Basmati rice and jasmine rice are two of the most popular aromatic rice types. They both smell and taste delicious. So what is the difference between the two, and which is a better option for you? We’ll answer all that and more in this post. Keep reading!
Key Differences: Basmati Rice and Jasmine Rice
The most obvious difference between basmati rice and jasmine rice is the size and shape of the grain. Basmati rice is the longest of all rice grains. Jasmine rice is slightly shorter and plumper. Basmati rice separates easily from the other grains, while jasmine rice is a sicky rice with grains that clump together.
Basmati Rice vs Jasmine Rice Comparison Chart
|Basmati Rice||Jasmine Rice|
|Varieties/Colors||brown, white, red||brown, white, red, purple, or black|
|Size & Shape||long-grain, slender, needle-shaped grains, longest of all rice grains||long-grain, plumper, and shorter than basmati rice grains|
|Taste & Aroma||floral, nutty, more of a spicier undertone||slightly sweet, floral aroma, buttery flavor|
|Texture||soft, separate grains, fluffy||sticky rice|
|Cultivated||India, Pakistan, Nepal||Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam|
|Cuisines||Indian cuisine, South Asian recipes||Thai cuisine, southeast Asian dishes, Middle Eastern cuisine|
|Recipes/Pairs Well With||braised meats, curries, biryani, curries, stew, sauces, rice pilaf||soups, grilled meat, fried meat, braised food|
Types of Rice
There are so many varieties of rice that have origins throughout the world. With the ease of importing rice, we can now enjoy different types of rice from every part of the world! And more often than not, your grocery store is likely to carry several different options for you.
Rice comes in various colors, such as white rice, brown rice, and black rice. Rice can also be aromatic, meaning it has a strong scent and flavor. Rice grains are categorized into short-grain rice, medium-grain, and long-grain grain.
Basmati and jasmine rice are both aromatic and long-grain kinds of rice.
Whole Grain vs Refined Rice
Whole grains are grains that are still intact, whole and unrefined. Brown basmati rice and brown jasmine rice are both whole grain rice.
White basmati rice and white jasmine rice are refined rice grains. They have been processed to remove the bran layer, husk, and most of the germ, so they are no longer a “whole grain.” The process of refining rice results in the loss of natural vitamins and minerals, which is made up for by fortifying the rice.
What is Basmati Rice?
Basmati rice is a popular aromatic rice commonly used in Indian cuisine. Basmati is available as brown basmati rice and white basmati rice. Basmati rice is known for its buttery-like flavor and nutlike fragrance. Basmati is easily substituted for brown rice or white rice. One of the unique qualities of basmati rice is that it elongates more than it plumps when cooked. The basmati rice grains have a soft fluffy texture. The grains don’t clump together, staying separated.
White Basmati Rice
The white version of basmati rice is commonly found at the grocery store. It is the version that typically comes to mind when people think of basmati rice. White basmati is refined rice, meaning the husk, bran layer, and germ are removed. What’s left behind is the white starchy portion.
White basmati rice has a slightly floral, less nutty flavor with a softer chew than brown basmati rice has.
Brown Basmati Rice
Brown basmati is whole grain rice, meaning it is still intact and has its husk, bran layer, and most of the germ. The brown version is harder to find than the white basmati. Still, it can be found at health food stores or online. Brown basmati has a similar nutty flavor to that of brown rice, and the unique aromatic quality white basmati has. It has a firmer texture and a nuttier flavor than white basmati.
Basmati Rice goes best with Indian cuisines, meats, curries, and spices such as turmeric and saffron.
What is Jasmine Rice?
Jasmine rice is a Thai fragrant rice, typically grown in Thailand, and aromatic rice. It is known for its floral, nutty, and herbal aroma. When cooked, jasmine rice grains have a moist, sticky texture with a subtly sweet flavor. White jasmine rice is the most common variety at the grocery store; however, jasmine rice is also available in black, purple, black, red, white, and brown varieties.
