Basmati Rice Vs Long Grain Rice: Detailed Comparison Guide

Do you want to know the difference between basmati rice vs. long grain rice? It can be slightly challenging to pick the right rice type to cook your rice recipe perfectly. It becomes more confusing when you fail to differentiate between long-grain rice types, whether basmati or others like Jasmine and American.

Well, the distress will be over now!

Today, you’ll learn about basmati rice, long grain rice, and their differences. 

Before getting into the meat of this article, remember a few points:

  • Long grain rice is available in many varieties, and basmati rice is one. Yet, it has a distinct smell and aroma compared to other long-grain rice varieties.
  • This article is about basmati rice vs. the rest of the long-grain rice types.
  • Other long grain rice types are Jasmine rice, Wild rice, American Long Grain White rice, Mogra rice, Carolina Gold rice, and Red rice. These long-grain rice forms come from Oryza Sativa rice’s long grain Indica variety, widely grown in Asia.
  • Basmati rice also has many other popular varieties in India and Pakistan.

After reading this article, you’ll be able to better differentiate between the basmati rice and long grain rice (generally) and better understand which variety of rice to use in a particular dish.

What is Basmati Rice?

Basmati rice is long grain rice and has a peculiar scent. When cooked, the grains turn out to be soft. Moreover, they have an aroma similar to that of the Pandan leaves. It’s because they share the same characteristic aromatic compound. 

This rice is grown in the Indian subcontinent. Basmati rice is used for cooking the most popular dish in the Indian subcontinent, the biryani.

While this rice is mainly a product of Northern India and Pakistan, a unique variety of basmati is grown in the United States, known as Texmati.

Basmati rice is cleaned before cooking to remove the starch powder deposited after mining. 

Another advantage of basmati rice is that it helps keep the blood glucose level stable because of its low glycemic index. A low glycemic index means that, while eating basmati rice, less carbohydrate is absorbed into the bloodstream, which leads to a lesser increase in the blood glucose level.

What is Long Grain Rice?

As the name implies, long-grain rice has long and slim grains. Their grains usually stay separate when cooked, and the finished product is relatively dry and firm. The majority is polished white rice, but brown, long-grain rice is also available. 

Long grain rice comes from “Oryza” rice. This rice originates from Asia, whereas Carolina rice is from North America and has a slightly chunkier appearance. 

Difference Between Long Grain Rice and Basmati Rice 

We’ll discuss significant differences between basmati rice and other long-grain rice varieties here. It’ll help you differentiate these two varieties of rice.

 1. The Shape

Basmati rice has tapered tips: knife-like. When uncooked, the basmati rice is shorter than other long-grain rice, but it doubles the size after cooking. 

On the other hand, the long-grain rice has a circular shape on both ends like a cylinder, yet it’s significantly longer. So, you can differentiate between Basmati rice and long grain rice by looking at the rice ends only. 

1. The Color

Basmati rice turns white and appears scrumptious after being well cooked.

On the other hand, other ‌long-grain rice will not exhibit the same characteristics. Even though they might turn white like basmati rice, still unlike basmati rice, they will always be sticky. Also, If your long grain rice is of poor quality, you will need to rinse it more times.

Rice grains are sticky and pale because of the presence of starch.

2. Size and Changes in Size After Cooking

It’s easy to differentiate between basmati and long grain rice. Basmati rice is about 6.61 millimeters in size. Contrarily, the long grain rice size remains between 7-9 millimeters.

One characteristic of the Indian-origin basmati rice is that it increases to twice or thrice its original size when cooked. Some premium quality Basmati rice may expand even more after cooking. However, some ‌varieties do not share the same characteristics.

Similarly, long grain rice expands even further when cooked. Uncooked long-grain rice has a length that is three to five times that of its width.

3. The Smell

One of the significant differentiating factors between the two kinds of rice is the difference in their aroma. 

Basmati rice has a pleasant smell that spreads all across the house and increases a person’s appetite. 

The smell of basmati rice is why biryani and pulao use this type of rice.

Other varieties of long-grain rice do not produce the same scent. While Jasmine rice has a distinctive aroma, it differs ‌from basmati rice.

4. The Taste

Like the smell, the taste is one of the distinguishing factors that help differentiate between the two rice varieties. While most long-grain rice is plain in taste, basmati rice has a delicate flavor.

Adding spices and flavoring to rice will help add taste. Still, they won’t be able to mitigate the difference in taste produced by using different rice varieties.

Another aspect of taste and aroma is that your fingers will always smell nice after eating dishes cooked with basmati rice. It’s especially true for dishes made with basmati rice.

5. Texture

Basmati rice never loses its texture unless it’s overcooked. The grains do not break down easily and remain the same throughout the cooking process. That is why ‌it’s such an essential ingredient in traditional rice dishes.

