The most common rice in Ayurveda, basmati rice is a beautifully light and aromatic long-grain variety which is know for its cooling effect on the body. It is good for calming an irritated stomach and is said to be easier to digest than brown rice.
Being that it is lighter than many other grains, it can be eaten by all dosha types, including Kapha. It’s cooling, sweet and moist nature work for Pitta; and sweet moist attributes balance Vata.
To cook Basmati rice:
Wash the basmati rice in cold water to remove much of the starch which aggravates Vata. (Rice that is at least 3-6 months old is preferred, as bacteria will have digested some starch). Continue to rinse the water until the water runs clear.
Bring just under twice the volume of water to the rice to boil, adding the rice and a pinch of salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, by which time all the water should be absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes before removing the lid.
To kick it up a notch, try adding a couple of cloves to the rice while cooking it to gently warm the slight coolness of the grain.
Cumin, one of my favorite spices, can be added to basmati rice to give it a great flavor. In India, cumin seeds are an important component of curry powder and garam masala. To make cumin rice, or jeera rice as it is commonly known, just cook the basmati rice and cool, as described above. From there, heat 1 tbsp. of ghee, add 2 tsp. cumin seeds and fry to release the oils and the aroma. Then add cooled rice, a handful of freshly chopped coriander and a little lemon juice and enjoy!
Benefits of Cumin:
Being an excellent source of iron, cumin aids in digestion, boosts the immune system and has anti-carcinogenic properties. Cumin seeds are known in ayurveda to boost the body’s natural rhythm, thus promoting healthy digestion. Cumin seeds are excellent for cleansing and detoxifying the uterus and kidneys. Due to their bowel binding properties they are very useful in treating conditions like diarrhea. Due to their natural ability to strengthen the liver and our digestive system, cumin seeds are very useful in common conditions like fever, indigestion, and vomiting.
Dosha effect of Cumin Basmati Rice: Cumin seeds promote Pitta dosha, pacify the Kapha and Vata doshas. Basmati Rice is sweet in taste, cold in potency, unctuous and nourishing and alleviates Pitta dosha. The addition of cumin seeds to the rice, aids in its digestion, while also enhancing its taste.