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Favorite brand of basmati

OnkleWillie Jul 30, 2011 09:25 PM

What is your favorite brand of basmati rice.

When I went by my local Indian market today, their rice rack looked like the middle of the 2008 rice shortage. I bet that they didn’t have 20 bags total. The only brands I recognized were Royal (which I’m not familiar with) and Zafarani. Most of the brands I am familiar with don’t show up very often these days.

One thing that bugs me is that I have seldom ever been able to stop by a market and pick up the same brand I’ve been using. I’ve had the best luck over the years with 817 but the last two bags I found were pretty buggy. I’m just finishing up a bag of Zafarani which was a remnant from the rice shortage days. It is OK but nothing special.

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    Jeri L RE: OnkleWillie Jul 30, 2011 09:48 PM

    I like Tilda. It's expensive, but I think it's worth the price premium.

    1. ninrn RE: OnkleWillie Jul 30, 2011 09:59 PM

      I like TIlda best, too, but recently have been using Adora. It's very good and significantly cheaper than Tilda. Dheradhuni is also pretty good, but it becomes stale faster because the packaging isn't quite air-tight, so if it's been sitting around at the shop, you'll taste the difference. Same with Royal, a Pakistan-packaged basmati. I've sometimes found small bugs in bags of Royal. Probably creep in through the burlap.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ninrn
        magiesmom RE: ninrn Jul 31, 2011 07:04 AM

        I buy Tilda in bulk.

      2. luckyfatima RE: OnkleWillie Jul 31, 2011 08:15 AM

        I prefer Tilda but also India Gate is very good.

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          pine time RE: OnkleWillie Jul 31, 2011 11:07 AM

          I last bought Zafarani at CostCo and was pleased with it--clean and a nice taste. I usually toast it before cooking, though, so that helps.

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            CanadaGirl RE: OnkleWillie Jul 31, 2011 11:30 AM

            I too prefer Tilda. It is sometimes at the Costco near me, which is a bonus

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              OnkleWillie RE: OnkleWillie Jul 31, 2011 08:54 PM

              Many thanks for the input. I'll have to keep an eye out for Tilda although I don't recall having seen it before.

              After hitting 3 stores this weekend it appears that Zafarani has pretty much captured the local market. Not a surprise I guess as they show to be a Texas based company.

              1. ninrn RE: OnkleWillie Jul 31, 2011 10:56 PM

                The website http://www.ishopindian.com has Tilda and most of the other brands of basmati mentioned here. The 10 lb bag of Tilda is $5 cheaper on their site than at my local Asian grocery, and shipping is a flat $9.99 (or free if the order is over $99). They have all sorts of other great, hard to find stuff, too, like the highly nutritious ragi (finger millet) vermicelli and Indian red rice. I don't know if you use enough Indian groceries to make it worthwhile, but if you do, it's a great resource.

                1. Cheese Boy RE: OnkleWillie Aug 1, 2011 11:51 PM

                  I've tried many different brands of basmati rice, some good, some not so good. Surprisingly, Trader Joe's brand of white basmati ranks pretty high. Best of all, I like that it's reasonably priced and I don't have to buy it in 10 or 20 pound bags.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Cheese Boy
                    ninrn RE: Cheese Boy Aug 2, 2011 11:38 AM

                    Cheese Boy, Is Trader Joe's basmati Indian style (aged) or American-style (like Texmati)? Thanks, Ninrn

                    1. re: ninrn
                      Cheese Boy RE: ninrn Aug 2, 2011 09:35 PM

                      Trader Joe's basmati is likely aged because the claim is that it's 100 percent genuine basmati and that it's imported from India. The Texmati grain is much whiter and broader {and of course from Texas}.

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                    travelchica RE: OnkleWillie Aug 2, 2011 05:09 AM

                    "SWAD" has excellent Basmati. The grains are very long... the texture and flavor are excellent. It's midpriced in comparison to other basmati brands. The rice is sold in a cute zippered bag :) I trust "SWAD" as a standard brand for most of my Indian food purchases. It's a large company... I find their products at most Indian groceries and even at American chain stores. Indian groceries carry the largest variety of basmati since basmati comes from India. "TILDA" is really good too, but too expensive. Great flavor, but it's not worth paying so much for because the entree will cover up the fancy rice flavor anyways!

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                      jvanderh RE: OnkleWillie Aug 2, 2011 12:22 PM

                      I am pretty sure Royal is the one I get in a big burlap bag at Sam's club. It is my favorite rice.

                      1. foodseek RE: OnkleWillie Sep 26, 2011 07:39 AM

                        Tilda is my favorite brand but hard to find in San Francisco in 10 lb bags. I use a lot of rice so I prefer a 10 lb. bag. Recently I purchased Adora basmati online from Sadaf.com and thought it was good but perhaps not as aromatic as Tilda. Surprisingly, the Royal rice I tried as well was very good and aromatic. I always steered away from the burlap bagged rices since I was afraid of the burlap taste coming through to the rice as some had in the past. But, the recent Royal packaging with plastic insert seemed to solve the problem. I wonder why it is difficult to find Tilda and Adora since the price point for basmati (Adora 9.99 for 10 lb and Tilda 14.99 for 10 lb.) is not that high considering the volume of food product.

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                          danany RE: OnkleWillie Sep 26, 2011 08:44 PM

                          Love both the brown basmati and brown jasmine rice from Trader Joe's. Has a wonderful fragrant smell and is delicious!

                          1. BamiaWruz RE: OnkleWillie Sep 26, 2011 10:05 PM

                            I like golden basmati which is parboiled, it is common in afghan cuisine.

                            Tilda is good for the fluffy everyday white basmati.

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                              rasputina RE: OnkleWillie Sep 27, 2011 06:17 AM

                              I really like Arya

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                                randomthoughts RE: OnkleWillie Feb 25, 2012 12:50 PM

                                I use Tilda, but recently I had some take-out indian-food and got some basati rice with it... it definitely tasted nicer than mine... wonder what it was.

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