Rice is an Asian staple food, and South Asian cuisine is no exception. Desi food revolves around the fragrant dishes of rice, meat, and vegetables. The variety of food is endless, from healthy options to slightly fatty recipes; desi food has it all. Perhaps this is why biryani is so widely accepted. Although, the type of rice you use matters a lot. Most people go for fluffy jasmine rice or basmati kernels. But if you want to opt for a healthier alternative, you can choose from wild rice vs. brown rice.
Given the eccentric quality of biryani, you can mold it into multiple flavors. From meat and veggies to spices and rice, each combination is bound to transport you to an entirely different realm. One that is rich in culture and caters to your diet-specific needs.
What is Wild Rice?
Believe it or not, wild rice isn’t exactly a type of rice — it’s a species of grass.
As surprising as it is, what you eat isn’t the grass itself. The seeds that grow on the plant are the ones labeled as ‘rice.’ These grainy seeds have a firm texture with a bold yet nutty flavor. However, the best part about wild rice isn’t its umami flavor but its dark color.
What is Brown Rice?
Brown rice is a type of whole grain that consists of bran and germ, with a hard outer shell. Nonetheless, when cooked, this shell comes off on its own, leaving behind a beige-ish brown inner germ filled with vitamins, protein, and minerals.
Wild Rice vs Brown Rice: What’s The Best Grain?
Wild and brown rice are both rich in antioxidants. They’re also gluten-free, which makes them a far healthier option when compared to white rice. Moreover, both wild and brown rice have unique scientific names to set them apart. Where wild rice is known as Zizania Aquatica, brown rice is called Oryza Sativa.
But, as hard as it is to pick a favorite between the two grains, tossing them together gives birth to something entirely different. It makes for a wonderful combination, suitable for any type of biryani or pilaf. Plus, with a chilled glass of iced tea on the side, you can have the best of south Asian cuisine.
Nonetheless, despite the similarities mentioned above, there are also dissimilarities. Mentioned below are some of the key differences between wild rice vs. brown rice:
Calories & Protein:
Wild rice has 30% fewer calories than brown rice and 40% more protein in total.
Wild rice is extremely high in nutritional content. You’ll find everything in this rare grain, such as zinc, potassium, and fiber. In contrast, brown rice has high magnesium levels, which is crucial for bone health and fast metabolism.
Brown and wild rice both require the same cook time. However, they take longer to prepare than white rice. This makes it perfect for cooking wild rice and brown rice together.
Brown rice has a milder taste with a chewy texture. Wild rice, on the other hand, is stronger in flavor. It gives off a rather earthy taste and is quite chewy.
Wild rice consists of long grains that are dark, almost black, in color. Brown rice, though, comes in various sizes and colors. From short-grain to medium-grain, there are multiple options to choose from.
When looking for a healthier rice alternative, deciding between wild rice vs. brown rice is the best bet. Plus, the beauty of biryani lies in its versatility. So no matter what rice you use, you’ll be left with a finger-licking dish by the end.