The A to Z of Rice Types in Pakistan

Exploring Varieties, Tastes, and the Farmers’ Triumph Over Nature

Rice, the heart and soul of Pakistani kitchens, comes in a delightful array of varieties, each with its own story, flavor, adaptability, and a side of broken rice.

From the familiar Basmati to the versatile PK-386, let’s take a flavorful journey through the landscapes, tastes, and uses of these everyday grains that grace our tables.

1. Basmati Rice: Fragrant Magic from Fields to Feast

Where It Grows: Picture the golden plains of Punjab and parts of Sindh, where Basmati reigns supreme. Places like Sheikhupura, Hafizabad, Kasur, and Narowal nurture this fragrant beauty.

Weather It Loves: Basmati enjoys a bit of drama – a subtropical climate with humidity during the monsoon and dry spells during harvest.

Yield per Hectare: On average, the fields yield 2 to 2.5 tons per hectare of these aromatic, slender grains.

Broken Rice Percentage: Typically, Basmati rice has a low percentage of broken grains, around 5-7%.

Distinct Features:

  • Aroma and Texture: Basmati’s unique nutty or floral scent and long grains that cook up fluffy and separate.
  • Culinary Magic: A star in biryanis and pulaos, adding that extra aromatic touch to our festive meals.

Consumption and Export:

  • Kitchen Staple: Basmati graces our everyday and special-occasion meals, celebrating the essence of Pakistani cuisine.
  • Global Ambassador: Beyond borders, Basmati rice makes its mark, contributing significantly to Pakistan’s exports.

2. Super Kernel Basmati: Excellence in Every Grain

Where It Grows: In the heart of Punjab – think Gujranwala, Kamoke, and Sheikhupura – Super Kernel Basmati defines excellence.

Weather It Loves: Much like its Basmati cousin, it thrives in a subtropical embrace.

Yield per Hectare: With a yield of 2.5 to 3 tons per hectare, Super Kernel Basmati stands tall with its longer, premium-quality grains.

Broken Rice Percentage: Super Kernel Basmati maintains a low broken rice percentage, typically around 5-8%.

Distinct Features:

  • Extra Length: Super Kernel Basmati takes the Basmati legacy a step further with even longer grains.
  • Intense Aroma: An intensified aromatic profile, making every dish a sensory delight.

Consumption and Export:

  • Celebratory Elegance: Reserved for grand feasts and special gatherings, it graces our tables on joyous occasions.
  • Global Prestige: Super Kernel Basmati holds its own on the international stage, showcasing the best of Pakistani rice.

3. PK-386: The Go-To Grain for Every Pot

Where It Grows: PK-386 is the everyday hero, found in the diverse landscapes of Pakistan – from Faisalabad to Sahiwal and Toba Tek Singh.

Weather It Loves: PK-386 is a trooper, thriving in various climates with a moderate touch of warmth.

Yield per Hectare: Impressing with a yield of 3 to 3.5 tons per hectare, PK-386 caters to the everyday needs of Pakistani kitchens.

Broken Rice Percentage: PK-386 tends to have a slightly higher broken rice percentage, ranging from 10-15%.

Distinct Features:

  • Versatile Buddy: PK-386 adapts easily, becoming a reliable choice for a variety of dishes.
  • Balanced Medium Grains: A perfect balance that pleases palates across the nation.

Consumption and Export:

  • Kitchen Companion: PK-386 is a kitchen staple, making its way into everyday meals, meeting the diverse culinary needs of Pakistani households.
  • Global Contributor: Beyond local kitchens, PK-386 plays its part in Pakistan’s rice exports, showcasing its adaptability to the world.

4. IRRI-6: Resilient and Pocket-Friendly

Where It Grows: Thriving in areas like Sheikhupura, Okara, and Vehari, IRRI-6 is the resilient choice for farmers.

Weather It Loves: IRRI-6 laughs in the face of varying climates, making it a reliable companion for farmers facing unpredictable weather.

Yield per Hectare: Bringing affordability to the table, IRRI-6 yields an average of 4 to 4.5 tons per hectare.

Broken Rice Percentage: IRRI-6 often has a higher broken rice percentage, ranging from 15-25%.

Distinct Features:

  • Weather Warrior: IRRI-6 is the go-to in unpredictable climates, showcasing its resilience in the face of changing weather.
  • Affordable Palate Pleaser: With a pocket-friendly nature, it’s a common choice for households across economic spectrums.

Consumption and Export:

  • Common Fare: IRRI-6 graces everyday meals, providing an affordable and accessible option for households across Pakistan.
  • Global Friend: Beyond borders, IRRI-6 is a significant contributor to Pakistan’s rice exports, meeting the global demand for affordable and reliable rice.

