Different Types of Rice Dishes

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Different Types of Rice Dishes
Rice is eaten at every meal in many parts of the world. (Wholegrain Rice and Fresh Rosemary image by Andreja Donko from Fotolia.com)

There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice grown in the world. Learning to use "real" rice instead of instant rice will allow you to make a wider variety of dishes that have more texture, flavour and fibre. Different types of rice are suitable for different dishes. An example is Arborio rice, which is excellent in risotto, soups and stews, while jasmine rice is more suitable for pilafs, side dishes and for serving plain.

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Onigiri is a Japanese snack made with sweet rice. Sweet rice is very sticky and is also called sushi rice. Onigiri is a dish to make with leftover rice. It is most often made in a thick, triangular shape by forming the rice ball in your hand. A filling of tuna, miso, salted salmon, umeboshi or pickled plums is tucked deep inside. A wrapping of nori or toasted seaweed is often added to the outside for flavour and to make handling the sticky onigiri easier to handle while eating. This is often served as a snack that can be eaten on the go.


Risotto is an Italian dish made by carefully braising Arborio rice, letting it slowly absorb the cooking broth. The broth gives it a rich flavour and a consistency resembling a cream sauce. Before the braising begins, the rice is toasted along with onions, carrots, celery and garlic. The broth is ladled in slowly. The rice is stirred frequently as it soaks up the broth. Risotto can be served in many different flavours including seafood, prosciutto, Parmesan cheese and butter, or quail. The long cooking time blends all the flavours and results in a smooth, creamy dish. Risotto is often served at expensive restaurants as a side dish or appetizer.

Indian Yellow Rice

Indian yellow rice gets its rich, golden colour from turmeric. It is a bit spicy due to the addition of red chillies, cinnamon and cardamom in the recipe. This recipe calls for basmati rice, and it features the creaminess of coconut milk and ghee. Recipes for this dish vary slightly in what spices are preferred. This dish makes a light meal or it can be used as a side dish with spicy chickpeas, curries or vegetarian dishes. Indian yellow rice is known for its fluffy texture and rich, aromatic flavours. It gets a hint of sweetness from raisins and sugar added during cooking. It is a quick dish that you can whip up any time you need something special.

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