However, other varieties of long-grain rice may not exhibit the same texture. Because the cooking time for each rice grain varies, some of them may break into tiny pieces.

6. Uses

You can make biryanis, Pulao, Jeera Rice, Masala Rice, Tadka Rice, and other dishes with Basmati rice. You can even serve plain basmati rice alongside salad and curry. 

Other long-grain rice varieties can be used in Fried Rice, Pulao, Jeera Rice, Matar Rice, and other dishes.

While non-traditional rice dishes can work well with any type of rice, dishes like biryani and Pulao only work well with basmati rice. The reason is that basmati rice adds the flavor and aroma to these dishes, which they are known for.

Therefore, whenever you want to make traditional dishes, always opt for the well-known Basmati rice.

7. Price

One exciting comparison point between the two types of rice is their price. Since basmati rice is the most popular rice, it has higher market demand. It’s more frequently purchased than other varieties of rice, which are usually available at much lower prices. 

In addition, another reason for the difference in the prices is the fact that basmati rice is a regional product. Basmati rice is produced in a few states, and the best basmati rice is grown in Northern India. Consequently, this limited supply and regional specificity of basmati rice are why its higher prices. 

Nutritional Facts 

Ric might seem equal. Yet, these are the nutrients that determine the health benefits of each rice type. Here, we’ll help you know how many calories and what nutrients this rice has.

Basmati Rice

This rice is ‌healthy because of its impressive nutrient profile. Basmati rice has two types: brown rice and white rice. Of the two types, brown basmati rice keeps more fiber and nutrients than white basmati rice, processed and the bran layer removed.

The following is the nutrition profile for a single serving of basmati rice:

Calories 205
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Potassium (K)55 mg
Sodium (Na)1.6 mg
Protein 4.3 g
Carbohydrates 45 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Vitamin C 0%
Vitamin A0%
Iron 11% 
Calcium 1.2%

Long Grain Rice

While the total calories provided by a serving of long-grain rice are almost identical to that provided by a serving of basmati rice, this rice differs slightly in nutrients. Long grain rice contains significantly lower percentages of iron compared to basmati rice. 

The following is a nutritional profile for a single serving of long-grained rice.

Calories 205
Total Fat 0.4 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Potassium (K)55 mg
Sodium (Na)1.6 mg
Protein 4.3 g
Carbohydrates 45 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Vitamin C0%
Vitamin A0%
Iron 1.8%
Calcium 1.2%

Uses of Basmati and Long Grain Rice

Though both rice types can be used interchangeably, using them precisely for specific dishes helps you achieve the ideal taste. So, to help you pick the proper rice, below, we’ve discussed each rice type’s uses.

Uses of Long Grained Rice

You can use long-grain rice in many different ways. It is a neutral flavored rice form, making it the most suitable choice for preparing savory and sweet dishes. 

1. As stuffing 

Rice can be used as stuffing for turkey, beef, and ground pork. This rice can be seasoned, and it provides a beautiful and unique taste to the dish. 

2. As a dessert, 

Rice can ‌prepare many desserts. For example, one of the most popular desserts is the rice Kheer, a staple sweet dish in India and Pakistan. 

3. As Pulao (Pilaf) 

Pilaf is a rice dish that involves cooking rice and adding spices and other ingredients, such as vegetables and meat. It’s rice made with vegetables and nuts. 

4. As Rice Casseroles 

Rice casseroles are a scrumptious one-dish comfort meal. Take the chicken and add it to the dish and other ingredients such as mushrooms, broccoli, and onions. After that, add a layer of shredded cheddar cheese to prepare the dish for cooking.

5. As Breakfast

A popular breakfast dish in the Philippines is Sinangag, a bowl of white, long-grain rice fried with garlic, soy sauce, green onions, and scrambled eggs. 

Even though it’s primarily a breakfast dish, it’s often produced in large quantities to be used as a side dish later in the day.

Uses of Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is a particular type of long-grain rice. Most of the famous dishes around the Indian subcontinent use basmati rice. Some of its most popular uses are

1. Biryani, 

Of course, basmati rice is used for preparing biryani. Whether it be Mumbai Biryani, Sindhi Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Calcutta Biryani, or Lucknowi Biryani, they are all cooked in basmati rice. 

2. Chicken Schezwan Rice 

Indian cuisines are not the only cuisines that use basmati rice. For instance, one of the most popular Indo-Chinese dishes is the chicken Schezwan rice which uses basmati rice.
To prepare this dish, take the rice you want to use and then fry it with chicken, soy, vinegar, shrimp, chili sauce, celery, and mushrooms. 

3. Payesh

It is a Bengali dessert made with basmati rice, nuts, cardamom, aromatic rose water, and milk. This dessert is usually made during the Durga Puja Festival in India. 

