Foundation Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is a long-grain, aromatic rice that tastes excellent with Asian dishes.
  Water 11.9%  88/10/01  LA : ALA
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Basmati rice, like jasmine rice, is a variety of long-grain rice (Oryza sativa ssp. indica). After cooking, it is fluffy and aromatic. In Hindi, bāsmatī means fragrant.

Culinary uses:

Basmati rice is a very popular aromatic rice in Asian cuisine. Its floral scent is very similar to that of jasmine rice.

What is the difference between basmati and jasmine rice? What is aromatic rice? After cooking, both rice varieties develop a fragrant scent. That’s why the term “fragrant rice” is used to describe both types of rice, but it’s much more common for jasmine rice. Jasmine rice is also often called perfumed rice or Thai fragrant rice. Is basmati rice sticky? When cooked, jasmine rice sticks a little more than basmati rice, which is why jasmine rice is particularly popular in Thai cuisine. Basmati rice, on the other hand, is not so easy to eat with chopsticks.

Basmati rice works well served as a side dish alongside spicy dishes, vegetables, and curries, as well as sprouted (raw), as a rice salad, and as an addition to soups and stews. Basmati rice is also ideal for making stuffed peppers. It can furthermore be used together with other types of flour to make rolls, pita bread, and pancakes.

Basmati rice is available as whole grain or milled white rice. In whole grain rice (brown rice), the vitamins and minerals remain in the grain and make it more nutritious. This makes brown rice more satiating than white rice, helping you to feel fuller for longer. If you would like to experience the health benefits of brown rice, but find its nutty taste too intense, you can also mix cooked brown rice with the same ratio of white rice.

Preparing basmati rice:

First, rinse the rice until the water turns clear. This process washes away any debris or surface starches that remain after polishing. This means that the rice doesn’t clump as much after cooking. How much water is needed to cook basmati rice? If the rice isn’t prepared in a rice cooker, the following rule of thumb applies: Prepare 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil and then simmer or steam the rice for approx. 10 minutes on low heat in a saucepan covered with a lid so that the rice completely absorbs the water.

Remove from heat, stir if necessary, and leave for another 10 minutes with the lid closed. If you soak the washed rice in water for about 10 minutes before cooking, you need less water (1.5 times the amount of rice).

Adding salt to the water is optional — it is a matter of taste. Steaming is also a popular method for cooking fragrant varieties of rice as it enhances the rice’s aroma. Basmati rice can be soaked before steaming. You can steam the rice particularly well with the help of a food steamer (steam cooker), steamer insert, bamboo steamer, or Thermomix. The rice absorbs the water via the steam. Here, you should have a ratio of 1 cup of rice to 1.5 cups of water. The basmati rice needs approx. 15–20 minutes at 100 °C.

How much rice should you cook for two people? If you are eating rice as a side dish, 100–120 g raw basmati rice is enough for two. If the rice is the main ingredient of your dish, you should double this amount.

Easy vegan recipes for basmati rice side dishes:

There are many ways to turn Basmati rice into a delicious side dish. Seasoning basmati rice with a few saffron threads, a cinnamon stick, and a bay leaf will result in a delicious flavor.1 If you don’t have any saffron on hand, ready-made curry powder or ground turmeric gives basmati rice a colorful and tasty flavor.

Basmati rice also tastes good with onions and garlic. Sweat the spices briefly in vegetable oil, add the rice, stir, and then add the required amount of water. Basmati can also be seasoned with cinnamon and raisins or other dried fruits. It can also be used as a lightly sweetened dessert.

Purchasing — where to shop?

White basmati rice is available from all major supermarkets, including Walmart, Whole Foods Markets, Kroger, and Safeway (United States); Extra Foods, Metro, and Freshmart (Canada); Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Aldi, and Lidl (Great Britain); and Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, and Harris Farm (Australia). Whole grain varieties can be found in health food stores and organic shops. Be sure to check that the basmati rice you buy is organic, as spraying agents are often used in conventional farming. Some contaminants (e.g., the fungicide tricyclazole) can be dangerous for humans; however, they have not yet been well researched.16,17

Higher quantities of these pollutants were found in microwave rice. The Indian and Pakistani authorities have approved 15 basmati varieties in accordance with the Code of Practice on Basmati. This purity requirement permits a maximum of 7 % of the rice mix to be rice other than Basmati rice.2 But not everyone adheres to this rule. Packaged cooking bag rice, in particular, often contains a lot of broken rice. If possible, consider the origin of the basmati rice that you purchase.

