, nervous system, and digestive system.
- According to a new study, Basmati rice inhibits the formation of undesirable fat layers surrounding the arteries as well as the deposition of cholesterol inside them, lowering the risk of heart disease and vascular illness.
- It has a lower GI (glycaemic index) than the majority of other rice varieties. The GI index is a metric that specifies how easily carbohydrates dissolve in the body. The slower the GI index, the less blood sugar increases.
- It is also high in phytic acid and basic polyphenols. It’s an excellent substitute for normal white rice in terms of lowering the risk of Diabetes.
- Another health factor is it has high magnesium content which makes Basmati an excellent choice for a balanced diet.
- It contains a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Rice fiber helps in weight management, lowering the risk of blood sugar and other ailments in the longer term.
The Production and Global Market of Basmati Rice:
- In India, it is grown mainly in the northwest Indo-Gangetic region comprising Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu, and Kashmir and 27 western Uttar Pradesh districts.
- The agro-climatic conditions of the specific geographical area, as well as the method of harvesting, processing, and aging, are accountable for the characteristics of Basmati rice.
- India has the distinction of being the world’s leading exporter of Basmati rice. The annual rice exports from India are estimated to be between 10 and 13 million MT.
- India exported 11.9 million MT of rice in 2018-19 (April-March), with Basmati accounting for 4.4 million MT and non-basmati accounting for 7.5 million MT.
- Basmati rice accounts for 30 percent to 40% of total rice exports, while non-basmati accounts for 60%. Rice exports account for up to 70% of global exports.
- Every year, India exports Basmati to nearly 132 countries around the world. For the fiscal year 2019-20, India’s basmati rice export recorded approximately 4.55 million tonnes.
- Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait are among the most prominent export destinations.
- Because of its higher yield and distinctive grain and cooking efficiency characteristics, has gained phenomenal acceptance in both the domestic and global markets, prompting millers to pay farmers a premium price.
- The export stat of this Rice has also geared up due to high demand across the globe, especially in MENA (the Middle East and North Africa).
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