What can I use instead of basmati rice? The best substitute for basmati rice is Texmati rice. Other long-grain rice options include jasmine rice, kasmati, jasmati and long-grain American rice like Carolina Gold. Use cauliflower rice as a rice-free replacement for basmati rice.
Basmati rice is an aromatic long-grained rice originating from India and Pakistan. It expands three times its length when cooked but does not expand in width. Basmati rice is a loose-grained rice with a distinct aroma and firm texture. It is available in white or brown varieties. Since it has a low glycemic index, basmati rice is considered one of the best rice options for people with diabetes.
The Best Basmati Rice Substitutes
In order for a rice to be labeled as basmati rice, it needs to be grown in specific parts of India or Pakistan. Texmati rice is a hybrid developed from the same rice plant that is produced in the United States.
Texmati rice is a popular aromatic, long-grained rice that claims to be ‘long-grain American basmati.’ This claim has not been without controversy, but for the user, Texmati is the closest substitute to real basmati.
Like basmati, Texmati delivers a similar aromatic fragrance and nutty taste. While the profile may not be as powerful as the original, it is the closest replacement for basmati.
Texmati is available in white and brown varieties and can be used exactly like basmati in all recipes.
Jasmine rice has an exotic aroma and is most commonly grown in Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia. It is a long-grain white rice with a distinctive floral fragrance when cooked.
The grain length and unmistakable aroma make jasmine rice a good substitute for basmati rice when served with braised dishes, curries, or stir-fries.
Although it tastes different from basmati rice, it has an overall exotic character, making it a good choice if you don’t have basmati available.
Jasmine rice is not a suitable replacement for basmati rice if the food’s glycemic index is a factor. Basmati rice has a low glycemic index, while jasmine rice is above 68, which is on the high end of the scale.
Jasmine rice can be used at a 1-to-1 ratio instead of basmati rice.
Kasmati rice was developed by a company in the United States as another home-grown variety of basmati rice. The result is a long-grain, aromatic rice with a mild flavor.
This hybrid rice works well as a stand-in for basmati rice. It cooks similarly and provides an almost identical experience in terms of texture.
Kasmati rice was developed from basmati stock, so the result is a very similar product produced in the United States. It is usually marketed as ‘Indian-style’ rice rather than actually using the word basmati on the label.
Kasmati rice can be substituted in the same ratio as required by basmati rice in dishes.
Jasmati rice is another American-developed and produced hybrid rice which combines the best elements of basmati and jasmine rice. The long white rice grains are soft with a distinctly nutty taste and floral aroma.
If you can’t find basmati rice or want to try something a bit different, Jasmati rice is a lovely loose-grain option. It offers a subtle flavor with a fragrance that hints at faraway exotic places without being overpowering.
Jasmati rice can be used in an equal ratio to basmati rice in recipes.
American Long-Grain Rice
American long-grain rice is affordable and widely available. It is sold under various brand names – one of the best-known brands is Carolina Gold.
Any good substitute for basmati rice must be long-grained, and American long-grain rice does fit that description. This staple long-grain rice is available in white and brown varieties.
The main differences between basmati rice and regular American long-grain rice are the taste and aroma. Basmati has a distinct aromatic fragrance and an almost nutty flavor, while American long-grain is neutral.
When using American long-grained rice as an alternative to basmati rice, note that consistency may vary across brands. Wash the rice carefully before cooking to avoid extra starchiness, and cook only as directed to prevent it from becoming sticky.
When using plain American long-grain rice as a substitute for basmati rice, it can help to add turmeric, saffron, or rice spice. This will render it less bland and give it a more authentic basmati taste and aroma.
Use American long-grained rice in an equal ratio to basmati rice required in dishes.
Cauliflower rice is an excellent no-rice way to get the effect of a long-grain variety of white rice in recipes without using rice. This can be particularly useful for anyone with a food sensitivity to rice.
While cauliflower rice won’t taste like basmati rice, it readily takes on the flavor of whatever it is spiced with.
Making an Indian-style rice using cauliflower will require plenty of seasonings, including turmeric, masala, and cumin, but the result can be a light, flavorful alternative to basmati rice.
Cauliflower rice is lighter than basmati rice, and it won’t expand while cooking in the same way as rice. It also doesn’t require a long cooking time and should never be overcooked, or it will become mushy.
When using cauliflower rice as a substitute for basmati rice, cook the amount you need to serve since it doesn’t swell.