Basmati rice is commonly available at most grocery stores and is available in both white and brown varieties. Basmati rice needs to be soaked for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This allows the grains to absorb water and cook evenly without breaking. Basmati rice is traditionally cooked by boiling it in water. It is a long-grain rice that is characterized by a light nutty flavor and floral aroma, and it's popular in rice pilaf and as a side dish for curry. Rice is generally classified by size into three groups�long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain. Basmati shares the long-grain group with jasmine rice and American long grain.