Finding wild:

The species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) does not exist in the wild. Originally, Oryza sativa comes from the species Oryza rufipogon, but it has gone through many stages of cultivation. All other Oryza species are wild rice plants, except the cultivated plants Oryza sativa and Oryza glaberrima. Wild rice is also the name given to dark grains of the American sweet grass genus Zizania. These plants are also known as water rice, but botanically they are not related to Oryza sativa.3


White basmati rice has the husk, bran layer, and germ removed. This allows it to be stored for several years. However, whole grain rice can also be kept for about one year, which is usually long enough.4

Basmati rice should be stored dry and avoid proximity to strong-smelling foods such as coffee, spices, tea, and chocolate; otherwise, the rice will take on their smell.

Nutrients — nutritional information — calories:

The calories contained in basmati rice are almost the same as long grain rice. There are 357 calories per 100 g raw basmati rice, which mainly come from carbohydrates. The amount of fiber in basmati rice varies depending on whether it is white rice or whole grain rice. At 9 g protein, basmati rice contains slightly more protein than jasmine rice (7.1 g), but compared to other grains such as oats (17 g) or wheat (10 g) it is rather low in protein. There is very little fat in rice.

Just 100 g of basmati rice contains approximately 35 % of the recommended daily intake of manganese (in a standard diet of 2000 calories). With 0.7 mg/100 g, the proportion can be compared with spinach or fresh raspberries. Basmati also contains copper, but we get enough of it from other common food sources.

Basmati rice contains less pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) than jasmine rice, with 0.63 mg/100 g. Dried mango and garlic contain a similar amount of vitamin B5. Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) is also present in basmati rice (0.05 mg/100 g), but at significantly lower levels than jasmine rice and is comparable to the amount found in lemon balm and plums.5 You can find more detailed nutritional information in the table below the text. STOP

Health aspects — effects:

Why is basmati so healthy? Whole grain basmati rice is dehusked but still contains its bran, and is considered to be healthy. However, we think that using the term superfood is exaggerated. Whole grain basmati rice still contains vital substances in the bran and more fiber than white rice. By removing the husk, white basmati rice will keep for longer, but loses some of its vitamins and minerals.4

Basmati rice contains the important phytochemical phytic acid. It is found in the bran (***/outer layers) of the grain and is therefore only present in whole grain basmati rice. On the one hand, phytic acid is said to bind minerals from food and reduce nutrient uptake, however on the other hand it is said to have strong antioxidant effects. Rice bran is usually a by-product of rice processing, but can be bought and used in a similar way to wheat bran. Its high fiber content can help to prevent cancer.5

Furthermore, basmati rice, like all rice, is gluten-free. We recommend that people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease look out for gluten-free labels (e.g., the crossed grain symbol) when shopping because traces of gluten may otherwise be present as rice is often processed with the same machines as wheat.

Dangers — intolerances — side effects:

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, whole grain basmati rice has a medium glycemic index (GI) of 56-69. Regular consumption is said to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.6 In comparison, white rice has a GI of 897 and increases the risk of developing diabetes when consumed frequently.8 A GI of 70 or more is considered "high" as the carbohydrates in these foods cause blood sugar to rise rapidly.

In some regions where rice is grown, the groundwater is heavily contaminated with toxins such as arsenic and cadmium. These toxins are absorbed by rice plants and accumulate inside the plant. Above average amounts of these toxins are not only found in rice, but also in products made from rice such as rice wafers and rice cakes. Small children absorb some toxins such as arsenic even more easily than adults, which is why children under the age of three should not eat more than 20 g rice cakes per week.9 In Europe, institutions such as Stiftung Warentest and ÖKO-Test test basmati products for harmful substances and the BfR (German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment) provides the public with information based on the results of these tests.

If you have cooked too much rice, cool the rice down quickly and keep it in the refrigerator or freeze it. When reheating the rice, make sure that it is reheated at temperatures above 65 °C. Incorrect cooling and exposure to mildly warm temperatures can cause Bacillus cereus pathogens to develop and multiply rapidly. These bacteria can cause severe vomiting and diarrhoea.13

Traditional medicine — naturopathy:

Congee, a healing soup made from rice, has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years as a remedy for gastrointestinal diseases, allergies, and kidney weakness. In China, congee soup is often eaten for breakfast to prevent illness. If it is to be eaten for detox and dehydration as part of a fasting cure/diet, salt should not be added to the soup.10

Occurrence — origin:

Basmati rice originates from Afghanistan. Where is Basmati rice grown? The largest rice growing areas are China, India, and other parts of Southeast Asia. Rice is also cultivated on a smaller scale in Europe: in northern Italy, Portugal, Spain, France, Greece, and southern Switzerland (Ticino).3

Cultivation — harvest:

While cultivating rice is associated with water, rice isn’t actually an aquatic plant. Sowing takes place on dry soil. However, flooding protects the plants from pests and weeds.

