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About the Author: John Immel, Asheville, NC

Basmati Rice

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(4.00 out of 5 stars) 2 reviews

Basmati Rice Ayurveda Medicinal Properties
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravatingDigestive Effects Help
Effect: Ojas, Sattvic, Acidifying
Recommended for: Summer
Type: Grains
Nutrient: Carbohydrate
Color: White
Nourishes: Plasma

Serving Size: 1/4 c
Species: Oryza sativa
Family: Poaceae
Pharmacological Effects
About Pharmacological Effects
The list of actions below have not be approved by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Is Basmati Rice Good for Me?
Find out by taking this free, easy quiz. You'll learn your body type, and whether Basmati Rice is a good fit for you. Time to complete: approximately 1 minute.

ayurvedic perspective

Rice builds ojas. Ojas is said to have the smell of burnt rice. Of rices, Basmati is the most sattvic and aromatic.

Rice is nourishing and easy to digest giving more 'bang for the buck'. Rice offers more calories with less effort from digestive organs. Plain rice is a good late night snack that wont disturb agni. Strained water from cooked rice can me made into a gruel. It is a valuable food for those recovering from an illness and a cornerstone of samsarjana karma.
Brown rice, although nutritionally superior, is harder to digest than white rice. A person with a compromised digestive tract may not be able to absorb these nutrients. Poorly digested food becomes a poison in the digestive tract. Ayurveda recommends white rice for anyone gas, bloating, or indigestion.

Rice that is cooked 'al dente', without enough water, can cause gas, bloating and constipation for Vata people. If rice gives you gas, add extra water and cook the rice until soft and puffy.
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Basmati Rice
Vata pacifyingPitta pacifyingKapha aggravating

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Cooking rice is quick and easy. with slight additional effort, it can also be an art form. To make grains tasty I always add salt, oil and spices. A few roasted cumin seeds add a pleasant aroma. You may add other spices as well. Here is a basic recipe for rice. For every one cup of rice add:
  • 1.5c water for 'al dente' rice, 2 cups of water for soft rice. An easy rule of thumb for al dente rice is to add water to 2x the height of the rice.
  • 1/4 tsp of your favorite spice (examples are cumin, fennel, ginger, cardamom, oregano, thyme)
  • 2 tsp of oil or ghee
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
First, sautee the spices in the oil for 10 seconds. Then add the rice and water. Bring the rice and water to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer and cover. You may need to stir the rice to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Avoid stirring rice once it is soft. Stirring breaks the rice grains making it less light and fluffy. White rice will be ready to serve within twenty minutes. Brown rice takes up to an hour.

Other Rice Options

Rice flour is heavy and sticky. Breads made with rice flour are too drying for Vata. To make rice milk, blend rice with water. Rice cakes are a great snack for Kapha. Glutinous rice is a variety of rice that is especially sticky and used to make mochi in Japan.

About the Author

John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.

John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.

John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.

Comments & Impressions of 'Basmati Rice'

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(4.00 out of 5 stars) 2 reviews

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What about brown basmati rice? Is this easier to digest than regular long or short-grain brown rice?

- Jess, Allen park, MI, 07-01-12 (Reply)
Brown rice is generally much more difficult to digest. However, brown rice provides more nutritional benefits and fiber. It depends on the needs of the person...
- John Immel, Asheville, NC, 07-03-12 (Reply)
I find white rice, cooked until mushy, makes me tired. Do you know why this is?
- Jackie, Kalamunda, 09-16-13 (Reply)
If you prefer brown rice, cook it with more spices - like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise and of course cumin. Overcooked grains (till mushy) may clog channels, thus increasing toxins and as a result make you tired.
- uiukin, Eisja, 06-14-14 (Reply)
I like to cook it in the rice cooker with threads of saffron. If I'm using brown basmati rice I wash then soak it for a half an hour beforehand and I use a ratio of 1 cup rice to 2-1/2 cups water to ensure it is nice and soft.
- Chris white, UT, 02-01-15 (Reply)
I see that it is marked as not recommended for Kapha but then at the bottom of the article it says rice cakes are a good snack for Kaphas. Can you please clarify? Thanks, Isa
- Isadora Rocha, Irving, TX, 02-16-15 (Reply)
Rice cakes are aerated and because they have more "air" in them, they can technically be good for reducing heavy, earthy kapha.
- Natalie Immel, Asheville, NC, 02-16-15 (Reply)

- Harry, 07-25-15 (Reply)
a traditional home remedy for
This information has not been validated by the FDA and should not be used to treat a medical condition.
Eating after 8pmVata aggravatingKapha aggravatingIrregular meal timesVata aggravating
Thin, lanky, slim with thin muscles CheckmarkVata aggravating

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