5. IRRI-9 (KS-282): The Balanced Choice for Every Pot

Where It Grows: Cultivated in the warmth of areas like Gujranwala, Mandi Bahauddin, and Hafizabad, IRRI-9, or KS-282, brings balance to the fields.

Weather It Loves: A lover of moderate warmth and just the right touch of rainfall, making it a dependable choice.

Yield per Hectare: Striking the right balance, IRRI-9 offers a yield ranging from 3.5 to 4 tons per hectare.

Broken Rice Percentage: IRRI-9 generally has a lower broken rice percentage, around 5-10%.

Distinct Features:

  • Versatile Performer: IRRI-9 strikes a balance between yield and culinary quality, making it suitable for various dishes.
  • Medium-Grain Excellence: With medium grains, it enhances the overall dining experience.

Consumption and Export:

  • Everyday Star: IRRI-9 is a versatile choice for both everyday meals and special occasions, making it a popular option in households.
  • Global Harmony: Its balance of yield and quality contributes to the export market, showcasing its potential on the international stage.

6. D-98: The Sweet Indulgence for Dessert Delights

Where It Grows: Finding its niche in warmer regions like Khanewal, Multan, and Bahawalpur, D-98 adds a sweet touch to the fields.

Weather It Loves: Basking in the warmth, D-98 thrives in regions where the sun shines a little brighter.

Yield per Hectare: The yield for D-98 hovers around 3 tons per hectare, making it the sweet indulgence for dessert lovers.

Broken Rice Percentage: D-98 tends to have a moderate broken rice percentage, ranging from 10-15%.

Distinct Features:

  • Sweet and Short: D-98’s short-grain nature lends itself well to dessert applications, creating a pleasing texture in sweet dishes.
  • Dessert Darling: Its role in desserts, especially kheer, adds a distinct touch to local culinary delights.

Consumption and Export:

  • Sweet Harmony: D-98 is specifically used for sweet dishes, enriching desserts with its unique texture and flavor.
  • Local Sweetness: While not a major player in exports, its role in dessert preparations adds a distinct touch to local culinary exports.

7. Sella Rice: Nutrient-Rich Powerhouse for Biryani Bliss

Where It Grows: In regions with both high temperatures and water scarcity – think Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, and Sialkot – Sella rice is the nutrient-rich powerhouse.

Weather It Loves: Bring on the heat! Sella rice thrives in areas where high temperatures and water scarcity prevail.

Yield per Hectare: Boasting an average yield of 3.5 to 4 tons per hectare, Sella rice is a nutrient-rich powerhouse.

Broken Rice Percentage: Sella rice often has a lower broken rice percentage, around 5-10%.

Distinct Features:

  • Parboiled Goodness: The parboiling process enhances Sella rice’s nutritional content, making it a wholesome choice.
  • Biryani Bliss: Its firm texture and ability to absorb flavors make it a preferred choice for biryanis and other rice-based dishes.

Consumption and Export:

  • Local Favorite: Sella rice is popular in domestic kitchens, especially for festive occasions where biryanis take center stage.
  • Global Nutrition: Recognized for its quality and nutritional value, Sella rice contributes significantly to Pakistan’s rice exports.

8. KS-282: The Dependable Medium-Grain Choice for Every Pot

Where It Grows: Also known as IRRI-9, KS-282 is cultivated in regions with warm temperatures and moderate rainfall – districts like Gujrat, Sialkot, and Mandi Bahauddin.

Weather It Loves: Warm and just a touch of rain – that’s the sweet spot for KS-282.

Yield per Hectare: With a consistent yield ranging from 3.5 to 4 tons per hectare, KS-282 is known for its adaptability and reliable performance.

Broken Rice Percentage: KS-282 typically has a lower broken rice percentage, around 5-10%.

Distinct Features:

  • Consistent Performance: KS-282 is valued for its stability, providing farmers with a dependable choice for rice cultivation.
  • Medium-Grain Excellence: Its medium-grain texture enhances the culinary experience in a variety of dishes.

Consumption and Export:

  • Everyday Staple: KS-282 is a staple in many Pakistani households, used for everyday meals and special occasions.
  • Export Reliability: Its adaptability and consistent performance contribute to the export market, showcasing its reliability on a global scale.

In conclusion,

the world of Pakistani rice is a fascinating tapestry of flavors, adaptability, and the hard work of farmers facing ever-changing weather conditions.

Each variety, from the fragrant allure of Basmati to the reliable performance of IRRI-6, contributes to the vibrant culinary heritage of Pakistan, gracing our tables with diversity, delight, and even a sprinkling of broken rice.

So, let’s celebrate the grains that bring us together, one delicious dish at a time.

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Hi, I’m Dr. Tayyab Qazi

Dr. Tayyab Qazi with his Ph.D. (Japan), MBA (Pak), COM (Malaysia), is a Leadership Coach, Entrepreneurship Mentor, Tech Solutions Consultant, Business Doctor & Professor.

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