We Know Our Rice: Types of Rice in India!


Welcome to WGYF! How have you been cruising this journey called life- hell, yeah it’s a whole lot smooth thanks to good food- and what have you been cooking? Ya, ya, it sounds a lot like TGIF and trust us it’s almost Friday everyday in our office- thanks to the industry we work in. All week, this week, we’re experimenting with heavy fall flavors (think pumpkin, zucchini, beetroot paired with nutmeg, cinnamon, rosemary, red wine and such) and types of rice: Blimey, there are about 125 rice varieties in India and we felt like a deer in a headlight trying to pick 10 that goes with our menu.

Now of course, you’ll ask us what difference does it make what rice you are using as long as you cook it properly, right? Right? Well, not right. Your choice of rice has a lot to do with the flavor of a dish and just any rice will not do. For example, for a good risotto one absolutely must use Arborio rice. Can you use Basmati? Well, no you cannot because starchy rice is a prerequisite for a nice, creamy risotto and the starch present in Arborio help bind the ingredients into a creamy, thick, cheesy dish. But that said, you can use Basmati for Risotto but only you’ll have to cook it longer to release as much starch.

To add, a good risotto should be creamy and not chalky. There should be a good bite to the rice but it shouldn’t be undercooked. Arborio handles the criteria well. Similarly, a starchy, gooey rice will not work for Biryani which demands rice to not stick to one another. Actually, you know what? If cooking was this easy, we would have had 5 michelin stars by now. It’s not. Atleast we know our rice 😉


Here’s a quick snapshot of the best kind of rice found in India, it’s respective state and what you can use it for: 

Shalimar Rice

Shalimar Rice is a type of Basmati Rice typically grown in and exported to the world from Jammu and Kashmir. Non-starchy, sensitive and fragrant, Shalimar Rice is perfect for making Pilafs and Biryani.

Red Rice– A rice known for its nutty flavor and high nutritional value, Red Rice is best grown in Himalayas and is quintessential to Himachali cuisine. Don’t be confused: Himachali cuisine is not Punjabi cuisine and offers a range of delicious dishes like meethe chawal!

Surti Kolam– Grown in Gujarat, Surti kolam is a fine rice for everyday use. If rice is your staple- yes, bongs and kerala people- you can try Surti Kolam and see the difference in taste. Surti Kolam also increases in volume when you cook!

Ambemohar Rice– If you thought Maharashtra only produced mangoes, oranges and jowar- let us tell you, it produces one of the most beautiful varities of rice you’ll fine: Ambe means mango and Mohar means seeds/blossoms. Clearly, as you can imagine, this rare rice smells a lot like mango blossoms. Yum! While it’s generally used as is with tasty fish curries in the konkan region, we are thinking a mango inspired rice pudding with this rice will be a winner.

Matta Rice– A produce of Kerala, this rice is robust and earthy. It’s thick and sticky and is perfect for fermentation with urad daal for making idlies, appams and uttapams. In fact, you will not get the same consistency in Idli with any other rice but Matta.

Spicy Stuffed Chicken Meal for One

Malbhog Rice– Assam is one of the largest producers of rice in India and Malbhog is the region’s special offering! Although we have not used this rice ever and do not know much about what dishes will it highlight, we are keen to find out.

Govindobhog Rice– Short grain, white, aromatic, sticky and oh-so-fragrant: Govindobhog is what, “I have personally grown up eating”, says our community girl and adds,”I could have it right now with some butter and boiled potatoes. The rice itself lends a sweet buttery flavor to any dish you pair with it”. Specially used to make “Polau” or pilaf, one can tell you are cooking govindobhog rice from miles away, it’s that fragrant. Of course, it has to be really good for that to happen.

Tamil Nadu– Tamil Nadu produces a very fragrant light weight rice called Sona Masoori Rice which goes fabulously with sambhar and chicken. We are yet to explore this!

Did we miss something? Did we miss a variety that you think deserves mention? Tell us! Lets get talking for soon we might ask, “AajKhaneMeinKyaHai” {What’s for food}


6 thoughts on “We Know Our Rice: Types of Rice in India!

  1. Ravi

    Sona Masoori Rice is not actually from Tamil nadu state. its grown in southern part of Andhra Pradesh, more famously called as Kurnool sona.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s