The Cookalong Podcast

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Posted in Food
August 27, 2018

Basmati or Jasmine—How to Choose

I used to find myself standing in my pantry debating about whether to use Jasmine rice or Basmati rice. They both impart a lovely smell to my kitchen and my dining room table. Sometimes intuition kicks in about which might be served in a restaurant next to the other dishes I’m cooking.

It turns out that there are very real differences—in consistency. Basmati grains maintain their long, thin shape, each piece distinct and separate. This makes it a great choice for a fluffy pilaf.

Jasmine rice, on the other hand, has a moist, stickier texture, and its grains collect into delicate clumps, perfect for eating with chopsticks or molding into a lovely mound on the plate. Great for Asian dishes and curries.

When I discovered that it wasn’t just the flavors that were different, my choice became easy—do I want it a little sticky, or light and fluffy? While both these rices are more expensive than ordinary long grain white rice, their aroma makes an impressive statement at the table. People will be sneaking into the kitchen to find out what you’re cooking because it smells so good. I think that’s worth a few extra nickels.

And now you know which one to use.

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