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“Rice is the best, the most nutritional, and unquestionably the most widespread staple in the world.” – A famous chef and culinary writer, Auguste Escoffier, said. And we agree.
According to Statista, India alone consumes approximately 100 million metric tones of rice each year! The reputed newspaper, The Hindu, reported that there are about 6000 varieties of rice in India. Out of these varieties, basmati and sona masuri rice are among the most famous. When we put the two against each other, which one wins the basmati versus sona masuri battle? Let’s find out.
Where are the fields of basmati and sona masuri?
Both these rice varieties are popular in Indian households. Sona masuri, also known as half-boiled rice, is a hybrid rice variety that is a combination of sona and masoori rice strains. It is mostly grown in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka; whereas basmati is mainly grown in the Northern parts of India like Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, etc.
The longer, the better?
Sona masoori rice is a medium-grain rice. Basmati is a long-grain variety.
Minerals, nutrients, and vitamins.
Sona masoori rice is unpolished, while basmati is often polished (except brown basmati rice). This makes sona masoori a better choice when it comes to nutrients. In basmati, the nutrients are lost during the polishing process. It also has less starch and lower calories than basmati and is ideal for those who are trying to shed some kilos.
Some feel that since sona masuri is a hybrid, it means it is genetically modified. Genetically modified foods can have adverse health effects. On the other hand, most basmati varieties are natural. According to research conducted by the University of Sri Jayawardenepura, basmati has a glycemic index of 54 while sona masoori has a glycemic index of 72, according to the International Journal of Science and Nutrition. This means basmati is better for those who suffer from high blood sugar levels.
However brands may add extra nutrients and vitamins to their products that may change the nutrient value of basmati vs sona masuri. Always check the nutrient value before buying. Here are indicative nutritional charts for a serving size of 100g. DV indicates daily value as per the 2000 calories diet.
|Nutritional Parameters||Basmati||Sona Masuri|
|Calcium||1% of DV||3% of DV|
Which one is more delicious?
Sona masoori rice has a vibrant, rich and starchy flavour while basmati has a slightly nutty and somewhat floral flavour. Both varieties have distinct flavours and what you like depends on personal preferences.
Our nose plays a role in how something tastes.
Even when it is not cooked, basmati rice has a distinct aroma that is a judge of how good the variety is. It is more aromatic than sona masoori rice. However, the latter is also distinctly fragrant when cooked.
Which one turns out better on the stove?
Because of its high nutrient value, sona masuri is ideal for daily cooking and is eaten along with sambar, puli kolambu, rasam or to cook sweet pongal. But when you are cooking dishes like pilaf or a biryani, the long-grained, aromatic basmati is well-suited. Both the rice varieties stay separated even they are cooked.
|Parameters||Basmati Rice||Sona Masuri Rice|
|Areas of cultivation||Mainly grown in Northern India||Mainly grown in Southern India|
|Nutrition||Polished, fewer nutrients, higher calories and starch||Unpolished, higher nutrients, lower calories and starch|
|Flavour||A nutty, floral flavour||A starchy but rich flavour|
|Aroma||Highly aromatic||Slightly aromatic|
|Cooking||Ideal for cooking exotic dishes like biryani||Ideal for South Indian dishes like sweet pongal|
You can try both the rice varieties to know which one you like better. Sona masoori is good for those who are trying to lose weight due to low calories. It is also easy to digest. While basmati is good for those who have high blood sugar levels due to its low glycemic index, it also has a number of varieties and is priced slightly higher.
Which rice variety is the winner for you in this basmati versus sona masuri battle? We hope this article helped you know more about these two popular varieties of rice. Keep watching this space to stay informed about the food we eat.
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