In dry rice cultivation, there is a difference between mountain rice cultivation that is dependent on rain and lowland rice cultivation. These methods can be found in regions with little precipitation or in mountains with high humidity. Controlling weeds is very labor-intensive and yields are lower than for water rice. The aroma of dry rice is very distinctive and it is sold at much higher prices.3

There are two main ways of growing rice in water: deepwater rice cultivation and wet rice cultivation in paddy fields. Wet rice cultivation accounts for about 80 % of the world's harvest. However, the amount of water consumed is considerable: 1 kg of rice requires between 3000 and 5000 liters of running water. When managing water, care must be taken: water that flows too quickly removes nutrients from the soil and water that flows too slowly encourages algae to grow. The intensity of work involved in wet rice cultivation is high, but the yields are significantly higher than in dry rice cultivation. Wet rice can be harvested 1-3 times a year, depending on the type of rice, cultivation methods, and growing area.3

Rice can be harvested when the plant’s panicles are brown. Rice is harvested manually with a knife or mechanically with a special combine harvester. When harvested by hand, the rice is threshed a few days later.14 The rice is dried and cleaned after being harvested. In this form, the rice is called rough rice, paddy rice, or unpeeled rice. Rough rice still contains its hard, wooden, siliceous hulls and can still germinate. Raw rice is used for sowing rice, but it is not yet suitable for cooking. Brown rice is also known as cargo rice, natural rice, and whole rice. This rice is unpolished, meaning that the rice has been hulled but the bran and embryo is left on the rice. White rice is milled rice sorted by size. This process removes the bran and the embryo (germ).15

Another common type of rice is parboiled rice. In the parboiling process, air is extracted from the rough rice in a vacuum container and it is then placed in lukewarm water. There, the vitamins and minerals are released from the bran layer and the embryo. These nutrients are then pressed into the inside of the rice grain at a high pressure. Steam pressure is used to harden the rice starch on the surface of the grain (**or more specifically- endosperm?*) so that the nutrients remain in the rice grain. Finally, the rice is dried. Only then are the husks removed from the rice.15 Parboiled rice contains less fiber and less fat than brown rice.

General information:

Basmati rice (Oryza sativa ssp. indica) is a type of non-sticky long grain rice. Basmati has a nutty aroma that is similar to Pandan palm (Pandanus amaryllifolius), a plant species of the genus Pandanus (screw palm). The aroma comes from the chemical compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.11 This natural aroma is also found in cheese, fruit, and other cereals, and is used as a flavoring in bakery products and in lower quality varieties of rice.12

According to Wikipedia, rice straw (the vegetative part of the rice plant) is mainly used in Asia to make shoes, hats, and cheap rice paper. In Japan, it is used to make tatami mats, which are found in living rooms and temples.3

Literature — sources:

CLICK FOR: 17 sources

  1. Safranreis.
  2. Basmati Reis - Herkunft und Eigenschaften.
  3. Wikipedia Reis.
  4. /reissorten-die-unterschiede.html
  5. USDA United States Department of Agriculture.
  6. Tan BL et al. Scientific Evidence of Rice By-Products for Cancer Prevention: Chemopreventive Properties of Waste Products from Rice Milling on Carcinogenesis In Vitro and In Vivo. Biomed Res Int. 2017.
  7. Rai S. India-U.S. Fight on Basmati Rice Is Mostly Settled. New York Times Archives. 2001
  8. Qi Sun et al. White Rice Brown Rice, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in US Men and Women. Arch Intern Med. 2010.
  9. Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit. Untersuchung von anorganischem Arsen in Kindernahrung - Untersuchungsergebnisse 2010 und 2011. 2012.
  10. Kianmehr M et al. The Effect of G-ORS Along With Rice Soup in the Treatment of Acute Diarrhea in Children: A Single-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial. Nurs Midwifery Stud. 2016.
  11. Wongpornchai S, Sriseadka T, Choonvisase S. Identification and quantitation of the rice aroma compound, 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, in bread flowers (Vallaris glabra Ktze). J. Agric. Food Chem. 2003;51(2). doi:10.1021 /jf025856x.
  12. Burdock GA. Fenaroli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients. Sixth Edition. CRC Press. 2009.
  13. Schütze S. Bacillus cereus im Visier: Bacillus cereus im Lebensmittel - eine differenzierte Risikobetrachtung ist heutzutage möglich! Deutsche Lebensmittel-Rundschau. Mai 2017.
  14. Reisernte: Höhepunkt der Saison.
  15. Reisverarbeitung.
  16. /kassensturz-espresso /unerlaubtes-pflanzengift-im-reis
  17. Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft (Deutschland) /SharedDocs/Downloads /Ernaehrung /Rueckstaende /Bericht_PSM-Rueckstaende _Exposition.pdf? __blob=publicationFile
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