Have You Tried These GI-Tagged Indian Rice Varieties?
Image Credit: Shutterstock, GI tagged rice of India

India is known for lot varieties products which are very exclusive to region or state. and since they are exclusive to certain places, most products take pride in getting GI or “Geographical Indication” tag certified. The GI tag is provided for a particular geographic origin and the qualities or status because of that origin. The purpose of GI is that there is no scope for misuse as the tag gives the product and the producer the legal rights to restrict to make exclusive.  GI tag also helps to boost tourism as the products attracts a lot of people from all over the world. 

Be it the rice or a sweet or chilli GI tags helps to identify that the product coming from a specific place.

Here’s the list if registered GIs of rice in India 

Basmati Rice– Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir

There would be barely who has not eaten a good flavourful basmati. Basmati in Sanskrit means “perfumed” or “fragrant” happens to be long-grain aromatic rice. Basmati gets it’s name also from the region it’s like  ‘Taraori’ basmati and ‘Dehraduni’ basmati and so on. 

Kala Namak rice– Uttar Pradesh

This rice also know as Bhuddha Rice as this is a rare, ancient and aromatic rice Siddharthnagar district, Uttar Prades, formerly the land of Lord Buddha- Kapilvastu, the Kalanamak cultivation almost dates back to 600BC. This one has been in cultivation since ages and has been much popular in the Himalayan Tarai region of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Also known as scented black pearl, this rice is a non-basmati rice with short to medium grain length. Aroma of Kalanamak rice is said to be the gift of Buddha which is much stronger than all Basmati varieties.  Kalanamak known for its unique aroma, today the farmers earn almost around Rs 115- 120 /kg.

Gobindobhog rice and Tulaipanji rice – West Bengal

Gobindobhog the small size is aromatic rice was awarded GI in 2017. Cultivated during the kharif season in the Burdwan district, this one sees whitish kernels that taste creamy sweet and has a much good fragrance. It is. As the cooked rice is offered to Lord Krishna (Govindji) hence the name Gobindobhog. 

Source: Shutterstock 

While the Tulaipanji rice happens to be another soft and aromatic rice from the state. the fragrance remains for almost a year. Once cooked the rice is is whitish-yellow, non-sticky, and slender.

Chak-Hao rice– Manipur

Also known as Manipuri black rice Chak means rice and Hao means delicious. Aromatic, sticky, this one is pitch black in color. Mostly used during ceremonial feasts, this one is also used to make rice pudding aka kheer. Being high in anthocyanins it is also a potent antioxidant

Ambemohar rice and Ajara Ghansal – Maharashtra

‘Ambemohar’ means mango blossom as the rice has the aroma of mango blossoms. This one is short cooked and much delicate and can easily break This rice was given the GI tag in 2016 and the production cost is high for this one. 

The Ajara Ghansal is farmed in Ajara Taluk for many generations as long as 100 years. Ghansal gets its name from words “ghan” which means fragrance, and “sal which means gracefully thin. It was awarded the GI tag in 2016.

Katarni rice– Bihar

This short-grain with a distinct-tasting and  aroma, Katarni is s prized for its flavor and aroma when cooked. The word translates to “sewing awl with a hook at the end.” It’s best known for its sweet, soft, and fragrant cheura (beaten rice). This one is also readily digestible.

Navara rice, Kaipad, Pokkali rice, Gandhakasala, Wayanad Jeerakasala and Palakkadan– Kerala

Navara also known as “Sastika rice.” The unpolished type is mostly used in many Ayurvedic therapies. This one finds a mention even in Ayurvedic texts as is said to be sweet in flavor, cool in potency, easily digestible, stimulating, and offering stability. 

While the Palakkadan/Kerala rice which is also called as Rose Matta rice, is specially grown in Kerala’s Palakkad area. Mosty used for Idli, Appams, this one sees a much strong and earthy flavor. This one is rich nutrition and fiber content

Also the Pokkali rice grows in the Kerala’s coastal districts of Alappuzha, Ernakulam, and Thrissur. This single-season paddy has the ability to survive in adverse climatic conditions, Pokkali is known to have therapeutic effects

Joha rice, Boka Chaul rice and Chokuwa rice–Assam

Widely farmed in the Garo Hills, The Joha rice aka “Winter rice”, “Jaha” rice, or “mi Jaha” locally sees a delicate surface, it is high in amino acids, proteins, calcium and more. It sees a sweet smell and has wonderful cooking qualities, and sees brilliant taste. 

While the “bokasaul”, or “mud rice,” that got GI designation in 2018 is typically served with curd, jaggery, milk, sugar or more. The speciality if this rice is that is doesn’t need to be cooked it, only adding it to water will make it edible. This one sees a lot of fiber and protein.