Basmati Rice and Calories

The Curry Focus office has received several emails about calories in rice since we introduced the feature of showing the calories in curries in the website.

Over half of the curry recipes now show the calories and we are working through the backlog so that all of the recipes give these details.

We are being asked the calories in rice is higher on the Curry Focus website than shown on packaging in supermarkets?

Our research shows that there are about 640 calories in a cup of uncooked rice whereas there are about 200 calories in a cup of cooked rice.

When rice is cooked in water, it swells up. It really swells up. So a cup of cooked basmati rice has water and less rice than a cup of uncooked rice. Less rice means less calories (there are no calories in water).

And, depending on the rice and cooking time, for the same weight, a cup of uncooked rice has between 3 and 4 times the amount of rice than a cup of cooked rice (closer to 3 times than 4).

Some supermarkets and shops sell rice in packaging that shows the calories in measures of cooked rice. After all, people don’t eat uncooked rice.

It all seems a bit confusing but all that you need to remember is that an average portion of cooked basmati rice has around 200 calories.

Of course, a lot of people are moving away from using rice and are eating “cauliflower rice” instead. Cauliflower rice is just grated cauliflower florets. They taste great and have a lot fewer calories than actual rice with around 70 to 80 calories for each serving (as compared to around 200 calories for actual rice). You can see some recipes for cauliflower rice in the Paleo recipes.

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