Types Of Rice In India


White basmati grains in a plate.

There are many types of rice found in India. Rice, the staple food of Indian cuisine, has been an integral part of the country’s culinary heritage for centuries. 

With its diverse climate and agricultural landscape that lends itself to rice cultivation, India boasts an impressive array of rice varieties, each with its unique taste, texture, and aroma. 

India, the world’s biggest rice consumer after China, has a market share of more than 40% of the global rice trade.

If you go to your local Indian grocery store you will see many different varieties of rice. The type of rice used in each household is often influenced by where in India the family is from.

There are so many ​Indian rice recipes to explore and one way to change up each rice dish is to explore various rice types.

Plate of saffron rice with a serving spoon.

From the enchanting Basmati to the rustic Red Rice, this blog post explores 30 different types of rice found in India, while also highlighting some of the most popular ones.

Indian Rice Varieties

There are many rice types, below is just a summary of some of them. Below the table are more details on each type.

No.Rice TypeGrain TypeCommonly Used For
1Basmati RiceLong-grain riceBiryani, Pulao, Pilaf, Plain
2Jasmine Rice (Mogra Rice)Long-grainFragrant Rice, Plain
3Sona MasuriMedium-grain riceSteam Rice, Pulao
4Ambemohar RiceShort-grain riceSweet Pongal, Kheer
5Brown RiceLong-grain Rice Bowls
6Black Rice (Forbidden Rice)Long-grainDesserts, Rice Bowls
7Gobindo Bhog RiceShort-grainBhoger Khichuri
8Indrayani RiceLong-grainPlain Rice
9Patna RiceLong-grainDaily Cooking, Biryani
10Kalanamak RiceLong-grainTraditional North Indian Dishes
11Red RiceLong-grainCurries, Kanji (Porridge)
12Kerala Matta RiceMedium-grainKerala Meals, Appam
13Kala Jeera RiceLong-grainBengali Sweet Pulao, Biryani
14Gobindobhog RiceShort-grainPayesh, Bhoger Khichuri
15Navara RiceShort-grainAyurvedic preparations
16Sonamukhi RiceLong-grainPlain Rice
17Parboiled Rice (Sela Rice)Long-grainSambar Rice, Biryani
18Kavuni RiceShort-grainTraditional South Indian Dishes
19Handia RiceLong-grainPlain Rice, Biryani
20Ponni RiceShort-grainIdli, Dosa, Pongal
21Mottaikaruppan RiceShort-grainSouth Indian Dishes
22Bora RiceShort-grainAssam Boras
23Patnai RiceShort-grainDaily Cooking
24Red Cargo RiceLong-grainCurries, Biryani
25Kali Mooch RiceShort-grainTraditional Assamese Dishes
26Gandakasala RiceShort-grainKerala Sadhya
27Kavargam RiceShort-grainSouth Indian Dishes
28Kolam RiceLong-grainCurries, Kanji (Porridge)
29Ambe Mohar RiceShort-grainMaharashtra Sweet Dishes, Kheer
30Jeeraksala RiceShort-grainKerala Payasam, Kheer
Plate of basmati rice.

Basmati Rice 

One of India’s most celebrated rice varieties and one the most popular rice types Basmati is renowned for its distinct fragrance and long, slender grains. 

India is the largest exporter of basmati rice globally.

Grown primarily in the northern regions of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, Basmati rice is a favorite choice for biryanis, pulao, and other special occasions due to its delicious nutty flavor.

Sona Masoori

Sona Masuri Hailing from the Southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Sona Masuri rice is a medium-grain variety that offers a pleasant aroma when cooked. It is commonly used in everyday dishes like lemon rice and curd rice, owing to its ability to absorb flavors beautifully.

Sona masoori rice on a gray plate with a white serving spoon.

Jasmine Rice (Mogra Rice) 

Jasmine rice, also known as Mogra rice, is predominantly cultivated in the Eastern states of West Bengal and Assam. With a delicate floral scent and a slightly sticky texture, this rice complements spicy curries and gravies, making it a popular choice in the region.

Ambemohar Rice 

Favored in the western state of Maharashtra, Ambemohar rice, as the name suggests, emits a delightful fragrance reminiscent of ripe mangoes. It is often enjoyed during festivals and auspicious occasions, and its versatility allows it to be used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Brown Rice 

It is essentially unpolished rice, retaining the bran and germ.

Upclose image of brown basmati rice.

Black Rice (Forbidden Rice) 

Black rice, often referred to as Forbidden Rice, has a distinct dark color and is highly nutritious due to its rich antioxidant content. Grown mainly in the Northeastern states of Manipur and Assam, it is used to prepare traditional sweets and rice pudding.

