Rice is a staple crop that is present in every kitchen. Indian cuisines are mostly famous for their rice recipes all over the world. Some famous cuisines made from rice include – Biryani, Kadhi Chawal, Kheer and Pulao. Different recipes consist of different types of rice. The different types of rice have different tastes, shapes, textures, and unique properties.
Parts of a Rice Grain
The outer hull or husk is the tough covering that encloses each grain of the rice. The layer of the hull needs to be removed before consuming it.
The layer of bran is present under the hull and it is not removed from every rice type. The color of bran is tan and this section is usually nutritious. Bran can be reddish or black in color depends on the pigmentation. The layer of bran may be consumed but in further processing, it might be removed.
This part is left after the removal of bran and germ layers. It is also known as endosperm. White rice is the most commonly consumed part of rice.
This layer is present under the hull which is densely nutritious. It is also called rice kernel. The germ layer of rice consists of a high amount of vitamin B, minerals, and proteins. The germ layer gives the rice its original color and additional nutrient benefits.
Types of Rice
On the basis of Length and Shape:
The rice is divided into three categories. Every rice type has its own forte and is prepared in a unique way.
Long Grain Rice
The rice appears slim and its grain is long. The texture of this type of rice is dry and fluffy that is why after cooking they are separated from each other. Basmati Rice is a popular long grain rice and forms the main ingredient of Indian Biryani. Long grain rice has a great aroma and has a non-sticky texture, these properties enable long grain rice to serve as a n ingredient for many recipes. Some other varieties of long-grain rice are Jasmine rice, Pusa, Sharbati, and Suganda.
Medium Grain Rice
The size of the rice which is neither so small nor so long is called medium grain rice. It is wider than long-grain rice. This kind of rice becomes tender and moist after cooking. The varieties of food prepared from medium grain rice are Vegetable Pulao, Khichdi, VangiBhat and Curd Rice. Medium grain rice has a higher tendency to stick to each other in comparison to long grain rice. One of the natural and healthy varieties of medium grain rice available is Sona Masooririce. The hybrid medium grain rice which consists of a high amount of protein is raw Ponni rice.
Short Grain Rice
The length of the short-grain rice is a major factor for its identity as they are small in size. The texture of this kind of rice is very sticky and clumps together after cooking. Due to the stickiness of the short-grain rice, it is best for Indian desserts such as Kheer. Some other recipes which are formed from short-grain rice are Idli, Dosa, Kolam rice and Patni rice. This type of rice is mainly used for preparing South Indian food items.
Brown rice is another type of rice that is highly nutritious and consists of a high amount of vitamins and minerals. This kind of rice takes more time to cook.
On the basis of Texture:
The content of starch in rice varies from one type to another. The content of starch determines whether the rice will have a sticky, light or fluffy texture.
This type of rice is also called sweet rice. Regions where sticky rice are cultivated are mainly in South East and East Asia. There are several traditional Asian rice dishes, desserts, and sweets cooked from sticky rice. Rice four is made from sticky and ground rice.
The texture of parboiled rice is rough. This type of rice is cooked under steam pressure before milling that gelatinizes the starch present in the grain. The parboiled rice becomes light and fluffy after cooking.
On the basis of Colour
The natural colour of the rice after harvesting is brown. Once the nutrient rich outer layer of bran is removed the rice becomes white in colour. The unique pigmentation of the rice brain is red, black, and brown.
This type of rice in simple terms is known as white rice. The outer layer of bran and germ is removed after which polished or white rice appears. Milled rice is another name for the rice that sheds its bran layer.
This kind of rice sheds its outer hull or husk but the bran and germ layer remain on, constituting to the brown or tan colour or rice. The cooking time of brown rice is more than in comparison to white rice. Brown rice is also densely nutrient-rich and high in vitamins and minerals.
Forbidden Black Rice
The level of nutrients in black rice is high and the flavour is mildly nutty. Black rice becomes a little sticky after cooking. Chinese and Thai dishes mainly use black rice.
Genus Zizania of grasses is the one from which wild rice grains are harvested. If wild rice is added to your rice dishes, then an exotic and colorful texture comes in the dish. The protein level in wild rice is high.
On the basis of Aroma
After cooking the rice, the aroma is one of the factors that need to be considered. The fragrance of certain types of rice gives an unpleasant smell after cooking.
It is a kind of long-grain rice that is most popular among Indian cuisines and various ethnic dishes.
It is also known as Thai fragrant rice whose grain is long with a long kernel. The texture of jasmine rice is slightly sticky and gives an aroma to the dishes.