Basmati (pronounced IPA: [baːsmət̪iː] in the Indian subcontinent) is a variety of long, slender-grained aromatic rice which is traditionally from the Indian subcontinent. As of 2014, India exported 65% of the overseas basmati rice market, while Pakistan accounted for the remainder, according to the Indian state-run Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. However, many countries use domestically grown basmati rice crops.
Brown regular rice (left) compared to brown basmati rice
History and etymologyEdit
"Basmati" derives from the Hindustani (बासमती, باسمتی) bāsmatī, literally meaning "fragrant" (Sanskrit बासमती, bāsamatī). Basmati rice is believed to have been cultivated in the Indian subcontinent for centuries. The earliest extant work to mention basmati rice is Heer Ranjha (1766).
Basmati was introduced to the Middle East and Central Asia by Hindu traders. It remains not only an important part of various cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, but now is also used extensively in Central Asian, Persian, Arab, and other Middle Eastern cuisines as well. This type of rice is grown and exported by those from the Indian subcontinent.
Production and cultivationEdit
India accounts for over 70% of the world's basmati rice production. A small portion of that is being grown organically. Organisations such as Kheti Virasat Mission are trying to increase the amount of basmati rice that is being grown in the Punjab in India.
The areas of basmati rice production in India are in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. India's total basmati production for the July 2011–June 2012 crop year was five million tonnes.
Indonesia produced its own local variant of basmati in West Java and Central Kalimantan, with production capacity estimated could reach up to 8.2 tonnes per hectare. Basmati seeds were first brought from Pakistan in 2007, however the seeds were unable to be grown due to soil incompatibility. The Ministry of Agriculture then managed to produce and cultivate a hybrid between basmati and local rice in 2017.
Basmati rice is produced mainly in the Kathmandu Valley and the Terai region of Nepal. Unique Nepali varieties of basmati rice were barred from export to other parts of the world although this bar might be lifted.
In Pakistan, 95 percent of the basmati rice cultivation takes place in the Punjab province (started by Britain colonials pouring Bengal revenue, primarily, to make farming in semi-arid West Punjab building a vast canal system to help impoverished Punjabi landless peasants gain livelihood) where total production was 2.47 million tonnes in 2010.
Aroma and flavourEdit
Basmati rice has a typical pandan-like (Pandanus amaryllifolius leaf) flavour caused by the aroma compound 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline. Basmati grains contain about 0.09 ppm of this aromatic chemical compound naturally, a level that is about 12 times more than non-basmati rice varieties, giving basmati its distinctive spicy fragrance and flavour. This natural aroma is also found in cheese, fruits and other cereals. It is a flavoring agent approved in the United States and Europe, and is used in bakery products for aroma.
During cooking, the level of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline decreases. Soaking the rice for 30 minutes before cooking permits 20% shorter cooking times and preserves more of the 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline.
Varieties and hybridsEdit
There are several varieties of basmati rice. Traditional Indian types include basmati 370, basmati 385, and basmati Ranbirsinghpura (R.S.Pura) and Gujjar Chack area in Jammu province situated at the India-Pakistani border in Jammu and Kashmir state of India. 1121 and Muradabadi 6465 Extra Long Grain Rice. Pakistani varieties of basmati rice are PK 385, Super Kernel Basmati Rice and D-98.
Scientists at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Delhi, used conventional plant breeding to produce a hybrid semi-dwarf plant which had most of the good features of traditional basmati (grain elongation, fragrance, alkali content). This hybrid was called Pusa Basmati-1 (PB1; also called "Todal", because the flower has awns); crop yield is up to twice as high as traditional varieties. Fragrant rices that are derived from basmati stock but are not true basmati varieties include PB2 (also called sugandh-2), PB3, and RS-10.
Basmati, P3 Punjab, type III Uttar Pradesh, hbc -19 Safidon, 386 Haryana, Kasturi (Baran, Rajasthan), Muradabadi Basmati 6465, Basmati 198, Basmati 217, Basmati 370, Bihar, Kasturi, Mahi Suganda, Pusa 1121.
Popular/Major Indian BrandsEdit
Anantatva, Lal Quila, Lal Mahal, Chabbi, Puri brand, etc.
Basmati, P3 Punjab, type III Uttar Pradesh, hbc -19 Safidon, 386 Haryana, Kasturi (Baran, Rajasthan), Muradabadi Basmati 6465, Basmati 198, Basmati 217, Basmati 370 Bihar, Kasturi, Mahi Suganda, Pusa 1121.
Numerous varieties produced as in India.
Basmati 217, Pusa Basmati, Basmati 1, Nepalese red Basmati.
In Indonesia, the variant of basmati called baroma (basmati aromatik; aromatic basmati) was launched in February 2019. This variant could be grown in low-altitude terrain and managed to attract interest among potential middle-to-upper class consumers.
The "Basmati Mark" is a DNA-fingerprinting-based certification done by the laboratory of Basmati Export Development Foundation (BEDF).
On February 15, 2016, the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), an autonomous organisation under the Department of Commerce in India, registered Basmati Rice as a product with Geographical Indication (GI).
Difficulty in differentiating genuine basmati from other types of rice and the significant price difference between them has led fraudulent traders to adulterate basmati rice with crossbred basmati varieties and long-grain non-basmati varieties. In Britain, the Food Standards Agency found in 2005 that about half of all basmati rice sold was adulterated with other strains of long-grain rice, prompting rice importers to agree to a code of practice. A 2010 UK test on rice supplied by wholesalers found 4 out of 15 samples had cheaper rice mixed with basmati, and one had no basmati at all.
A PCR-based assay similar to DNA fingerprinting in humans allows adulterated and non-basmati strains to be detected, with a detection limit from 1% adulteration upwards with an error rate of ±1.5%. Exporters of basmati rice use "purity certificates" based on DNA tests for their basmati rice consignments. Based on this protocol, which was developed at the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, the Indian company Labindia has released kits to detect basmati adulteration.
In September 1997, an American company, RiceTec, was granted U.S. Patent No. 5,663,484 on "basmati rice lines and grains". The patent secures lines of basmati and basmati-like rice and ways of analyzing that rice. RiceTec, owned by Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein, faced international outrage over allegations of biopiracy. It had also caused a brief diplomatic crisis between India and the United States, with India threatening to take the matter to the WTO as a violation of TRIPS. Both voluntarily and due to review decisions by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, RiceTec lost or withdrew most of the claims of the patent, including, most importantly, the right to call their rice products "basmati". A more limited varietal patent was granted to RiceTec in 2001 on claims dealing with three strains of the rice developed by the company.
According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, basmati, brown, wild, short and long grain rice has a "medium" glycemic index (between 56 and 69) opposed to jasmine and "instant" white rice with a glycemic index of 89, thus making it more suitable for diabetics as compared to certain other grains and products made from white flour.
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- About patent dispute
- China: India's new basmati export destination
- Rice industry: Lack of branding hurts Pakistan, India moves ahead
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