This Rice, That Rice, What Rice?

A day before I was leaving to Kuwait, my mum sat me down, and put a few grains of rice in front of me. I stared at her with shock, not knowing what she was about to do with it. I expected a life lesson, a philosophical one, which actually turned out to be a literal guide to the profound uses of ‘ Rice’. She broke it down to the similarities and differences between each of those grains, and all I could do was nod my head as she went on about it. Obviously for a first timer, it all went above my head, but my furious nodding didn’t stop.

aAfter landing in Kuwait, the first ‘romantic’ thing my husband and I did was to go grocery shopping.  Little Amelia (my dear daughter can be a handful, if left hungry) had to be fed, and gosh! I should’ve paid attention to mum, and written down the rice grain information. Looking at all the different types of rice on the shelves of the grocery store, I almost had a break down. Damn! Damn! Damn! I just stared at the shelf for a good ten minutes, with a wailing toddler in my arms, and a restless husband beside me. Finally, making a decision, I picked a bag of rice that looked familiar to the one my mum would usually buy, and stormed out of there.

Why this you may wonder? Rice is the most widely consumed staple around the world, and also the most easily available. It’s the perfect thing you can eat, when you want 2000 of something *Laughs out Loud* and if you aren’t a big fan of rice, some one in the family will definitely be. *Sigh*

Just to make things clearer for you guys, below are pictures of uncooked and cooked rice that we use on a regular basis with super short, easy to understand descriptions of each.

You can thank me later.

First up, my absolute favourite is the tall, thin, and sexy ‘Basmathi’. This fragrant rice is perfect for Biryani and Fried Rice, and goes along with any gravy. It sounds a little crazy, but I like my Ganji made with this rice ( trust me, it tastes reeaaalllllly good).

Basmathi Rice- Uncooked and Cooked

Next is the Samba Rice. Due to its uncanny resemblance to Jeera (cumin seeds), Indians call it the ‘Jeera Rice’. This rice is a quintessential ingredient in the famous Ambur Biryani of Tamil Nadu; and the Malabar Biryani of Kerala uses a similar variant that packs great flavours. This particular rice is used to make Ghee Rice, which gives it a rich flavour and an amazing aroma.

Samba/Jeera Rice- Uncooked and Cooked

Polished White Rice,or just ‘White Rice’, complements most of the traditional rice accompaniments from Dal and Sambhaar to Rasam. This rice cooks quicker than the other rice types, and the best known version is the Sona Masuri.

WHITE RICE/ SONA MASURI- Uncooked and Cooked

Parboiled rice/Boiled Rice is the staple food for the people in South Canara and most parts of Kerala. This rice is the fat, chubby one with a few variants and complements well with the traditional gravies and is usually used in making Ganji.

Parboiled/ Boiled Rice- Uncooked and Cooked

Now that you know about the four commonly used Rice types, lets learn how to wash and cook them.


  • Take a wide, deep bowl or a colander (the utensil with small holes that drains water) and pour your cup of rice into it.
  • Pour water into the bowl, until the rice is fully submerged.
  • With clean hands, stir the rice around the bowl and rub the grains against each other to remove all the extra starch and impurities. You will soon see the water turn into a milky colour.


  • Let the grains settle down at the bottom and then slowly drain out the water (as shown in the above picture)
  • Repeat process till you end up with clear water.
  • The rice is now ready to be cooked.


There are 2 methods that are pretty damn easy and you don’t require any fancy equipments to do so. I call them the ‘Absorption Method‘ and the ‘Straining Method‘.

1.Absorption Method- Can be used for Basmati rice, Jeera Rice and White Rice.

The most important rule in this method that you need to keep in mind is- FOR EVERY 1 CUP OF RICE- ADD DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF WATER. So if you are making two cups of rice, you will need 4-4.5 cups of water.

  • Add water and salt in a cooking pot and let the water boil on medium to high flame.
  • After the water boils, add rice, simmer and reduce the heat to low and cover with a lid. [THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT]
  • Cook till water is absorbed and you are left with fluffy rice.

2. Straining Method- Used for Basmathi rice and Boiled rice.

  • Boil about 6 cups of water for 1 cup of rice with some salt.
  • Add rice to boiling water.
  • When rice turns fluffy and is soft and well cooked, strain the water.

I hope this post is as useful as I think it is.

Much Love ❤


One Comment Add yours

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s