Gobindo Bhog Rice 

This fragrant rice variety is particularly treasured in the state of West Bengal, where it is used to make delectable desserts like ‘payesh’ (rice pudding) during festivals.

Indrayani Rice 

Indrayani rice, widely consumed in the Western regions, especially in Gujarat and Rajasthan, is a medium-grain rice with a pleasant aroma and a fluffy texture. It serves as an excellent base for a range of dishes, from spicy curries to sweet kheer.

Patna Rice 

Named after the capital city of Bihar, Patna rice is characterized by its long, slender grains. It is a versatile rice variety, suitable for both everyday meals and special occasions.

Kalanamak Rice 

Hailing from the Northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Kalanamak rice is appreciated for its unique flavor and is commonly used to prepare traditional dishes and desserts.

Red Rice 

Red rice, grown in the Northeastern states like Assam and Manipur, gets its vibrant hue from anthocyanin antioxidants. It imparts a delightful nutty flavor to dishes.

Basmati rice grains in a pot.

Kerala Matta Rice 

Also known as Rosematta rice, this indigenous rice variety from Kerala has a reddish-brown color and a distinct earthy flavor. It is a staple in Kerala’s traditional meals.

Kala Jeera

Kala Jeera rice, cultivated mainly in the state of West Bengal, derives its name from its resemblance to black cumin seeds. The rice is valued for its unique taste and is often enjoyed with fish curries.

Aromatic Gobindobhog

Another gem from West Bengal, Gobindobhog rice is a short-grain, aromatic variety often used to prepare delectable dishes like pulao and khichdi.

Govind Bhog Rice Considered auspicious and used in various rituals, Govind Bhog rice is grown in West Bengal and is especially favored during festive occasions.

Fork in a plate of coconut basmati rice.

Navara Rice

 This traditional rice variety hails from Kerala and is known for its medicinal properties.

Sonamukhi Rice 

A medium-grain rice from West Bengal, Sonamukhi rice, exhibits a pleasant aroma when cooked and is well-suited for various dishes.

Parboiled Rice (Sela Rice)

 Parboiled rice is partially cooked before milling, which helps retain nutrients in the grain. It is popular across India for daily consumption.

Kavuni Rice

 Kavuni rice, native to Tamil Nadu, is a unique black rice variety used primarily to make sweet dishes and desserts.

Handia Rice

Handia rice, from the Eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand, is an aromatic rice variety commonly used in traditional recipes.

Ponni Rice 

Ponni rice, originating from Tamil Nadu, is known for its unique taste and is a popular choice for making fluffy, flavorful rice dishes.

Mottaikaruppan Rice 

Grown in Tamil Nadu, Mottaikaruppan rice is revered for its taste and aroma, making it a cherished variety in the region.

Bora

This medium-grain rice variety is cultivated in Assam and is commonly used in the preparation of Assamese delicacies.

Patnai

 Patnai rice, grown in the Eastern region of India, is appreciated for its distinct taste and versatility in cooking.

Red Cargo

Red Cargo rice is a glutinous variety commonly found in the Northeastern states, and it is often used to make rice dumplings and traditional sweets.

Kali Mooch

This fragrant rice variety from Uttarakhand is named after its resemblance to the black face of a ram (‘kali mooch’) and is a delightful addition to regional cuisine.

Gandakasala

Gandakasala rice, an indigenous variety from Andhra Pradesh, is known for its unique taste and is frequently used in local dishes.

Kavargam

Kavargam rice, a short-grain variety from Tamil Nadu, is esteemed for its sticky texture and is a popular choice for certain traditional dishes.

Kolam Rice 

Kolam rice, also known as Kolam Paramal rice, is a popular medium-grain variety cultivated in the Southern states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its delicious taste and is commonly used to make traditional South Indian dishes like idli, dosa, and rice-based sweets.

Ambe Mohar Rice 

Ambe Mohar rice, also known as Amba Mohar rice, is a fragrant and traditional rice variety predominantly grown in the state of Maharashtra, India. The name “Ambe Mohar” translates to “Mango Blossom” in Marathi, hinting at the delightful mango-like aroma it exudes when cooked. This heirloom rice is highly valued for its unique taste and fragrance and is often used in the preparation of special dishes and sweets during festivals and auspicious occasions in the region.

Ambe Mohar rice has a medium grain size and a slightly sticky texture when cooked, making it an excellent choice for dishes like biryanis, pulao, and rice-based desserts. Due to its popularity and distinctive flavor, it is considered a culinary treasure and an essential part of Maharashtra’s rich gastronomic heritage.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you. I am perhaps slightly less confused: your noting of the region helps a lot. For the last forty years I’ve just used American long for cooking from the americas, jasmine for north of the Himalayas and extra long basmati to the south. I’m being educated.

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