Like most people, you may know that Basmati rice is different. Is it fancier? Rarer? What is it really? Why is it dearly loved in curries, pilafs and served with braised meat? What makes it so flippin’ special? Did aliens send it to us from Krypton? Does it have a weakness? Wait. Those last two questions are from Smallville.
There Are Many Kinds of Rice
Rice is classified in different groups by various sizes, including long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain. The names pretty much tell it all. Long-grain is skinny and long. It includes basmati, jasmine, and the popular American long-grain. Medium-grain is right in the middle. Malcomb…but rice. They include Arborio (used for risotto) and Valencia (used for paella). Short-grain rice is used for sushi and sticky rice. They are most common in Asian dishes.
Where Does Basmati Start? How Does It Taste?
Originally cultivated and grown in India and Pakistan, many countries now grow basmati rice. So…not Kryptonian. Thank goodness. Actually, two-thirds of the global supply comes from India. The connection to India is what gives basmati its identity as a side to delicious curries and Indian dishes. A chicken skillet or pilaf is where basmati feels at home. The word “Basmati” comes from the Hindi word for “fragrant”. It has undertones of floral, nuts and spice. When basmati rice is cooked, the grains remain individual and long.
How Should Basmati Rice Look?
The longer the grains of basmati, the better. It is slightly tapered on the end of the grain and shouldn’t be flat along the sides. Good quality basmati is aged, sometimes for a few years. It should be a slightly golden color but not ever gray. The aging process not only improves the flavor but dries out the grains. That is why the pieces stay fluffy and separate in a pilaf.
In This Recipe
We've coupled basmati rice and sprouted quinoa. Organic Sprouted Quinoa has all the essential amino acids packed into tiny quick cooking seeds. Quinoa was discovered in South America and has spread in popularity to other countries because of its rich nutrition, natural gluten free properties, and its versatile cooking applications. From salads to sides, cooked Organic White Quinoa makes a great addition to any meal. Combined with basmati rice, it adds fiber and a nutty texture.
Lemon Rosemary Basmati Rice, Quinoa, and Chicken
Organic Grains Basmati Rice| ½ cup
Organic Grains Sprouted Quinoa| ½ cup
Chicken Stock| 1 cup
Organic Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs| 2 lbs.
Lemon, Zest and juice| 2 whole
Pepper, fresh cracked| 1-2 tsp
Dry Rosemary| 1 ½ tsp.
Salt| ½ tsp.
Butter| 1 Tbsp.
Parsley, fresh chopped| 2 Tbsp.
Mia Bella Traditional Balsamic Vinegar| to taste
Directions: In a heavy 12-inch skillet with a tight-fitting lid, brown the chicken in the butter. Remove from the pan. Deglaze with lemon juice. Add Rice and broth. Return chicken to the pot. Add the pepper and dry rosemary.
Cover and simmer on low 30 minutes. Uncover, top with fresh chopped parsley and drizzle with balsamic. Garnish with fresh lemon wedges if desired.