1. Food
Saad Fayed

Basmati Rice and Plain White Rice - Is There a Difference?

By May 5, 2009

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Through browsing Middle Eastern grocery stores or perusing this Middle Eastern food site, you may have come across a type of rice called basmati rice. You may be thinking, "rice is rice, right?" Wrong!

Basmati is a special rice with a delicate flavor that should not be paired with everything, like white rice. So, just what is basmati rice and when you should you use basmati over white rice? Read more...


January 8, 2008 at 8:36 am
(1) Zaid says:

Basmati is grown in India and Pakistani. It is unlikely that much, if any, is grown in the Himalayas. For more information see this link http://dacnet.nic.in/rice/Export%20Potential%20-%2001.htm

January 8, 2008 at 8:37 pm
(2) Mississippi says:


My sack of “Royal” brand Basmati Rice is printed with the following:

“From the foothills of Himalayas to your table.”
The Royal brand logo
Basmati Rice
then: Grown in the fertile soil of Himalyas foothills and nourished by the pure water from the highest snow covered peaks in the world.”

In contrast, the last bag I bought was not Royal brand and it states clearly on it that it is a product of Pakistan.

So I believe that there is basmati rice grown in the Himalays and that Mr. Fayed is correct.

Maybe Mr. Fayed and I are both wrong though…I buy olive oil and believe that it is olive oil even though there have been reports of other oils being colored to appear to be olive oil.

In the end, it doesn’t much matter to me. The “olive oil” tastes good as does the basmati rice and no matter where it grew, the smell of the basmati is worth the cooking of it.

Thank you Mr. Fayed for your writings…I’ve learned a lot from your columns and tried a lot of things I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. and with some really delicious results.

Thank you.

I’m off to go read Zaid’s link he posted.

January 18, 2008 at 11:37 am
(3) Agnes says:

The Himalayas stretch across India and Pakistan as well as other countries, the rice can be grown both in Pakistan and at the foothills of the Himalayas. The argument is really moot.

May 13, 2009 at 3:13 am
(4) Steve says:

“rice is rice?” like bread is bread and potatoes are potatoes…correct?
Basmati is a specific variety of fragrant rice grown in both India and Pakistan. It’s distinctive flavour is due to the presence of the compound 2-Acetyl-1-pyrroline which is also present in Thai Jasmine rice. Both varieties can justly claim to be the best in the world.

June 17, 2011 at 7:10 am
(5) Marion says:

First of all basmati rice is not grown in the Himalayas. It is only IRRIGATED by the water coming down the mountains, which gives the white basmati rice it’s fragrance and fluffy texture.

Then, 100% quality basmati rice is totally different from basic white rice.
- Basmati (=queen of fragrance in Hindi) is an unmatchable flavor, very distinct from other rice
- It’s a LONG GRAIN rice ( I know this brand Diamond Pearl Foods in Bombay, their basmati rice when cooked is 8,3 mm long!!!)
- With a fluffy texture, basmati white stays compact, totally different from basic white rice…

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