Rice is among the most popular dishes in different parts of the world. It is often combined with a protein source and some vegetables to create a balanced meal for billions of people. Rice provides your body with essential and complex carbs.
Despite what many people may think, rice is not always white. There are different varieties, like yellow and brown rice.
Yellow rice gains its bright color from adding spices. It is simply white rice colored yellow. This is contrary to brown rice, which is naturally brown. This post will discuss everything about yellow rice and brown rice.
Table of Contents
What is Yellow Rice?
Yellow rice is a highly prized dish in various parts of the world. However, it is believed to originate in South America. This might explain why you come across this dish in various Latin American and Spanish meals.
Simply making yellow rice requires some white rice and a couple of spices, particularly turmeric, and saffron. If saffron is hard to get, turmeric alone can do the job perfectly.
In Spanish, yellow rice is known as “Arroz Amarillo.” This dish is easy to make and is considered rich in nutrients. Due to these reasons, the recipe found its way to many parts of Africa and Asia.
Yellow rice has an earthy and nutty flavor and a bit of heat. Such a thing makes this dish even more popular than the original white rice.
Yellow rice lacks the outer bran and germ. So, it is not the healthiest variety of rice, but it can give you carbs and some proteins. It is also a convenient meal for vegetarians and vegans. No need to mention it is fat-free.
The presence of turmeric and saffron adds more value to yellow rice. It has more vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium.
What is Brown Rice?
Brown rice falls into the whole grain category. This means it is not processed. Still, its hull is removed to make the rice edible. This outer layer does not affect the nutritional value of the grain. So, brown rice has all its fibers, and the germ is not removed. The lack of processing makes brown rice the healthiest variety of rice.
Despite all its benefits, brown rice is not fast to cook. Because of the fibers in its bran, it requires more cooking time. The bran is pretty resilient, and water can’t easily penetrate it. However, this issue can be fixed by soaking this rice for a couple of hours. This can make the bran more delicate and ensure a shorter cooking process.
Brown rice is helpful in adjusting the levels of blood sugar. So it is less risky for diabetes patients. Another great advantage of consuming brown rice is the lack of bad cholesterol. Brown rice contains a healthy combination of natural oils and fats.
What are the Differences between Yellow Rice and Brown Rice?
Looking at yellow and brown rice can instantly reveal their color differences. Aside from the color, the two varieties differ in nutritional value and taste. Here are some fundamental differences between yellow and brown rice:
Both yellow and brown rice come from the same plant. However, brown rice is the least processed version of rice. It only loses its outer hull. Yellow rice, on the other hand, is white rice. So, it is a processed version of brown rice. Yellow rice is free of germ or bran.
This might seem obvious, as the names say everything about the color. Yellow rice is yellow due to turmeric alone or with saffron. Brown rice has this color because it is the original color of the grain after removing its hull.
While there is a slight difference in taste between white and brown rice, yellow and brown rice show a more significant flavor difference, the addition of spices increases the earthiness of yellow rice. Additionally, it has an obvious heat due to the turmeric.
Brown rice tastes nutty and earthy, with a slight veggie flavor. If you use short brown rice grains, you can detect some sweetness. On the other hand, long grains of brown rice are somehow less sweet and have a bready flavor.
4. Cooking time
The cooking time is a primary distinguishing factor in the yellow rice vs. brown rice comparison. The vast majority of brown rice packs have the same cooking duration. But in general, it usually takes between 30 and 40 minutes. Yellow rice, on the other hand, takes a maximum of 20 minutes.
As a wholegrain, brown rice contains many fibers in the tough bran. So typically, water won’t be able to penetrate the bran quickly. Yellow rice does not have this bran, so it cooks faster.
5. Nutritional value
Brown rice is undoubtedly a total winner at this point. It is equipped with the highest nutritional value of all rice varieties. It has more fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Brown rice is rich in vitamin B complex, iron, zinc, and phosphorous. It is also a healthier choice for people with diabetes.
The presence of turmeric and saffron makes yellow rice a bit healthier than regular white rice. Turmeric has proven anti-inflammatory properties.
This makes consuming yellow rice good for immunity, the brain, and weight control. However, it is recommended to consume yellow rice moderately, as it is not the best thing for regulating blood sugar.
Yellow and brown rice should not be used interchangeably in many recipes. For instance, South American recipes use yellow rice in popular dishes such as tamales or beef tacos. Also, dishes like roasted veggies and potato soups go along just fine with yellow rice.
Brown rice, on the other hand, is commonly used in seafood recipes. It also goes along with the stuffed turkey. Generally, brown rice is more widely used in Asian cuisine.
Yellow Rice vs Brown Rice: are they the same?
No, Yellow rice and Brown rice are not the same rice. They come from the same crop, but brown rice is not as heavily processed as yellow rice. Brown rice is only free of the outer hull, which does not play a huge role in its nutritional value or color. So, brown rice is naturally brown and rich in nutrients.
Yellow rice is nothing but white rice that is cooked with turmeric and saffron. So, the color comes from adding the extra spices. Brown rice is a healthier choice for anyone, whereas yellow rice is faster to prepare. The difference in taste is not a big deal, but spices add a slight heat and more earthiness to the flavor.
So, depending on your taste and health priorities, you can choose yellow or brown rice. Remember that many recipes work best with one of them and will be different with the other.