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Rice varieties for multi-cultural dinners

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For many people, rice is a daily staple that goes well with almost any dish or cuisine when cooked right.  Finding the right one to perfectly complement a dish however can be an art.

No matter which variety of rice you choose, rice cookers like the Electrolux ERC2201 can cook it just the way you want – and keep the rice warm up till the time you serve it. Now all you need to do is just choose the right rice.

ERC2201
Electrolux rice cookers can cook any type of rice just the way you like it.

Long grain rice

The most common type of rice in South East Asia and the US, long grain rice is often cooked using the absorption method, using a measured amount of water that is completely absorbed by the rice in a tightly covered pot.

Jasmine rice hails from Thailand and has long, translucent grains. When cooked, it has a slightly floral aroma and a soft, clingy texture. It is best washed before cooking to remove excess starch.

Basmati rice is the predominant rice used in cooking Indian and Pakistani cuisine. It is an extra-long grain, and has a subtly nutty fragrance and flavor. It should be soaked for half an hour or more before cooking.

The brown version of long grain rice has the bran and germ layers left intact. This gives the rice a nutty flavour with a chewy bite.

Medium grain rice

This is the type of rice most commonly used in Italian and Spanish dishes.  Carnaroli is traditionally used for making risotto, with a higher starch content and firmer texture than Arborio, the other rice commonly used in the dish. It keeps its shape better than other forms of rice.

Bomba is used for the classic Spanish paella as it absorbs up to twice as much liquid as long grain rice and doesn’t get sticky like its short grain counterparts. This property allows chefs to infuse the rice with the rich flavours of a paella dish.

Short grain rice

This rice is commonly used in Japanese cuisine like sushi or served with the meal. It’s slightly translucent when raw, and firm but slightly sticky when cooked.  Mochigome is a type of short grain glutinous rice which is used in making sticky sweets like mochi.

Other varieties

Wild Rice
By Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
http://www.flickr.com/photos/widnr/6549628165
Wild rice is high in protein and dietary fibre. 

Wild rice is the seed of a grass native to North America. Its long grains are deeply chewy, and can be used to make pilafs and plain cooked rice with a difference.

Chinese black rice is also known as forbidden rice. A whole grain rice that’s firm, non-sticky, tender, and becomes a deep dramatic purple colour when cooked.  It’s best cooked with the absorption method and can be quite striking as a side dish or pilaf.

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