4. Chicken Paella 

It’s an attractive Spanish dish that uses basmati rice and olive, bell pepper, and chicken. In addition, you can add saffron and garlic to season this dish.

5. Gulab Phirni 

It is one of the most delicious rice-based sweet dishes. For special occasions and celebrations, it’s a dish of choice. The ingredients needed to prepare this dish are basmati rice, cardamom, milk, saffron, and rosewater.

Health Benefits of Basmati and Long Grain Rice

Here we’ll help you know how basmati or long-grain rice can benefit your health.

Basmati Rice Health Benefits

Basmati rice has many health benefits, some of which include:

Good for Diabetics 

The glycemic index of most rice, mainly white rice, is high. Basmati rice has a much lower glycemic index. 

Basmati rice has an index of 50 to 58, making it a low-to-medium glycemic index food. Having a low glycemic index means ‌that basmati rice causes little increase in blood sugar because of its poor absorption into the bloodstream. 

High Fiber Content

Another advantage of basmati rice is the abundant amount of fiber present. Fiber helps with digestive problems. In addition, the high fiber content is another reason it’s recommended for diabetic patients.  

Reduces Risk of Cancer 

The high fiber content of basmati rice helps to reduce certain types of cancers, particularly colorectal cancer. It’s especially true for brown basmati rice, whose fiber content is 20% more than white basmati rice.

Better Heart Health

Basmati rice, just like other grains, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. This can lead to a decrease in heart problems and a reduced risk of hypertension. 

Long Grained Rice Health Benefits

Long-grain rice has a lot of nutrients that make it useful for a lot of conditions. 

Some of its health benefits include:

Improves Digestive Health 

Brown rice’s insoluble fiber promotes and improves regular bowel functions. In addition, it can help with piles and problems with controlling bowels. It also makes an excellent gluten-free food option for people who have celiac disease. 

Improves Heart Health 

Since brown rice contains more fiber compared to processed food, it can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by lowering high cholesterol levels in the blood.

Because of its fiber content, it also helps to maintain weight by being more appetizing.

Moreover, brown rice can also improve oxygen transportation and other vital functions because of the vitamins and minerals it contains. 

Helps in Controlling Diabetes 

Brown rice can ‌control blood sugar levels, while white rice can produce a spike in blood sugar levels. It’s because white rice has a glycemic index of 64. It’s higher than brown rice, with a lower glycemic index of 55. 

Therefore, people who consume white rice regularly are more likely to develop diabetes.

Cancer Risk Reduction

Brown rice contains different ‌antioxidants. Because of these antioxidants, rice can help reduce the risk of cancer. They work by keeping free radicals from damaging the body’s cells.

FAQs

What’s the difference between short-grain, medium-grain, and long-grain rice?

As the name suggests, long-grained rice has a long slender kernel 3 to 4 times its width. When cooked, they are separate, soft, and light. They are the best type of rice to use for biryani and pulao. 

The kernels of short grain and medium grain rice are shorter and broader. When you cook this type of rice, it becomes moist and tender. They also ‌stick together. 

They’re also ideal for sweet dishes like rice puddings and rice kheer. You can also use them for making traditional Chinese or Japanese rice.

Basmati Rice vs. long-grain rice, which takes more time to cook?

Basmati rice cooks quickly, taking only 15-20 minutes. However, long-grain rice takes 25 or more minutes to cook thoroughly.

What is the best method for storing uncooked rice? 

To keep the dust and moisture away from the rice, you should store it in a tightly sealed container. Similarly, refrigerating the rice will extend its shelf life. The shelf life of brown rice is approximately six months.

Long grain rice vs. basmati rice, which is better when losing weight?

Rice is a rich source of carbs. AND among both rice types, basmati rice has slightly fewer carbs. Though eating too many carbs is not advisable during fat loss, this carb content difference can help you cut down on your carb intake, especially when following a low carb or keto diet. In short, basmati rice is better for weight loss.

How different is basmati rice from other types of rice? 

Basmati rice is like other types of rice in terms of nutrients. Basmati rice has a minor difference in calories, protein, carbohydrates, and fibers compared to a similar serving of any other type of rice. However, basmati rice contains less arsenic than different types of rice, a fact worth considering if rice is a prominent part of your diet.

What is the size of long-grain rice?

Long grain rice is typically defined as rice whose length is four to five times that of its width. For instance, a single grain’s length usually varies but typically ranges between 0.27 and 0.35 inches, which amounts to 7-9 millimeters.

What kind of rice should I use?

When preparing sushi or sweet dishes like rice pulao or kheer, use medium or short-grain rice. On the other hand, if you’re preparing salty rice dishes like rice pulao and biryani, ‌ use long grain rice.

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