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Calling all basmati rice experts


benjamin163
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I recently bought a 10K bag of basmati rice because it was cheap but, for the first time really, I'm coming to appreciate the difference between cheap and quality basmati rice. The one I've bought is fine but it breaks up very quickly when cooked and becomes a bit of a mush.

It led me to wonder what to look for in a good basmati. There are so many brands out there. I've done a little research and Tilda seems to be the standard go to quality rice.

But I'm also reading about extra matured rice which interests me and a lot of other quality brands out there.

Does anyone on here have a go to basmati rice brand and does anyone here use extra mature basmati and feel there is a discernable difference?

Any help or suggestions gratefully received.

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I get my basmati at an indian market.  I generally use tilda

 

its quite true that aged basmati has added flavor.

 

if you have a decent indian market near you , ask them.

 

for a while Tilda had some importation issues and they recommended another brand that they said was the best

 

I got a 10 lb bag   it was very good.  however it cost 2 x Tilda

 

so I went back to T when it became available again.

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Bear in mind they'll all differ at least a little bit in their cooking characteristics. Consider using a bit less water than with your usual brand, or use the pre-soaking technique. I've had good results with both of those alternatives, when working with basmati I found to be a bit dodgy and uncooperative.

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I am partial to Lundberg's organic CA white basmati. Amazon has a pretty good deal on it right now if you buy it through Prime Pantry ($3.49 for 32 oz), but generally it isn't cheap. Next time I am at an Indian market I will look for Tilda and try it. We eat a lot of rice, typically 5 dinners a week, one way or another.

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I find theirs cooks reliably, but lacks flavor.

 

Quite partial to Lundberg's multigrain rice mixtures, though. Separating out those sliver-sized grains of wild rice for use in blends was a stroke of genius. 

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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I use Tilda or better still Elephant brand if I can find it. Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Water quantity for cooking will depend on how old/aged the rice is... the longer it is aged, the dryer it is, the more water it requires. Rule of thumb is that the water reaches the first knuckle of your index finger above the level of the rice in the pan. 

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16 hours ago, benjamin163 said:

I do have a costco nearby. What brand was it that you found good?

 

When I bought there, they had only one brand in the large bag, I don't know what it was.  I have found I can rely on Costco to almost always have the best that's available.

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Tilda and Elephant are good and reliable though I have found that Royal is my favorite.

Royal is the only parboiled basmati rice that I know of, and cooks up with very long grains.

I generally soak it for at least 30 min then boil it in excess water for 5 minutes, strain, and steam in a sieve for another 7-10 minutes.

This seems to maximize the length of the cooked grains, but you can cook it in a rice cooker and get good results.

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  • 1 month later...

I'm considering buying basmati rice from Amazon. Royal, which says only "aged" is #20 lbs for $19.97, while Himalayan Pride is #20 lbs for $22.99. It says "aged min 1 year." I see a fair number of recs for Royal brand, but has anyone tried Himalayan Pride?

 

The Royal includes free shipping for Prime members (I am one) but the Himalayan does not include shipping cost, so would be at least a few dollars more that just the product price.

Edited by Katie Meadow (log)
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@Katie Meadow  

 

I wish i could remember the brand my local Indian Emporium recommended when there were issues w Tilda several years ago.

 

you are in the East bay ?   depending  where that actually is why not find a few genuine Indian Marts and ask them?

 

I do know that 20 lbs might last a while.   if you need it now that's a different matter

 

if you can't travel to the East Bay Stores   why not call them ?

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Ive cooked Basmati in an On/Off rice cooker , a Fuzzy logic Rice cooker and in the InstaPot electric pressure cocker.

 

maybe for 30 years or more total ?  not of course in the InstaPot , as Ive only had that for a few years.

 

the Fuzzy maybe 15 += years

 

once you figure out the amount of water needed per set up :  its come out very tasty each way for me.

 

however , I do not claim to be an expert .  

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rotuts, I did go to a couple of local Indian markets but saw no brands I recognized and the prices were not so great, either. Gettin' lazy in my old age, I suppose. Plus traffic in the Bay Area is so horrendous these days I'm at the point where I would rather stay home and read a book than drive around. We're going through rice like a house on fire, so I think 20 pounds is reasonable.

 

Paul, I have looked for Tilda locally, but haven't seen it. The price on Amazon is scary: Tilda sells for $24 for 10 lbs, so more than twice the price or Royal or Himalayan Pride. I don't use a rice cooker, so I always cook my rice stovetop.  I've been eating basmati rice for years. I use if for everything.

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

@Katie Meadow  

 

I wish i could remember the brand my local Indian Emporium recommended when there were issues w Tilda several years ago.

 

you are in the East bay ?   depending  where that actually is why not find a few genuine Indian Marts and ask them?

 

I do know that 20 lbs might last a while.   if you need it now that's a different matter

 

if you can't travel to the East Bay Stores   why not call them ?

 

What were the issues with Tilda?  I just bought a big bag at Walmart of all places.

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if one were to take a poll of eG's that a use any of the three methods ive mentioned

 

i think a lot of people would say they get fluffy rice each way

 

i have in the past , and do now with the Fuzzy and iP.

 

@Katie Meadow

 

i don't think you are going to get useful data.  

 

if you don't   get the cheeper rice  ' delivered price '

 

Ill bet you will be happy

 

and yes

 

driving around the BatArea these days leaves a lot to be desired.

 

.

 

 

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I never understood the issue with cooking rice.  I was showing my wife how easy rice can be made. I was using a sushi rice.  No rice cooker.  When the water level just reaches the level of the rice you can even just turn the fire off and let it sit until all the water is absorbed.  It works, at least for me.  

 

Not to my normal method but it works

Edited by scubadoo97 (log)
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