There are many types of long-grain rice available in the world today.
Even though short-grain and medium-grain rice are generally preferred for home cooking, the long-grain varieties have really taken over the markets in recent decades.
So, what’s so special about these varieties?
And why do chefs prefer to use them in their professional kitchens?
Let’s try and understand more about it in the following guide.
What Is A Long Grain Rice?
Long grain rice is one of the most sought-after rice varieties in the culinary world.
This type of rice is known for its shape, size, aroma, and taste.
All these factors play a huge role in making it the popular type amongst other rice grains.
Having said that, the aroma factor is the most distinct one in this variety of rice.
However, you won’t see the same characteristic in all long-grain rice varieties.
It’s only a few varieties that possess the aroma, which simply adds a whole new dimension to your final preparation.
Apart from the aroma, there is one more unique thing about the long-grain rice.
It increases in size and retains its shape after cooking.
This is something you won’t find in most short grain or medium grain rice.
All the other varieties of rice either turn mushy or sticky after cooking.
In the next section, let’s quickly take a look at the different types of long-grain rice available on the market.
Types Of Long Grain Rice
Here are the most popular types –
1. Basmati Rice
When it comes to long-grain rice varieties, there is one name that strikes your mind.
And that is Basmati rice!
As you know, it’s Indian origin rice.
It is generally cultivated in the state of Punjab, Harayana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, etc.
These are some of the places where the environmental conditions and soil are ideally suited for this type of rice cultivation.
In other states, though, you mostly get to see the cultivation of indigenous varieties of short and medium-grain rice.
As for Basmati rice, it is known for its heavenly aroma and taste.
Its grain also increases 3-4x in size when you cook to perfection.
More importantly, it is best for those who don’t know how to cook their rice.
Basmati is one of the easiest rice to cook in the kitchen, as it doesn’t turn mushy even if you cook a little longer.
So, if you want to learn how to make rice, you can surely start with this long-grain rice variety.
As for consumption, most Indians do not use this rice for their daily meals.
Despite its taste and aroma, the people in the country prefer the regional varieties with small grain sizes.
Basmati rice is generally savored as a part of a special meal, which gets prepared on different occasions.
But if you visit top restaurants in the cities, there is a possibility that you will only be served long-grain Basmati rice even if you ask for plain rice or Jeera rice.
Here are some of the hybrid varieties of Basmati rice –
- Pusa Basmati 1121
- Basmati 1509
- Muradabadi 6465
- Sharbati Rice
- Haryana 386
2. Jasmine Rice
Jasmine rice is as popular as Basmati rice in world cuisine.
It is mainly cultivated in Thailand, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asian countries.
The rice is known for its aroma and long-grain size.
Unlike Basmati, it is a sort of sticky rice.
Therefore, you will only see it being used in dishes like Pilaf and Fried Rice.
This type of long-grain rice is not much helpful in making traditional Indian dishes.
3. Carolina Gold Rice
Carolina Gold Rice is a well-known long-grain rice variety in the US market.
It is a homegrown variety and is commonly used for making salads and other spicy rice delicacies.
However, as compared to Jasmine and Basmati rice, this one doesn’t possess any aroma.
It’s just a long-grain rice that really tastes good!
As for texture, it can get sticky if you cook it for a long.
This might be a good thing if you want to try out Pirloo or something like Kimchi Fried Rice.
4. Mogra Rice
Mogra rice is an Indian variety of fragrant long-grain rice.
It is often available in two types, i.e. Mogra rice and mini Mogra rice.
As you might have guessed already, the mini one is just another name for broken or low-quality rice.
Mogra rice is generally considered an alternative to Basmati rice, but you won’t see it being served in quality restaurants or hotels.
It does have an amazing fragrance, but it’s something you can’t truly use as a replacement for authentic Basmati rice.
Still, if you don’t have the choice, you may surely go with this variety.
5. Wild Rice
Wild rice is another interesting rice variety that offers long-grain size.
