Is Basmati Rice Gluten Free?


Gluten is a protein that is present in most wheat products, acting as the “glue” that helps hold wheat, barley, spelt, rye, semolina, and other grains together to maintain their shape. Gluten is mostly found in whole grains, but it is also in many processed foods. 

Numerous individuals in the world who have celiac disease and gluten intolerance cannot consume any food containing gluten, prompting them to have a gluten-free diet. This means searching for gluten-free versions of their favorite meals, including rice. 

Rice is a staple food all over the world, consumed by thousands multiple times a day. It is full of fiber, and carbohydrates, and can help reduce cholesterol levels. One of the most widely consumed types of rice is basmati rice, which is grown in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Basmati rice is used in rice dishes such as tikka masala, vegetable curry, chicken stew, and so much more.  

Is basmati rice gluten-free? Read on to find out. 

All About Basmati Rice

If you’re reading this article, chances are you already know what basmati rice is and what it’s used for, but a little refresher for everyone certainly can’t hurt! Before finding out the answer to “Is basmati rice gluten-free?” let’s get to know this grain first.

Basmati rice is a type of long-grain rice that is available in white and brown rice varieties. Best known for its use in Indian and South Asian cuisines, basmati is easily identified by its fragrance. It derives its name from the Hindi words “bas,” which means aroma, and “mati,” which means ‘full of,” and put together, it results in the meaning “full of aroma.” 

When cooked, basmati rice is extremely fragrant and has a light, nutty flavor. Many people like to consume basmati rice, as well as jasmine rice, because they have the least amount of arsenic across many rice varieties. 

Is Basmati Rice OK for a Gluten-Free Diet?

The aroma and taste of this rice lend well to many dishes. However, is basmati rice gluten-free? Yes, it is! 

Like other varieties of rice, basmati rice is naturally gluten-free. However, during the harvesting and processing, cross-contamination between basmati rice and gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, or rye can be possible. If you are extremely sensitive to gluten, it is best to buy a brand of basmati rice that has a gluten-free label on the packaging. 

Additionally, while basmati rice is gluten-free, what you serve with it can affect its status. In order to ensure that you are sticking to a gluten-free diet, other ingredients that you add to basmati rice must also be gluten-free. For example, adding soy sauce to your basmati rice dish will add gluten to it. 

Be also aware of buying basmati rice from bulk bins. Sometimes, scoops used in groceries don’t stay in their intended bins. To ensure that your basmati grains stay gluten-free, only buy packaged ones that are marked safe for a gluten-free diet.

Is Basmati Rice from India Gluten-Free?

Basmati rice primarily grows in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. As mentioned, basmati rice is gluten-free, like all other varieties of rice. 

Gluten-Free Basmati Rice Brands

Now that you know the answer to the question “Is basmati rice gluten-free?”, you should have no more worries about enjoying it! There are numerous basmati rice packages in supermarkets and groceries that have gluten-free labels on them. If you remain uncertain though, it is best to call the manufacturer to verify that no cross-contamination has occurred. With that said, here are the best gluten-free basmati rice brands:

  • Iberia Basmati Rice
  • Royal White Gluten-Free Basmati
  • Khazana Premium Basmati
  • Thrive Market Organic Basmati
  • VeeTee Basmati

Final Note

Enjoy a gluten-free diet with your favorite basmati rice-based dishes, knowing that it is safe for you to enjoy. One thing though, always make sure that the ingredients you use are also gluten-free. Avoid soy sauce, or any sauces with flour, and be aware of the ingredients that go into your favorite meals, basmati rice or not! 

Additionally, while most basmati rice packages will have gluten-free labels on them, it never hurts to double-check and verify with the manufacturer to ensure that they have made minimizing cross-contamination a priority. 

We hope that this little explainer on “Is basmati rice gluten-free?” helped you out! If you want tips on how to cook basmati rice perfectly, check this out!

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of rice is not gluten-free?

All types of rice are naturally gluten-free. However, it is possible that some may have cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains such as wheat, rye, or barley. Moreover, you should also make sure that any ingredient you add to a gluten-free dish is also gluten-free. For example, soy sauce and other sauces derived from flour contain gluten; if mixed with basmati rice, the dish isn’t gluten-free anymore.