Thursday, March 3, 2016

Brown Rice vs Basmati: Which is Better?

Basmati rice from The Real Co
When I was younger, convenience foods reigned and instant rice was a hit. This packaged, precooked rice was tasty and pretty disgusting, but rice didn't really shine in dishes back then; on Long Island in the 1970s, ethnic food was frowned upon.

Then my mother started making brown rice, but this was also punishment food; she made it with no seasoning, no even salt, and no one I knew even liked rice. It was just there.

But no one denied the health benefits of brown rice, and as a vegetarian, I learned that brown rice plus a bean was a complete protein (thank you Diet for a Small Planet!).

I recently sampled The Real Co aged basmati rice and I wondered why this rice was white, not brown. Since The Real Co promotes the benefits of its single-origin, organic, non-GMO products, I wondered why it had white rice, but it turns out that the aging process, which enhancing the flavor and bouquet of fine basmati rice, is done after the grain is de-husked.

Beer is best with curry
Basmati rice is highly aromatic and the basmati rice, from Pakistan, cooks up light an fluffy - and in only 10 minutes.

I used the basmati rice to accompany a curry.

And for ardent brown rice fans, a brown rice from Argentina will soon debut, along with quinoa from India.

Let the grain wars begin.

Simple Spinach Curry

4 teaspoons canola oil
1-14 oz. package of firm tofu, cut into 2" cubes
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 onion, sliced thin in half-moons
1 red pepper cut into 1" thin strips
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely diced
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 pound baby spinach
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Cooked basmati rice

In a medium skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add tofu and half of the salt. Cook for 6-8 minutes gently turning every 2 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer tofu to a separate plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining oil to the skillet pan. Add onions, garlic, red pepper, ginger and mustard seeds. Cook until onion is clear, about 5 minutes. Add spinach a handful at a time and cook until wilted through. In a small bowl mix together yogurt, curry, cumin and remaining salt. Temper yogurt by adding some of the spinach mixture until it is warmed through. Add yogurt to skillet. Add tofu; reduce heat to low and stir gently for 2 minutes.
Serve over warm basmati rice.

No comments:

Post a Comment