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The many types of rice

In most of India, rice is an integral part of everyday meals. But how well do you know your paddy? Do you like it polished or brown? Long-grained and separate or short and sticky? Ditch that basmati and get innovative in the kitchen. And let us help you select the right variety of rice to go with the right dish.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2012 18:14 IST
Amrutha Penumudi

In most of India, rice is an integral part of everyday meals. But how well do you know your paddy? Do you like it polished or brown? Long-grained and separate or short and sticky? Ditch that basmati and get innovative in the kitchen. And let us help you select the right variety of rice to go with the right dish.

What: Pearl Rice
Type: Short grained and sticky
Used for: Puddings, desserts

Pearl rice pudding with coconut gelee and pineapple sorbet


For the pudding
1 litre milk n 160 gm pearl rice
150 gm breakfast sugar n
1 orange zest and juice n 200 gm fresh cream

For the coconut gelee
500 gm coconut puree / coconut milk n 75 gm breakfast sugar
25 gm liquid glucose
8 nos gelatin leaves

For the pineapple sorbet
1 litre pineapple juice, freshly juiced n 100 gm liquid glucose

In a saucepan, combine milk, rice and sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, for about 30 minutes. Add orange zest and juice. Stir occasionally, until the rice is very tender. Finish the pudding by adding cream and fold it well.

For the coconut gelee, warm coconut puree and add liquid glucose, breakfast sugar. Bloom the gelatin leaves in ice-cold water. Add bloomed leaves to the mix. Line a square flat mould with plastic wrap, strain the mix and set in frame in refrigerator.

For the pineapple sorbet, boil pineapple juice and reduce it to 500 ml, add liquid glucose, mix well. Cool the mix and churn it.
Finally, spoon some pudding on a plate, put coconut gelee cubes on it. Arrange mango and basil; at side serve a scoop of sorbet on dehydrated bananas.
— Vishal Sharma, executive sous chef, Taj Lands End

What: Brown Rice
Type: Unmilled rice with a mild nutty flavour
Used for: Healthy, fibre-rich preparations

Edamame brown rice with sesame soya chicken

For the rice
300 g brown rice n 8 cups stock
1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds (black/white or a combination - whatever you prefer) n 2 cups frozen blanched shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed n 1/2 tsp white pepper n Salt to taste
1/3 cup toasted sesame oil

For the chicken
250 gm chicken breast pieces cut to bite size
250 gm onion sliced fine lengthwise
1/2 cup soya sauce (the regular one we get)
Salt to taste (be careful with salt as there is already soya sauce in this recipe)
1/2-cup rice wine vinegar (or 2 tbsp of any natural vinegar)
2 tbsp Lee Kum Kee Chui Chow Chilli Oil (optional)

Wash rice well and place in a large, deep pan with stock, pepper and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer until rice is starting to swell (about 10-12 mins). Add edamame, stir well and allow to keep cooking. At this point start cooking your chicken. When stock is almost gone, stir in sesame seed and oil. Stir well, cover and leave to steam untill ready to eat. For the chicken combine all the ingredients and set aside for 1/2 an hour. Transfer to a saucepan and place on the flame. Cook until the chicken is done — it should be moist and succulent and the marinade should reduce to a thick sauce. To serve, place rice in individual bowl and top with chicken. Serve a light brothy chicken soup on the side to wash things down with, and add a few unspiced sago (aabudana pappads) on the side, for crunch.
— Rushina Ghildiyal, Foodblogger

What: Ambemohar
Type: A Maharashtrian speciality, smells like mangoes when cooked
Used for: Bhaats and other traditional preparations

Kolambi Bhaat

2 cups ambemohar rice, soaked
150 grams medium prawns, shelled and de-veined
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
3 green chillies, chopped
1-inch ginger, chopped
6-7 garlic cloves, chopped
12-15 fresh mint leaves
3 tablespoons oil
1-inch cinnamon
4 black cardamoms
2 star anise (chakri phool/badiyan)
4 cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 medium onions, chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk

Marinate the prawns in lemon juice and salt. Reserve one tablespoon each of coriander leaves and coconut for garnishing. Grind the green chillies, ginger, garlic, remaining coriander leaves, mint leaves and remaining coconut to a fine paste. Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed handi; add the cinnamon, black cardamoms, star anise, cloves and cumin seeds. Sauté for one minute. Add the onions, sauté for three or four minutes or till light golden brown. Add the masala paste, sauté for half a minute and add the prawns. Sauté for two to three minutes. Add the soaked rice and salt to taste and stir gently for one minute. Stir in the coconut milk. Add three cups of hot water and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. Cook over medium heat till most of the water has been absorbed. Lower heat and cook, covered, till the rice is done. Remove from heat and serve, garnished with the reserved coriander leaves and grated coconut.
— Chef Sanjeev Kapoor , director, Wonderchef Home Appliances

What: Sushi Rice
Type: Short grained, waxy, but not as glutinous as pearl rice
Used for: Sushi

Spicy Vegetable Tempura Maki Roll

For tempura batter
50 gm rice flour
50 gm refined flour
50 gm corn flour
1 egg white
1 canned soda water

For Sushi
300 gm sushi rice
3 pc nori sheets
60 gm bell pepper
40 gm mushrooms
40 gm onion
40 gm leek
20 gm ginger
2 gm chilli

For the tempura batter, combine all ingredients and add the soda water to mix all ingredients into a smooth batter. For the sushi, start by cutting the bell pepper into juliennes/ strips and dust with refined flour. Dip in the tempura batter and fry in hot oil until crispy. Spread the sushi rice on the nori sheet to form an even film of rice. Lay the crispy veg tempura in the centre of the rice and roll. Slice into 8 even pieces and serve with lemon wedges or soy sauce immediately.
—Toshiyuki Okabe, head chef, Japanese cuisine, San Qi

What: Arborio Rice
Type: Soft and chalky, well absorbing
Used for: Risotto and paella

Chicken and bell pepper risotto

60 gms arborio rice (raw)
30 gms grana padano (parmesan)
15 ml white wine
10 gms garlic (peeled)
60 gms grilled chicken
10 gms olive tapenade
5 gms red bellpepper
5 gms yellow bellpepper
5 gms green bellpepper
Salt to taste
1 gm paprika powder
15 ml cooking cream
10 gms butter

For grilled chicken
100 gms chicken breast
1 gm oregano
1 gm black pepper (cracked)
Salt to taste
Chilly flakes
15 ml refined oil
1 gm thyme

For Chicken stock
50 gms chicken bones
5 gms carrot
5 gms celery
5 gms onion
1 gm bay leaf
1 gm black pepper
150 ml water
25 ml olive tapenade

Wash the chicken breast and apply the marination with all the ingredients mentioned. Grill it and keep aside. For the stock, wash the chicken bones and put all the ingredients in a pan of water and simmer till you get a clear stock. Add bell peppers and cut the grilled chicken into a diamond shape. Chop the garlic finely and keep aside.

Now take a pan and put butter / olive oil and add the chopped garlic, cook till it is soft and then add the arborio rice and cook till the rice gets crisp. Put the bell peppers and toss together. Add chicken stock little by little as the rice soaks up the stock, and cook to the desired doneness. Finally add chicken, salt and paprika powder and finish with a little butter to give it a creamy texture. Plate the risotto and sprinkle some parmesan cheese and the olive tapenade as garnish.
— Chef Amit Chaudhary from Corniche, Bandra