White Jasmine Rice
The white version is the more common variety of jasmine rice you will find at grocery stores. Being a white rice, it is refined rice, having parts of the grain removed. White jasmine rice has a floral scent and sweet buttery flavor.
Brown Jasmine Rice
Brown jasmine rice has the nutty flavor of brown rice, with the aromatic and nutty aroma of jasmine rice. Because it is a whole grain, it will have a nuttier flavor and firmer texture than refined white jasmine rice.
Brown jasmine rice overall is considered a healthier option because it is a whole grain and less processed. Brown jasmine rice has a subtle floral aroma with a sweet, buttery flavor.
Jasmine Rice goes best with Thai, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisine. It complimentssoups, grilled or fried meat, and braised food.
Nutritional Value Comparison Between Jasmine Rice vs Basmati Rice
*Nutritional values may vary due to the brand and specific variety of rice Comparison based on 1/4 cup (45g) of dry basmati or dry jasmine
|White Basmati Rice||Brown Basmati Rice||White Jasmine Rice||Brown Jasmine Rice|
|Cholesterol||0 mg||0 mg||0 mg||0 mg|
|Sodium||0 mg||0 mg||0 mg||0 mg|
|Protein||3 g||4 g||3 g||4 g|
|Vitamin D||0 % DV||0 % DV||0 % DV||0 % DV|
|Iron||0 % DV||1 mg, 6 % DV||0 % DV||1 mg, 6 % DV|
|Calcium||13 mg, 2 % DV||0 %||13 mg, 2 % DV||0 %|
|Potassium||52 mg, 2 % DV||113 mg, 2 % DV||35 mg, 0% DV||113 mg, 2 % DV|
Glycemic Index for Basmati Rice vs Jasmine Rice
A food’s glycemic index or GI is a measurement of how the carbohydrates in foods affect blood sugar levels. Low glycemic index foods cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels, as they are digested slower, absorbed, and metabolized. Low GI foods are rated below 55.
When considering a well-rounded diet, consuming a diet rich in lower GI foods helps support overall long-term health and maintain weight loss. Eating lower GI foods has been shown to help support reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Basmati rice has a low GI ranking of around 42. In contrast, white jasmine rice has a high GI ranking of about 96-116. Basmati rice is the better choice for regulating blood sugar levels.
Health Benefits forBasmati Rice vs Jasmine Rice
Brown jasmine rice, brown basmati rice, white basmati, and white jasmine rice are all excellent choices for making a great well-balanced meal. Each type of rice comes with its own nutritional benefits and unique taste.
The overall differences between basmati and jasmine rice are relatively minimal and come down to the cuisine, personal preference, and individual dietary needs.
With that said, brown rice varieties do have an advantage being a whole-grain food and minimally processed, which is typically a better choice for many people. Basmati has a low glycemic index rating which can also be beneficial in regulating blood glucose levels.
Should I soakBasmati Rice and Jasmine Rice?
Many cultures have always soaked their rice before eating; it’s part of the preparation of eating rice that has gotten lost in many western cultures. Soaking whole grain rice, such as brown basmati rice and brown jasmine rice, in warm water, allows the rice grains to sprout slightly. Sprouting helps create an increase in nutrients, phytochemicals, and fiber. Soaking rice helps soften the outer layer, so the rice cooks easier while enhancing its flavor.
Soaking whole grain rice also helps remove the phytic acid, which has been shown to disrupt in fully digesting certain vitamins and minerals such as zinc and iron.
Soaking rice can be easy. Allow it to sit in a bowl or jar with water for about 6-12 hours or overnight to remove any toxins by as much as 80% while also enhancing other nutritional benefits.
White rice such as basmati rice and jasmine rice cannot germinate since they have been refined. White rice varieties can still benefit from soaking for about 15-30 minutes to enhance texture and flavor.
Karla Kueber is a Certified Evidence Based EFT Practioner and Health Coach, with a double Masters Degree in Education. She works with people to overcome emotional eating, curb cravings, and overcome resistance to eating new healthy foods. You can learn more about coaching with her here.