Few days back, Sabina of Edelman India Private Limited, approached me to know, if I would be interested in reviewing their client StarBazaar’s products. Star Bazaar is one of India’s leading hyper market chains and is a part of one of the most reliable group, The Tata ! And since I visit Starbazaar’s outlet frequently, I was curious to know about their launch of exclusive private label products, ranging from Basmati rice, cow ghee, Jam, to cornflakes, tea, tomato ketchup etc. I was particularly interested to try out their Basmati rice and cow ghee. I often feel disappointed with the quality of so called premium basmati rice of many popular brands, due to the absence of that lingering aroma when cooked, and also for the lack of the intense, fragrant, nutty flavors of true basmati. To my horror, there had been times, when the so called Basmati rice ended up in goeey sticky mass. The real basmati rice is supposed to be slightly dry in texture, containing more Amylose starch ( one of the two types of starch present in rice that determines the texture of cooked rice) that helps it retain its fluffiness when steamed/ boiled and has the unbeatable aroma that fills up your kitchen when you are making your favorite pulao or biryani or even plain steamed rice using good quality basmati.
So I accepted their invitation to review the Star Savera Basmati rice and Cow ghee.
Within few days, I received neatly packed Star Saver Tibar Basmati rice, along with Star Cow ghee.
As per the specifications provided by Star Bazaar, here are some more facts that you would like to know about Star Saver’s Basmati Rice:
- Processed using state-of- art Technology that retains its important nutritive value.
- Inspected under strict quality guidelines.
- Processed using top quality paddy.
- Delectable aroma.
- GMO (Genetically Modify) Free.
- Good length of the grain after cooking.
- Processed in facilities that conform to the world-class standards.
I strictly followed the cooking instructions given on the pack and made a vegetable pulao using Star saver’s Tibar Basmati rice. When the rice began to boil, I noticed that the boiling liquid was bit ‘starchy’. Dubious thoughts came to my mind regarding the final texture of the Pulao, considering that noticeable amount of starch could impart the sticky texture instead of fluffy, separated grains expected, when one cooks with Basmati. But thankfully the end dish came out perfect, a nice aromatic, flavorful pulao, with long, slender, unbroken, fluffy, delicately curved grains of rice.
Here is the recipe of vegetable Pulao:
- Basmati rice 2 cups
- GInger garlic paste 2 tsp
- Bay leaf 1
- Black cardamoms 2
- Cloves 4
- Green cardamoms 2
- Cinnamon ½ inch piece
- Star anise 1
- Yogurt 2 tbsp (or use 2 small tomatoes, blanched and pureed)
- Salt to taste
- Coriander powder 1 tablespoon
- Turmeric powder ½ teaspoon
- Garam masala powder ½ teaspoon
- Kitchen King Masala ¼ tsp
- Kasoori methi 1 tsp (Or use ¼ cup of fresh fenugreek leaves and saute it along with vegetables)
- Fresh mint leaves 9-10
- Oil 2 tbsp
- Milk ½ cup
- Onion, peeled and sliced
- Button mushrooms 5-6, cleaned and sliced
- Carrot 1, peeled and diced
- French Beans 3-4, cut into 1 inch slants
- Baby corns 3, cut into small pieces
- Shelled peas (As many preferred)
- Cauliflower florets 5-6, blanched in salted water
- Green Capsicum 1, diced
- In a thick bottomed pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and when it is hot, add bay leaf, followed by other whole spices; cloves, cardamons, cinnamon, star anise, at intervals of few seconds.
- Add sliced onion and ginger garlic paste and saute till translucent. Starting with mushrooms, keep adding at intervals, other vegetables in the order of their required cooking time.DO NOT ADD CAPSICUM AT THIS STAGE. Do not overcook the vegetables.We just need to saute them to enhance their individual flavors.
- Now add curd and cook on high heat for few minutes. Add salt and remaining spices like turmeric, coriander, garam masala, kitchen king, kasoori methi and mix well. Add ½ cup of milk and 3 and half cups of water, and finally add soaked basmati rice. Mix very gently and cook till almost done. Add diced capsicum, and mint leaves and close the pan with a lid.Cook till done.
- Put off the flame and let the rice rest for few minutes. Gently fluff with a fork spoon and serve hot.
There were no visible broken grains, grit or any stone chips.The rice doubled up in volume and the length of grains grew significantly after cooking. Though the boiling water had substantial quantity of starch, the end dish was not at all sticky and the grains retained the fluffiness. Still to be on safer side I would recommend ‘draining rice before completely cooked’ method to get rid of starch, atleast when making plain steamed rice. Pleasant aroma, good flavors, and nice texture with pocket friendly price range, surely makes Star Saver Basmati rice a great choice when you want to pick a pack of basmati rice, to cook /savor/serve delicious biryanis and pulaos.
In case you wanted to know, the variety of basmati rice available under Star saver label, at all Star Bazaar outlets, here are the details:
Star Saver Basmati Tibar Rice 5kg
Star Saver Basmati Mini Mogra Rice 10kg
Star Saver Basmati Mogra Rice 10kg
Star Premium Basmati Rice 10kg (New Crop)
Star Regular Basmati Rice 10kg (New Crop)
Star Basmati Tibar Rice 10kg (New Crop)
Star Saver Basmati Dubar Rice 5kg