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Jul 30, 2014 02:21 PM

Where can I buy authentic Basmati rice?

I bought Lundberg's Organic Basmati Rice from Whole Foods, but it wasn't that great and, from what I read online, it's not authentic Basmati rice. I might've been fooled into thinking it's the real deal because of the price ($7.99)

Any idea where to buy authentic Basmati rice? Or any particular brands that you trust?

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  1. Kalutsyan, Lexington and 28th Street
    Dual, 1st Ave and 6th Street

    2 Replies
    1. re: penthouse pup

      Dual is probably a bit cheaper

      See this thread for specific brand recommendations

      And how to make it fluffy (older but still relevant

      1. re: Ttrockwood

        Dual is always cheaper than Kalustyan's, I believe. There are other shops in Curry Hill that sell basmati rice, but Dual is my local store, and they're perfectly reliable.

    2. If you feel lazy, and depending on your location, there's an Indian grocery on the 1st Avenue side of the Sixth Street curry row. Selection isn't as great.

      1. FYI, I really like the brand Shiva's aged basmati, you can get it at Patel Brothers.

          1. Can't believe I'm actually posting vs my usual asking questions! If you want the best, make sure it's from India and not made in the USA. I've tried them all. Some of the best is Zafrani Reserve (not the plain regular zafrani) and 2nd best is perhaps Tilda. Both these are only available from indian or south asian stores like patel brothers or apna bazaar. Not sure if any of these are practical for you to get to

            7 Replies
            1. re: eateat22

              Thank you! I'll use the rest of my Lundberg Bazmati Rice (from California) and never buy it again. Will look for Zafrani and Tilda in an Indian grocery store.

              1. re: nycguy20011

                fwiw, Tilda Basmati is also available at Food Emporium or was the last time I searched.

                Sadly, my fave (Tilda's Brown Basmati) isn't sold in the US & I have to buy it from shops in Canada or the UK. If you do run across it here please report back!

                1. re: was_bk

                  Replying to myself to add that it seems Food Emporium may not be carrying Tilda anymore?

                  I was in the Union Sq Food Emporium yesterday & checked for it but didn't see it or even its label on the shelves.

              2. re: eateat22

                I'm going to go against the grain and say you don't need to buy brands like Tilda or Kohinoor for every dish that calls for basmati. The basmati rice in Fairway's bulk section is more than satisfactory for stuffed vegetables (mahshi) or curd rice where you aren't necessarily aiming for a fluffy texture. If I want to make a biryani or pilaf where fragrant individual grains are important, that's when I'll make a trip to Little India for Tilda or Kohinoor.

                The only reason to single out Kalustyan's when you're already shopping in an Indian neighborhood is because Indo-Pak stores tend to sell family sizes of dry goods like rice whereas Kalustyan's will have smaller sizes available for experimental cooks. But I wouldn't be surprised if the smaller bag of rice at Kalustyan's works out to be the same price as the larger bag available at the Indo-Pak store.

                1. re: JungMann

                  Agree with most of what JungMann is saying. Basically good basmati rice shows its merit when the final product is a dry one and not mixed in with sauces, etc. Also if I remember, both Tilda & Zafrani reserve come in 10 lb bag and for me stay fresh for 6 months or longer (haven't tried). If you eat rice 1-2 times a week, you'll surely finish it up. I typically stay away from the small bags though because they are simply not cost-effective

                  One brand that got left out is the brown basmati at trader joe's - it's very good as well but again, smaller bag so higher price equation

                  1. re: eateat22

                    I' ve really liked the brown basmati at trader joes as well but haven't tried the white one. IMO how its cooked is just as important (maybe more so) than which version/brand of basmati you start with....

                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                      Trader Joe's brown basmati is good and was my go to brand before finding and switching to imo, the more flavorful Tilda's a Wholegrain (aka brown) Basmati.