Basmati rice needs specific water, heat and light conditions to grow, and the perfect conditions can only be found in the regions which lie at the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range.
It comes from a very delicate plant which requires constant vigilance to ensure a healthy crop. Due to the climatic conditions there is only one harvest per year. Like wine or cheese, Basmati matures and improves with age so the rice is usually stored for 12-18 months before it is sold.
Basmati is considered by many to be the best white rice available with very unique characteristics. When cooked, the rice has a wonderful aromatic fragrance and a very unique, delicate flavour. The grains almost double in length, separate easily from each other and become fluffy in texture.
While the majority of Basmati sold has been milled to become white, brown Basmati retains the characteristics of white Basmati; however it is the presence of the rice germ and bran layers which distinguish it from the milled white variety.
Brown Basmati rice is also rich in nutrients and minerals. Although it needs a little longer to cook, brown Basmati has a delicious nutty flavour and a lower GI (Glycaemic Index), meaning it releases energy slowly and therefore keeps you feeling fuller for longer.