Maison Del Gusto: “Being gourmet selectors for high-end yacht chefs and private chefs, we’re passionate about educating not only chefs, but Captains, crew, and food enthusiasts about the foods we source. This month’s food blog focuses on rice to give you some knowledge on the top 5 reasons for a chef to choose basmati rice.”
In many Asian cultures, rice is synonymous with food. Today more than 3,5 billion people, including virtually all of East and Southeast Asia, depend on rice for sustenance. It’s also being cultivated on every continent except Antarctica! Since people began trying their hand at farming 12.000 years ago, rice has fed more people over a longer period than any other crop. Because of this, it’s becoming closely linked with the evolution of human society, both as a commercial product and as a community builder.
Basmati rice is also mentioned in all the scriptures of Asia’s ancient civilizations, being involved in the religious and secular ceremonies of many countries, from birth, through marriage, to death. But if you think that rice is just rice, think again! You can find so many different varieties of rice. However, there’s no other rice quite like the Basmati. Basmati rice is very long and slim grain rice, that has excellent cooking qualities and it’s full of flavour!
Fun Fact: It’s only grown in Northern India and Pakistan, as no other rice can be labeled as basmati.
So, what makes basmati rice so special? – Gourmet selectors, Maison Del Gusto share 5 reasons for a chef to choose Basmati:
- Believe it or not, Basmati is a super grain that is gluten-free and low in fat. While cooking it expands more than twice its dry length and unlike other types of rice, the grains only expand lengthwise. The reason for this is that it allows them to retain their characteristic length and slenderness when cooked. One other thing you should know is that basmati rice has a low to medium glycemic index, meaning that energy is released at a slower rate which leads to a more balanced energy level. Interesting, right?
- Furthermore, Basmati is a story of taste. The word ‘Basmati’ comes from the Hindi word for “ the fragrant one” and fittingly too. In terms of mouthfeel and taste, Basmati rice has an intensely spicy, nutty flavor with a floral aroma that offers the palate a whole different experience.
- Many say that basmati rice is like fine wine – it only improves with age. It is actually aged for as much as a few years! Which helps to dry the rice fully, and keep those grains fluffy and separated in a pilaf. Next time you have some in your pantry, take a look at the colour of your basmati. We say to do this because the best Basmati isn’t pearly white, its grains have a slightly golden hue, but in any case, should not be gray. The Basmati relies entirely on nature for its special characteristics…
- If you’ve ever cooked this rice, then you’ll know what we mean when we say that Basmati rice is a dream to cook! The open texture of Basmati allows the grain to absorb other flavors, making it a sociable partner to a whole host of recipes; From pilafs and curries to soups and other delicious dishes
- The final reason for a chef to choose basmati rice is that basmati requires love and attention. There is only one Basmati harvest a year and the plant requires specific weather conditions to mature and flourish. It is much taller than other rice, so it can suffer very easily from wind damage. Basmatis’ delicate make-up explains the constant need for vigilance and care by the farmer. Yet, allows the plant to develop its complex, unique flavour and characteristics.
Co-founder of Green Saffron Spice, Arun Kapul recommends these top tips when making rice:
- For every cup of rice add 2.5 cups of cold water
- Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and leave half-covered to cook for 12-15 mins – no stirring!
- When there is about a tablespoon of water left, remove it from the heat and cover. Then, leave it to stand for 3-4 mins – the rice will separate and the grains will point up happily!
- Add a little sea salt to taste, sprinkle on some chopped coriander or chives, fluff with a fork, and serve!
Note – For perfect, fluffy grains every time leave the spoon in the drawer and use only the finest quality.
To conclude, basmati rice is one of the most widely used ingredients in many cuisines across the globe. Its unique taste and aroma is the driving reason for its worldwide popularity and success. If cooked properly, the taste of Basmati Rice will not fail to satisfy your taste buds so wait no more and order your packet of Basmati rice today through Maison Del Gusto Superyacht provisioners.
*This article was written in collaboration with Maison del Gusto, Monaco’s premiere purveyor of gourmet food. Please contact MDG on +377 97708711 or by clicking here, for a selection of multi-award Basmati rice.
Did you enjoy Maison Del Gustos’ food blog on 5 reasons for a chef to choose basmati rice? If so, click here to discover their previous food blogs.