Basmati is a variety of long grain rice which is traditionally from South Asia. An aromatic, long grain brown or white rice from India subcontinent. Basmati rice is nutty and fluffy. Use as you would regular long grain rice.
Basmati is a Sanskrit word meaning "fragrant". Basmati rice has been cultivated in the Indian Subcontinent for thousands of years and originates from North India and present day Pakistan. Basmati was introduced to the Middle East by various Indian traders. Through cultural exchange, it remains not only an important part of various Indian cuisines but now is also used extensively in Persian and other Middle Eastern cuisines. India continues to be the largest cultivator of this rice.
Varieties and hybrids:
There are several varieties of basmati rice. Traditional Indian types include basmati 370, basmati 385, and basmati Ranbirsinghpura (R.S.Pura). Pakistani varieties of basmati rice are PK 385, 1121 Extra Long Grain Rice, Super Kernel Basmati Rice and D-98.
Scientists at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Delhi, genetically modified basmati to produce a hybrid semi-dwarf plant which had most of the good features of traditional basmati. This hybrid was called Pusa Basmati-1 (PB1; also called "Todal", because the flower has awns); crop yield is up to twice as high as traditional varieties. Fragrant rices that are derived from basmati stock but are not true basmati varieties include PB2 (also called sugandh-2), PB3, and RH-10.