Which Basmati Is Best?

Basmati rice has a famously nutty fragrance and extra-long grains, but there are lots of brands to choose from. Walk into an Indian, Pakistani, or other grocery store and you're confronted with a range of bags. Which basmati is best? Chowhounds have strong opinions.

Pari Basmati is qatbird's choice for the texture, flavor, scent, and length of the grains. After trying many brands, Jas001 thinks Zafarani Reserve Basmati (not the regular kind, only those bags marked "reserve," which coast a dollar or two more) offers great quality and wonderfully long grains. Surprisingly, Jas001 says, it turns out that Walmart Organic Basmati is very similar to Zafarani Reserve, though it costs twice as much as other basmatis on the shelf.

luckyfatima used to love Tilda rice, a favorite among hounds, but Tilda has gone down in quality lately, she says. luckyfatima finds India's Gate basmati rice superior even to Zafarani. "It's pale white, lengthens beautifully, and has a nice fragrance, although the fragrance isn't as nice as what Tilda's used to be," she says.

Discuss: What's the best basmati rice?

Photo by Flickr member wickenden under Creative Commons