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A Guide to the Most Popular Types of Rice

What comes to your mind when someone asks about the most versatile and economical grain? The rice right & How many types of rice are there? It is true that rice is actually the very versatile and economical that is why most of the people who are poor take rice in their meals. However, this is not the end of the features of rice. You can make the rice into a creamy base or you can fluff it up and enjoy its aroma by adding butter or some spices to it. The texture and the flavor of the rice being cooked shall depend on two of its important components. One is, amylose and the second is, amylopectin. If the amylose content is higher in the rice that you are cooking in your mini rice cooker then, your rice shall come out to be lighter and fluffier whereas if the rice has more of amylopectin content then, the rice shall come out to be stickier and creamier. 

There are many varieties of rice and each one of them is unique in itself. What you need to know here is that the darker and more intact the rice grain is, it will be more nutritious. Therefore, the black, red, and brown varieties of rice contain vital vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that are important for your health. On the other hand, if you are fond of eating white rice, you should know they are only a source of carbohydrates. If in case you are very health conscious and interested in preserving the vital minerals and other nutrients of your rice then, it is advisable for you to not cook the rice with excess water because when you strain the water, a lot of vital nutrients also get strained along in the process. Do not think that because of the above mentioned reason you are also not supposed to rinse the rice. Rinsing of the rice before actually cooking it is an important step because during this, the starch present (if any) in the rice gets washed away and this helps in preventing the rice from clumping. Another thing that you can try before cooking your rice in the mini rice cooker is, soak it for 30 minutes. Soaking helps in reducing your cooking time and saves the aroma, fragrance, and nutrients of the rice as well.   

Now, comes the main issue that most of the people preparing rice face and that is, the water and rice ratio. Well, it is a bit difficult to solve this issue here because I do not know the brand or quality of rice you are using. Still, if you are interested in knowing about the perfect water and rice ratio, what you can do is, read the manufacturer’s instructions at the back of your rice’s packaging. Also, the amount of water that needs to be added shall depend on the climatic conditions in your area and the terrain where you live. If this too does not help then, the following article shall provide you with the details of various kinds of rice and the amount of water required to be added in each of these varieties.

Glutinous Rice 

This is a very formal term that you might not hear often. The other name for such type of rice is, sticky rice. You shall get this variety of rice mostly in Southeast and East Asia. As already mentioned above, sticky rice has more of amylopectin content in it so, I hope you understand where it has got its name from. The grains of such a variety of rice is usually short, opaque, and you can eat it with the bran intact as brown rice. Otherwise, if you remove the bran, it becomes white rice. If you want rice as a side dish with sushi or you want to try the classic Thai dish known as Mango sticky rice then, glutinous rice is the best types of Rice. Traditionally, this type of rice needs to be steamed in a bamboo basket because it allows the rice to release its starch evenly and gradually. However, it is completely understandable that to have a bamboo basket in this modern era sounds a little bit too old so, no problem you can even use your small rice cooker to cook this rice.  

Wild Rice

It is a specie of grass hailing from North America. It is long and lean in size. It has a nutty flavor. From its name you might think that it grows wildly in forest but it is not true. This variety of rice is actually cultivated. The color may vary between light brown to almost black. An important thing about this variety is that the grain is sturdier so, whether you are boiling, steaming, or baking it, you need to do it for at least 45 minutes. 

Red Rice

Red rice is full of nutrients. It contains high amount of anthocyanins which is a type of antioxidant and because of the presence of this content this rice has a red hue. There needs to be no new technique followed for cooking this type of rice but yes, there is one thing that you need to take care about and that is, add about 1 ½ times the water as usual, this shall make the rice soft. 

Black Rice    

This is a variety of rice with various sub varieties. For example, Chinese black rice which is also known as forbidden or emperor’s rice. It has a historical importance for the elite in China. Black sticky rice and white sticky rice have no difference in their tastes. There is one more sub variety and that is, black Japonica rice which is a crossbreed between short grain black rice and medium grain mahogany rice. You can cook the black sticky rice as you cook the white sticky rice but if you are using Chinese black rice or black Japonica rice then, you need to take 2:1 water to rice ratio. 

Brown Rice

When the hull is removed leaving the germ and bran as it is, it becomes a popular rice variety that is Brown rice. You must have seen this rice in departmental stores near you. These are very nutritious and taste good. The length of this rice can vary between short and long.

Jasmine Rice

You must have heard about the Jasmine flower right? This variety of rice has got its name from the same flower. It is native to Asia and farmers cultivate it for the sweet fragrance it has. It has a long grain and the amylopectin content is high in it. Therefore, it is sticky when cooked. One cup of Jasmine rice shall need 1 ½ cups of water to be added. 

Basmati Rice

What is the most popular rice in India & Middle-east restaurants are the ones which mostly serve the rice in their best way. The rice is fluffy and you can see steam coming out of it. The variety of rice that they generally use is basmati. It has long grains originating from India. It has higher amylose content and that is why it is not sticky. It is soaked for at least 30 minutes in warm water before cooking. If you take one cup of basmati rice then, add 1 ½ cups of water. 

Arborio Rice

This variety of rice is also known as risotto rice. It comes from Italy and is short with high amylopectin content. Therefore, it is rich and creamy when cooked. If you do not want this texture, you can go for rinsing your rice first and then use a small rice cooker to cook this variety of rice. 

Bomba Rice

It’s a Spanish word meaning bomb. It is also known as Valencia rice and has a very short grain with high amylose content. 

Sushi Rice 

Technically, it is not a type of rice but a way in which you prepare rice along with the famous Sushi dish. It is mixed with vinegar and sugar to get the Sushi dish flavor. Even though, it is sold as sushi rice. 

Now, that you know the different types of rice and the amount of water that needs to be added in it, I am sure that you will not end up making your rice sticky when you actually wanted it to be fluffy and dry. Knowing the right brand of rice and its features is thus, very important. Usually it does not matter much that whether you are using a best rice cooker or a microwave rice cooker because the end result i.e. the quality of rice cooked shall remain the same. The only thing that changes is, the method of cooking. It is obvious that if you cook rice in a pot on your gas burner and if you cook it in an electric pressure cooker, the method of cooking shall change but the amount of water to be added along with the fact that the rice cooked will be sticky or dry shall remain the same. I hope that this article was very informative for you and it will give you a broader perspective as to what is your choice is most popular types of rice  

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