Basmati vs Jasmine Rice: What’s the Difference?

Basmati rice

If you have to choose between basmati rice and jasmine rice, it is very important to know the difference between these two types of rice.

Both of these rice types can be used in various dishes and they will taste delicious. But you will also find dishes that call for one type of rice in particular.

The key difference between basmati rice and jasmine rice stays in flavor. Basmati rice has a nutty flavor mixed with a floral taste while jasmine rice is nutty and many claim it tastes like popcorn.

However, there are other differences as well as plenty of similarities between these two types of rice that we will discuss further so, keep on reading.

Which is Better Basmati or Jasmine Rice?

The type of rice you choose will ultimately depend on your personal preferences as well as the dish you are cooking.

You will also notice that different recipes can call for different types of rice. To determine which one you like best, let’s talk about both types of rice and understand how are they different as well as how are they similar.

Basmati rice

Basmati Rice

Basmati rice is specific to India and the surrounding countries such as Nepal or Pakistan. It is used in plenty of traditional dishes in Indian cuisine as it is rich in flavor.

As a matter of fact, the word basmati means fragrant in Hindi. As soon as you taste the nutty yet floral flavor of this rice, you will understand why it is such a popular ingredient.

This long-grain rice can go perfectly in different dishes, even those that are outside of the Indian cuisine so get creative with it.

Jasmine rice

Jasmine rice

Jasmine rice is specific to Thai cuisine. You will find this type of rice in Cambodian dishes as well as Vietnamese dishes.

It is equally fragrant with the basmati rice but its flavor is slightly different. You will not find the floral taste but you will find a stronger nutty taste instead.

Also, a less obvious difference between jasmine and basmati rice is that jasmine rice has a shorter grain and it is stickier than basmati rice.

Both jasmine and basmati rice come in white and brown versions. So, you can use the type that matches your recipe best. The white versions tend to be more commonly used as they are also easier to find.

However, in terms of taste, there are no significant differences between white basmati rice and brown basmati rice or white jasmine rice and brown jasmine rice.

While you can choose between basmati rice and jasmine rice based on your personal taste, know that each type will fit certain dishes.

For instance, basmati is great for curry dishes and other Indian recipes such as stir-fries. Jasmine rice, on the other hand, will work amazingly in Thai dishes that include shrimp or other seafood.

Is Basmati Rice Healthier Than Jasmine Rice?

uncooked rice

In terms of health benefits, there are no notable differences between these two types of rice. They both come with a low level of fat which makes them preferable to other types of rice. And they include a certain amount of protein that can boost the nutrition of your recipes.

There is a health difference between these two types of rice, though that you should consider if you are diabetic or if you cook a recipe with one of these rice types for someone with diabetes.

In this case, it is better to choose basmati rice as it has a lower level of sugar. The basmati rice glycemic level is 59 while the jasmine rice glycemic level is 89.

This can be a significant difference for diabetics and you should take it into account when choosing one type of rice over the other.

Without any diabetes restrictions, it is important to know that both basmati rice and jasmine rice are considered healthy and they are commonly referred to as other types of rice in many dishes.

Can I Substitute Basmati for Jasmine Rice?

Since these two rice types are not only different but also fairly similar, you will notice that they can be used interchangeably at least when it comes to certain dishes.

They are both aromatic and they will make your food taste deliciously. You can keep all the other ingredients unaltered as you use basmati instead of jasmine rice or the other way around.

The taste of your food will not differ much. However, the texture of it might be different. Remember that jasmine rice is stickier than basmati rice and this could make your recipe appear different. But if this difference doesn’t bother you then you can definitely substitute basmati rice for jasmine rice any time you need to.

The flavor of the rice will also vary but in a way that it might go unnoticed. If you are picky when it comes to flavors, you will see that the jasmine is lacking the floral taste of basmati while it is stronger in terms of its nutty taste.

Basmati vs Jasmine Rice Cooking Time

Sticky Rice

In terms of cooking time, there are certain differences between jasmine rice and basmati rice that we will have to mention.

When it comes to jasmine rice, you most likely want that sticky texture to prevail in your dish. For this to happen you will need to rinse your rice first to remove all the extra starch.

Drain it well and cook it for about 20 minutes or until you notice that the rice absorbed all the water. And as for the water quantity, you want to use 1 cup rice with 1.5 cups of water to get the sticky texture.

For basmati rice, you will have to soak it in water for at least 30 minutes and a maximum of 45 minutes before cooking it.

This will add a level of moisture that the rice needs to taste much better and cook evenly. Then, you will rinse it and boil it by adding 3 cups of water for 2 cups of rice. The cooking time is roughly between 15-20 minutes.

Add spices of your choice in the rice water regardless of the type of rice you use. A great choice is turmeric as it will give the rice a beautiful, yellow color and an interesting earthly flavor. You can also add saffron and paprika according to what you like most.


Both basmati rice and jasmine rice will taste deliciously in a wide range of dishes. They are best used in Indian cuisine for basmati rice and Thai cuisine for jasmine rice. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t use them for other dishes that you like.

These types of rice as some of the tastiest you will find on the market and they are easy to cook and season as well. Whatever type of rice you choose, make sure to follow your recipe and the other ingredients if you want to end up with tasty food that everyone will love.

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