You can use this rice to make Pulaos or similar dishes.
It also tastes good if you want to have it as plain rice.
It is primarily cultivated in the US, though some of its other varieties are also grown in other parts of the world.
6. American Long Grain White Rice
American long-grain white rice is a household name in the US.
It is an easily available rice variety and can be used to make various dishes.
You can prepare this rice using any cooking methods, though the absorption method works wonderfully for this variety.
When cooked well, the grains retain their texture and do not turn too sticky.
7. Red Rice
Like Wild Rice and Black Rice, Red rice is another long-grain rice variety that is quite distinctive in its own way.
As the name says, it has a dark red color.
The rice is grown in places like Thailand, Africa, and a few more Asian countries.
Its usage is pretty limited to the regional delicacies.
Therefore, you won’t see much demand for this variety in international markets.
You can use this rice to make Shrimp rice, Herb rice, Thai Red rice, or any other one-pot meal recipes.
Other Long Grain Rice Varieties
Although I have only listed seven varieties in this guide, there are many more unknown varieties in the world that have similar characteristics.
Most of the time, you will find them in white rice or brown rice form, as that’s been the popular way to consume them throughout the world.
These regional varieties often go unnoticed due to lack of popularity, marketing, taste, aroma, and several other factors.
In India, we have more than thousands of varieties of rice.
But the whole attention goes to Basmati rice, as it has been adapted in many other cuisines.
Having said that, it’s always a good idea to find some of the local and homegrown varieties in your recipes.
These varieties not only taste better but also help form a chain of demand and supply.
Consequently, it encourages farmers to produce more such indigenous crops each year.
Difference Between Long Grain Rice And Other Varieties
In India, the long grain rice is the base of many traditional dishes, especially the ones from the Mughal era.
The Biryanis and Pulaos can only be prepared with Basmati rice, which comes from the foothills of the country’s northern mountains.
It’s the only place where you can grow this variety of long-grain rice.
However, many other neighboring countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, etc., produce their own Basmati rice varieties.
As for short-grain rice, it’s one of the most commonly used rice varieties in Indian households.
It is easier to make because you don’t have to follow the soaking and separate boiling methods for this type of rice.
You can simply put it in the pressure cooker, and it will be ready in no time.
The same can be said for the medium-grain rice, as there is very little difference between the two of them.
Moreover, the medium-grain variety only differs in size.
All other factors pretty much resemble the ones from short grain.
However, medium-grain rice can be used as a replacement for long-grain rice in some of the delicacies.
If you are making fried rice or masala rice, you can surely go for this rice.
It’s perfectly made for these dishes, as all you need is something that can absorb the spicy and tasty flavors well.
The medium grain does a great job in it, and it also retains its shape nicely as compared to short-grain rice.
In the following section, I have shared some FAQs around this topic.
Have a look at them if you have any related questions in mind.
Jasmine and Basmati are the two varieties that are known as the best long-grain rice varieties.
You can use them alternatively, depending on the requirement of the recipe.
If you don’t want rice fragrance, you can use American White rice or any other variety of long-grain rice available to you.
No, Basmati rice is a type of long-grain rice.
If you are comparing it with American White rice, both the varieties are different from each other.
And they differ in their usage as well.
It really depends on the type of food you want to make at home or restaurant.
For Indian dishes, I’d suggest you go for a superior quality of Basmati rice.
For Asian dishes, you may consider Jasmine rice.
There are typically three varieties of rice, which include short-grain, medium-grain, and long-grain rice.
You can make use of any of these varieties as per the requirement of your delicacy.
Most authentic Chinese restaurants prefer Jasmine rice for making different variations of fried rice.
But when we talk about Indo-Chinese restaurants, they often use Basmati or Mogra rice for their preparations.
Over To You
So, what’s your favorite long-grain rice?
Is it Jasmine Rice or Basmati rice?
Do let me know in the comments below.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them as well.
Please share this guide with your friends and family if you found it useful.