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What Is the Difference Between Parboiled Rice and Basmati Rice?

Rice is a valuable food source all over the world and forms an important part of our staple diet. It is popular because it contains many valuable nutrients and is affordable to most people. Notably white rice is the most common parboiled rice in the world but basmati is also widely used. If they are both a type of rice then what is it that distinguishes the two?

  • The size and appearance. Basmati rice and parboiled rice can be clearly distinguished from each other. Basmati rice appears to be a smaller but longer grain than its counterpart and it cooks a lot faster. Be sure not to leave basmati rice to boil for a long period as this will soften it to a point that it will become soppy. Parboiled rice also cooks quickly but if you leave it on the stove for too long it will become mushy.
  • The flavour. Parboiled rice does not have any added flavour. It is plain and can be paired with practically any dish. It will not take away the flavour from the main dish. Basmati has a more delicate and exotic flavour which means that it can only be paired with certain dishes. It is best paired with Indian or oriental dishes, such as curries or biryani.
  • The fragrance. Basmati rice has a wonderful aroma while cooking. The delicious fragrance will fill your kitchen with a mouth-watering flavour that you could bite out of the air. Parboiled rice does not have a fragrance and simply cooks in the water until it is ready to be removed from the stove. This quality makes it more versatile because it has no aroma it will complement any dish you pair with it.
  • The texture. Basmati rice, which is quicker to boil, retains its shape and form once cooked and does not stick to each other. This makes it the ideal rice for biryani dishes, which are purely rice dishes. Parboiled rice grains have a tendency to stick to each other much easier. This makes it an ideal rice for desserts as well, such rice pudding.

There you have it; the differences between basmati rice and parboiled white rice. White rice is a versatile ingredient that is soft, fragrance-free, can be paired with any dish or even used to make a dessert. Basmati is a long grain that is filled with aroma and flavour which is best served with certain dishes only, such as curries. Although these two types of rice are vastly different, they each have their applications in the kitchen. I dare you to try both types so that you can decide for yourself.

Hassim Seedat