Rice originated somewhere in South East Asia. 90% of rice cultivation is done in Asia, of which 31% in China, 21 % India, 18% Pakistan and remaining 30% contributed by Thailand, Indonesia, Burma and Japan. In India, although rice is grown in nearly all parts, it is chiefly grown in Assam, Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Punjab.
Botanically, rice is Oryza sativa (Graminea). It is an annual plant. Inflorescence is a panicle. Grains are surrounded by a brown coloured husk. Grains together with husk constitute paddy. There are two geographical races of Oryza sativa var. Indica (Indica rice) and var. Japonica (Japonica rice).
Japonica Rice vs Indica Rice
- Japonica rice grains are short, roundish, spikelets are awnless to long-awned, grains do not shatter easily, and have 0-20% amylose content.
- Indica rice grains are long to short, slender, somewhat flat, and the spikelets are awnless. Indica grains shatter more easily and have 23-31% amylose content.
- Japonica rice grows throughout the world in temperate and mountainous reasons. Cultivated in Japan and Korea.
- The kernel is two to three times longer than it is wide.
- It is the moist, sticky, bright white rice used in sushi—medium-grain rices are moister and more glutinous (sticky) than long-grain rices, and they are ideal for Mediterranean and Asian dishes that require stickiness, like risotto, paella and sushi.
- High Yielding
- Medium grain size / short grain size
- The two japonica varieties favored by the Japanese are akita komachi and koshihikari.
- Indica rice varieties grow well near the equator. They grow mostly in the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, central and southern China, and African countries.
- The kernel is four to five times longer than it is wide.
- When cooked, the rice is fluffy, with separate kernels.
- Low yielding
- Longer grain rice
- Basmati and jasmine are two well-known indica rices.