Brown jasmine rice is a type of long-grain, aromatic rice, originating and grown primarily in Thailand. It is known for its delicate aroma resembling that of jasmine flowers when cooked and is a very popular non-glutinous rice. The rice is suitable for a wide variety of dishes, such as curries and stir fries, and as a side dish to accompany fish and poultry dishes. Jasmine rice is the most popular variety of rice in Thailand, and while most Thais prefer white jasmine rice, brown jasmine rice is gradually gaining popularity due to the increased nutritional benefits of brown rice over white rice.
Rice is classified as a cereal grain, and the majority of the rice grown and consumed in the world belongs to the species Oryza sativa or Asian rice, although a closely related species, African rice, is also widely cultivated. Rice is the second most abundant cereal crop worldwide after corn and is the staple food of billions of people. Thousands of varieties of rice have been developed over the thousands of years of rice agriculture, and many countries and regions have their own special varieties. Thailand is where jasmine rice originated, and most of the jasmine rice produced each year is grown there, although it is produced in smaller amounts in other countries, such as the United States.
Like other rice varieties, jasmine rice is commonly milled, washed, and polished, producing the bright white grains familiar to most people. This removes the inner hull, or bran, of the rice grain and results in the loss of many of the nutrients and fiber of whole rice. Brown jasmine rice is whole grain jasmine rice that has not been subjected to the final stages of milling and polishing and which retains its inner hull coating, or bran, giving it a rich, nutty brown color.
Whole grain rice tends to be a little chewier than milled rice. It also generally takes longer too cook. Brown rice is also much more nutritious than white rice of the same variety, containing more vitamins, fiber, and other nutrients. Recent studies have also suggested that consuming brown rice instead of white rice reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Besides the increased nutritional benefit, brown jasmine rice has a richer, slightly sweet, nutty flavor while retaining the aroma of white jasmine rice.