Basmati Rice - The Quality Grain
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From Anai Rhoads
January 14, 2003


First discovered thousands of years ago in the foothills of the infamous Himalayas , Basmati rice has made its way around the world and is enjoyed by countless people.

Rice in general has been considered a fundamental source of nutrition in parts of Asia for many generations, and remains the staple food of more than 70% of the world's population.[2]  It was, and still is, a very important trademark to the Asian community. The West gladly opened its arms to embrace this food, and made it clear that Basmati would not be just another trend.

This long-grained rice is unsurprisingly the most expensive to purchase of all the rice varieties. The battle to gain control over its name and core market has left some with clear gain, while others suffer a great loss to their economy.[1] China is considered the largest producer of Basmati rice to date. In second place comes India , for which Basmati is one of the fastest growing export items: the country's farmers export $250 million worth every year. India has the largest area under rice of any country, accounting for about 31% of the land surface.[3]


Cooking times are much like the typical rice you use at home. Always remember to boil the water before using the rice.  You might then add a little olive oil and salt (optional) to the water.

Cover the pot tightly right after the first quick stir.  The best container to use is a Teflon non-stick pot that offers a transparent lid for viewing.  Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of wonderful recipes based around Basmati rice. If you are a novice with Basmati, then try the simple recipe below to get you started.



1 cup Basmati rice
1/4 cup frozen French cut beans (you may substitute other frozen vegetables)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)


Bring the water to a boil along with the olive oil. Quickly stir in rice and cover tightly.  After reducing the heat to allow for simmer, set a timer for 20 minutes.  Overcooking Basmati tends to make it chewy.

If you find you have excess water, drain some - not all. The rice will absorb some water on its own. Just enough to leave it damp.

Incorporate the remaining ingredients after the 20 minutes are up. This to ensure and preserve their flavour.  Stir well, cover, and allow the rice to absorb the spices.  After 5 minutes, the Basmati is ready to serve.

Basmati is a very aromatic, somewhat "nutty" rice that is aged considerably to spark optimum flavour.  The word "Basmati" literally means "perfumed one".  The name suits it well as it aims to prove itself with every meal!

Copyright 2003 Anai Rhoads. Permission to reprint this article in its entirety may be granted with a written request to the author: [email protected]

[1]  The Stealing of Basmati - The Rediff Business Special: Shantanu Guha Ray

[2]  Export-Import Asian Rice

[3]  Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.