Know your Rice and Other Grains

Rice is more widely used in the west now and the big supermarkets display a huge variety of rice including the staple Gujarati rice: basmati. Basmati is mostly grown in the western region of India  and is also widely grown and used in neighbouring country of Pakistan.

I mostly use basmati rice for everyday cooking, but when making the soft Gujarati  khichdi, you can use the thicker grained rice. The more polished and slightly thicker basmati is excellent for making biriyani where you want the resultant dish to be non-sticky and also show off the long fluffy grain together with its unique fragrance. Recently I made khichdi with risotto(arborio) rice and it turned out fine: soft and sticky. Here I have included only one type of risotto rice, but like the basmati, risotto rice is available in a wide range.  Rice is a staple gluten-free food for many other regions of the world and the available variety is huge!

There are many other carbohydrate grains available.

Tapioca is made from casava starch and is used in many snacks. Semolina is a wheat product used for savoury as well as sweet dishes and is also a great substitute for making instant dhokra ઢોકરા, ondhvo ઓનઢવો, uttapam ઉત્તપમ and dhonsa ઢોંસા. Quinoa, the ‘new grain on the block’ is a gluten-free grain, easy to cook and nutritious. Like bulgur (cracked wheat) and cous cous, quinoa too can be used for making salads. I will try to include recipes using these grains in the future.

This of course is not a comprehensive list of rice and grains and is only a small window of what is available. I can include other grains that you might want to get to know! Just let me know. This is but a start!

Happy Cooking.