Your Guide to 5 Types of Rice Available at an Indian Grocery Store Near You

Categories: Indian Grocery Store
Posted: November 25, 2022
Rice is an integral part of food for many cultures, especially in Indian and Asian cuisine. These foods are now extremely popular worldwide, including in the UK. However, for those thinking about buying rice for the first time, it can get very confusing. Especially if you don’t have a knowledgeable relative or friend to guide you.There are many varieties of rice available in the market. Choosing the right one gets easier when you know what makes each one special. These are some common rice varieties you might come across at an Indian grocery store.

Sona Masoori Rice

Sona Masoori, also spelled Sona Masuri and Sona Mahsuri, is a premium, aromatic variety of rice. This variant is typically used in South Indian cooking. It is lightweight and has medium sized grains. The rice contains small amounts of protein and is a great source of carbohydrates. Sona Masuri rice has a delicate flavour, and pairs well with South Indian Curries. This variety of rice is often called “Pearls of South India” and “Bangaru Theegalu” (Golden Ivy) because of its refined nature. Sona Masoori is available at Indian grocery stores from a variety of brands.

Basmati Rice

Basmati is arguably one of the most famous varieties of rice. The vast majority of Basmati comes straight from the Indian Subcontinent. It’s a very fragrant aromatic rice and has a very unique flavour. The rice has long slender grains and its physical specifications are strictly monitored. After cooking, you end up with rice that is light and not sticky. The rice is also quite healthier than regular white rice. It has a glycaemic index between 56 to 69, whereas instant white rice has 89. For reference, pure sugar stands at 100. This makes Basmati rice better suited for those with diabetes.
Brown Basmati Rice is a variation of regular Basmati. It has a much higher concentration of dietary fibre. It takes a bit longer to cook, but also contains more nutrients.
Basmati is not only eaten alongside many Indian curries, but is also used in many rice-based dishes. Use of Basmati in many types of biryani and pilaf is particularly common. It also has a richer, nuttier flavour. You can buy Basmati rice and Brown Basmati rice at many Indian grocery stores in the UK.

Idli Rice

Idli rice is a particularly special type of rice. Its name comes from Idli, a type of savoury rice cake from Southern India. Idli rice is a converted rice, made from a medium sized grain. The grain is grown mostly in Tamil Nadu, India. It is rich in nutrients and is great for your metabolism. Idli rice has grains that are shiny and somewhat translucent around the edges. After cooking, they are smaller, softer, and stickier than regular boiled rice. Idli Rice from various brands can be found at Indian grocery stores.

Ponni Rice

Ponni Rice is a type of rice also from Tamil Nadu. It is an aromatic rice with rich flavour and high fibre. The high fibre not only helps you feel full for longer, but also aids digestion. Ponni rice is rich in energy density and can have up to 5Kcal in each grain. At the same time, it has a low glycaemic index making it a great choice for diabetics. This delicious yet healthy alternative to plain white rice can be found at most Indian grocery stores.

Matta Rice

Matta rice is an indigenous variety of rice from Kerla, India. It is also known as RoseMatta rice, Palakkadan/Kerala Matta rice, or Kaje rice. It has a very unique taste and was a favourite among Indian medieval royalty. The rice can be eaten as regular rice, paired with curry. It is also used for making a number of Indian rice cakes. The grains themselves have a yellowish pink hue and tend to be stubby. They also have a red pericarp, resulting in reddish streaks on the grains when cooked. Matta rice is rich in nutrients and fibre and are a great addition to any diet.

Matta rice is traditionally cooked twice and involves pre-soaking overnight. Then it is cooked, left to sit, salted, and cooked again. However, it can also be just cooked in boiled water for 25 minutes for easy preparation.