Basmati or White? Which Rice is Better For You?

Basmati or White? Which Rice is Better For You?

Basmati or White? Which Rice is Better For You?


It is an undeniable fact that rice is a staple of the Indian diet. No cuisine in India is complete without the addition of rice.

India is the second-largest producer of rice in the world. And with rice varieties being abundant, it’s no wonder then that each state that produces rice boasts of its superiority over others. In fact, out of the total grains produced in India, rice accounts for as much as 40%.

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There are different varieties of rice, including white rice, brown rice, and basmati rice. Each rice has its own special characteristics that make it stand out from others.

What is Basmati Rice?

Basmati is a long-grain variety of rice that is native to the Indian subcontinent. In India, Basmati is grown primarily in the North-Western states of Punjab, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. India accounts for about 72% of the world’s Basmati production.

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Basmati is more expensive compared to White Rice. The ageing process of basmati, as well as its extensive exports, make the local prices quite high.

Unique Aspects of Basmati

  • Taste – Basmati has a nutty flavour that is incomparable. Basmati already has such a good base flavour that it doesn’t need many additives to enhance it. Soft flavours like cardamom and saffron work best in elevating the taste of basmati rice. Hence the choice of basmati when cooking  different types of biryanis.
  • Aroma – The Sanskrit translation of basmati is ‘fragrant’, and this aspect is true to its meaning. No other rice has the aroma that basmati carries. Even uncooked, the scent of this rice is hypnotising. The reason for this fragrance is a compound called 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline.
  • Nutrition – One cup of cooked basmati rice comprises 191 calories, and only 0.61 grams of fat. The carbohydrates content is 39.85 grams, and proteins make up 5.59 grams. The image provides detailed information about basmati rice.
  • Usage – Basmati is very easy to cook. Cooked basmati should be fluffy and not mushy or grainy. To enjoy basmati fully, it has to be cooked to perfection. The best way to do that is to pre-soak it before cooking for 15-20 minutes. Basmati is used to make biryanis as the taste, aroma and appearance mix well with the spices of a traditional biryani.

What is White Rice?

White rice is rice that has had the husk, germ, and bran removed. The process of husking and polishing extends the life of white rice in comparison to other varieties.

Being stripped of a majority of its nutrients, the high glycemic index of white rice makes it most appropriate to be consumed by athletes who undergo high-intensity workouts and need to build up lost energy.

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Unique Aspects of White Rice

  • TasteWhite rice does not have as intense a flavour as basmati rice. It has a more delicate and softer taste. But the advantage of the mild flavour is that it assimilates well with any added spices or curries.
  • Aroma – Unlike basmati, not all variants of white rice are aromatic. Only a few like the Ambemohar produced in Maharashtra and the Sona Masuri, grown in Andhra Pradesh, have distinct aromas that set them aside from other white rice.
  • Nutrition – The polishing and husking process eliminates a lot of nutrients from white rice. Manufactures add artificial nutrients while packaging the rice. A cup of white rice provides 204 calories, 0.44 grams fat, 44.08 grams of carbohydrates, and 4.2 grams of protein.
  • UsageWhite rice is usually used in regular lunch and dinner recipes. It can be cooked in a steamer, a pressure cooker, or an open pot. It marries well with all kinds of curries and dals. Depending on the rice variety, the water ratio for cooking rice is determined. For most types, you need two parts of water to prepare one portion of rice.


Choosing the right rice variety depends on a number of factors including the diet, cuisine, and even the price.

Nutritional Parameters Basmati White Rice
Calories 191 204
Total Fat 0.61 g 0.44 g
Sodium 199 mg 577 mg
Carbohydrates 39.85 g 44.08 g
Protein 5.59 g 4.2 g
Iron 2.02 mg 1.88 mg
Calcium 18 mg 16 mg



White rice and basmati rice each have plus points that make them unique for cooking different recipes. There is not much difference in the nutritional value of white rice and basmati. In the end, it is a personal choice that matters while choosing rice.


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