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Jasmine Rice Vs Basmati Rice

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: January 30, 2024

Rice is a starchy staple grown in several parts of the world, including Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. You’ll be quite surprised to know that over 40,000 rice varieties exist and are classified according to colour, i.e., white, brown, red and black. Size of the grain, i.e., long, medium and short and aroma or flavour, i.e., jasmine rice, basmati rice, etc. In this article, we will answer the difference – jasmine rice vs basmati rice.

It may be quite difficult for a layperson to identify the different types of rice and tell the difference. And, when you consider jasmine and basmati rice specifically, people can get confused between the two. So, how can you tell the difference between jasmine rice and basmati rice? Well, read on to know what makes these two rice varieties different.

Jasmine Rice Vs Basmati Rice

Jasmine rice and Basmati rice are long-grain, aromatic Asian rice varieties popular for their superior aroma and delicious flavour. At a glance, both may appear quite similar; however, there are many differences between the two.

uncooked  basmati rice, some on a wooden soon, the rest in a bowl. 2 cherry tomatoes are in the background.


Originally grown in India, Nepal, and Pakistan, basmati rice is a long-grain rice with a floral and nutty flavour. The name “basmati” means “fragrant” in Hindi. Traders later introduced this fragrant aromatic rice to the Middle East, which became a staple in Persian and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Jasmine rice is also a long-grain, aromatic rice variety mainly grown in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Also known as Thai fragrant rice, jasmine rice was grown originally in Thailand.

Known as Khao Hom Mali, this fragrant rice got its name from the sweet-smelling floral jasmine aroma released when cooked. Jasmine rice was mostly cultivated for Siam royalty.

Jasmine rice has a nutty, popcorn-like flavour and a shorter grain than basmati rice. Both jasmine rice and basmati rice come in white and brown varieties; however, the white type is used commonly in cooking.


While there may not be a noticeable difference in the appearance of basmati and jasmine rice at a glance, when you study them closely, you can tell the difference. Both basmati rice and jasmine rice are long-grain rice varieties.

However, basmati rice has a needle shape and is longer and slimmer than jasmine rice, which has shorter, plumper and rounder grains. Also, jasmine rice is a bit more translucent than basmati rice.

The difference between jasmine and basmati rice becomes more obvious when you cook the rice. Basmati rice retains its slender shape when cooked, making it fluffier and softer—the length of the grain doubles when cooked.

On the other hand, the grains of the jasmine rice clump together and form clusters. The basmati rice grains become drier when cooked than jasmine rice, which becomes moist and sticky.


Cooked jasmine rice and basmati rice have different textures, and this is because of their molecular structure, as well as the amount of starch each of them contains. Jasmine rice contains amylopectin, which makes it stickier than basmati rice when cooked.

The grains of the jasmine rice do not retain their shape well when cooked and form moist clumps, which makes it easier to eat the rice with chopsticks. Basmati rice has higher amylose levels in the starch, which ensures that the rice grains retain their structure when cooked and gives it a fluffier texture that people love.

Flavor And Aroma

Since both basmati rice and jasmine rice are aromatic rice varieties, they have more flavour and aroma than other long-grain rice types. Both types of rice absorb the flavour of ingredients added, such as spices, herbs, etc. and enhance the taste of your dishes.

jasmine rice vs basmati rice

However, it is important to store the grains properly in an airtight container to ensure that the rice does not lose its flavour, which is so delicate and subtle that they get reduced over time.

Jasmine rice has an aromatic flavour, which is quite different from basmati. It has a slightly sweeter and nuttier taste. Basmati rice, on the other hand, has a more fragrant aroma and a nutty taste.

Nutritional Value

Both jasmine rice and basmati rice are complex carbohydrates that are easily digested and are a great energy source for the body, apart from offering several health benefits. Both types of rice come in white or brown varieties.

White rice is more processed, where the husk, bran and germ are removed from the grain, whereas in brown rice, only the husk is removed. And so brown rice contains more fibre and nutrients and fewer calories, so it is healthier than white rice.

Basmati rice has higher levels of fibre compared to jasmine rice. Higher fibre content helps in better digestion and prevents problems like constipation. White jasmine rice has a higher fibre content of 1 gram than white basmati rice, which has 0.7 grams; brown basmati rice has a higher amount of fibre, around 2.9 grams, compared to brown jasmine rice, which contains 2 grams.

White basmati rice contains 2% iron, while white jasmine rice contains no iron. However, brown jasmine rice contains around 2% iron, while the iron content in brown basmati is around 4%.

A cup of cooked white jasmine rice contains 210 calories compared to a cup of cooked white basmati rice, which contains 181 calories. Also, jasmine rice has more carbs, i.e., 45 grams, compared to basmati rice, which has around 39.85 grams.

Basmati rice has a lower glycemic index of 58 compared to jasmine rice, whose glycemic index is 109, which makes basmati rice a better option for people with diabetes. It also helps you feel fuller for longer and controls your appetite.

And so, when you compare jasmine rice and basmati rice, in terms of nutrition, basmati rice, specifically the brown variety, is a much healthier option. Nevertheless, you can include and enjoy these rice varieties as a part of a balanced diet.

Cooking Technique

A quality rice cooker like Yum Asia is perfect for cooking all types of rice.

basmati rice in a colander

Jasmine Rice

It is important to wash the rice before cooking it to remove any dust and debris from the rice and the excess starch. Rinse the rice properly by running it under cold water. Drain the water and refill with fresh water.

Repeat this process until the water runs clear. Then, add the rice to a pot and fill it with water until it covers the rice. Use around 1 to 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of rice. Season with salt, cover and allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes over low heat until the rice absorbs the water.

Comparison Table

  • Jasmin Rice

    Basmati Rice

  • Varities



  • Origin

    Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia

    India, Nepal and Pakistan

  • Color Varities

    White and brown

    White and brown

  • Grain Size & Shape

    Has shorter, plumper and rounder grains

    Long needle shape grain and is slimmer than jasmine rice

  • Flavor and Aroma

    Aromatic and slightly sweet and nutty

    Has a more fragrant aroma and a nutty taste

Basmati Rice

Just as for the jasmine rice, the basmati rice should be rinsed thoroughly before you cook it. However, basmati rice is recommended to soak the grains for 30 minutes to 2 hours before cooking it. This will allow the grains to partially absorb the water and help the rice cook uniformly and thoroughly. Once the rice is soaked, drain it.

Fill the container with 1.5-1.75 cups of water for 1 cup of rice and add the rice. Allow it to boil on medium to high heat. Once the water boils, reduce the heat and cover the pot, allowing it to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the rice absorbs all the water.

Remove the container from the heat and let the rice sit for around 5 minutes. Fluff the rice up using a fork and serve. Adding oil or butter to the rice will prevent the grains from clumping together and maintain the fluffy texture.

So, now that you know the differences between jasmine rice and basmati rice, their origin, appearance, texture, flavour and nutritional profiles, you know exactly which variety to use in your dishes.

Basmati rice works best for Indian, Middle Eastern and Pakistani cuisine, while jasmine rice is the best if you’re cooking Thai, Vietnamese or Cambodian cuisine. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, you can be clear about which aromatic long-grain rice to choose.

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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