In this blog, we delve into the fascinating world of Indian rice and explore some of the most Famous Rice Varieties in India that have captured the hearts and palates of millions.
Here are 8 popular varieties of Indian rice
Embark on a captivating journey through the diverse world of Indian rice. From the fragrant Basmati to the delicate Jasmine, we’ll uncover the secrets of beloved varieties.
1. Basmati Rice – Most Popular Indian Rice
Basmati rice, often referred to as the “King of Rice,” is renowned for its distinct aroma and delicate, elongated grains. Grown in the fertile lands of the Himalayan foothills, this long-grain rice variety is cherished for its exceptional fragrance, fluffy texture, and ability to absorb flavours well.
Basmati rice is predominantly cultivated in several states of India, including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Western Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir. These regions are renowned for their favourable climatic conditions and fertile lands, which contribute to the exceptional quality and aromatic properties of Basmati rice
Indian rice varieties are divided into two categories: brown and white. Known for their aromatic qualities and health benefits, Basmati Rice production in Punjab alone reached 890,207 tonnes, making India a leading exporter in the global market.
Basmati rice is commonly used to prepare biryanis, pulao, and other flavorful rice dishes.
2. Gobindo Bhog / Vishnu Bhog Rice/ Govind Bhog
Gobind Bhog rice is a premium aromatic rice variety cultivated in the state of West Bengal, India. It is named after the Hindu deity, Lord Gobind (an incarnation of Lord Krishna). Gobind Bhog rice is characterized by its short grains, sweet aroma, and delicate flavour.
It is highly prized for its fine quality and is traditionally used in Bengali cuisine for preparing delectable desserts like payesh (rice pudding), as well as savoury dishes like pulao.
Gobind Bhog rice cultivation extends beyond West Bengal and can be found in other states as well. For example:
In Bihar as well as Chhattisgarh, specifically in the Sarguja Division, the rice is cultivated and known as Vishnu Bhog or Govind Bhog.
3. Sona Masoori Rice –Indian rice
Sona Masoori is a medium-grain rice variety primarily cultivated in the southern states of India. It is mostly grown in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka.
It is favoured for its lightweight, non-sticky texture and subtle flavour. Sona Masoori rice is a medium-grain rice.
Sona Masoori rice is a versatile option used in a wide range of dishes, including pulao, idli, and dosa, and even as a side dish for dal and curries.
4. Red Rice:
Red rice, also known as “Mattai Arisi” or “Laal Chawal,” is an indigenous variety widely cultivated in the northeastern states of India. It gets its distinct reddish hue from natural pigments present in the outer bran layer. Red rice is considered a healthier alternative due to its high nutritional value and rich fibre content.
It is commonly used in traditional Assamese, Manipuri, and Bengali cuisines.
In the elevated regions of Himachal Pradesh, red rice varieties flourish in abundance. Cultivated at high altitudes, notable varieties include Jatu, Matali, Dewal, Karad, Chhohratu, and Bhirgu.
5. Brown Rice:
Brown rice is a whole-grain rice variety that retains its outer bran layer, making it higher in fibre and nutrients compared to white rice. It has a nutty flavour and a slightly chewy texture.
Brown rice is a healthier alternative and is commonly used in dishes like khichdi, and pilaf, and as a base for vegetable and protein bowls.
White rice is a refined version of the grain where the hull, bran layer, and cereal germ are removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm.
6. Ambemohar Rice:
Ambemohar rice, primarily grown in the state of Maharashtra, is known for its delicate aroma and slightly sweet taste. It is often used in preparing traditional Maharashtrian dishes like Varan Bhaat (dal-rice), Kheer, and Aamti (curry).
Ambemohar rice gets its name from the fragrance resembling the aroma of mango blossoms (“Ambemohar” translates to “fragrance of mango” in Marathi).
It is used to prepare ‘Bhatachi Pej,’ a rice and milk soup, for children, elderly, and patients. In the Mulshi region, it is used for ‘Vapholya’ during Makar Sankranti. It is also used for making soft idlis, crispy dosas, and puffed rice called Kurmure.
7. Black Rice:
Black rice is also known as “Forbidden Rice” and “purple rice”. It is a highly nutritious and visually striking variety. It has a dark purplish-black color and a nutty flavour. Black rice is rich in antioxidants, fibre, and minerals. In Indian cuisine, it is commonly used in desserts like kheer, payasam, and pudding, adding a unique touch to these sweet dishes.
8. Kolam Rice:
Kolam rice also known as Lachkari Raw Rice, is a popular medium-grain rice variety widely consumed in South India. It has a subtle aroma and a soft, non-sticky texture. Kolam rice is a preferred choice for everyday meals and is used in dishes like sambhar rice, lemon rice, and curd rice.
It is also considered the substitute for Basmati because you will get a similar feel and taste as Basmati Rice.
Read More: Varieties of Indian Mango