Lotus Foods is extending its line of exceptional heirloom, organic and specialty rices with an authentic Indian basmati – Dehraduni basmati. Dehraduni’s famed flavor, fragrance and elongation are what elevated basmati rice to one of the world’s most recognized and best-loved rices. Dehraduni basmati is a long slender, aromatic grain that almost doubles in length when cooked. The word “basmati” comes from the Sanskrit word for fragrant.
Dehraduni basmati is recognized as the “mother of all basmati.” It is a landrace, which means it is a locally adapted variety with a distinct identity of historical origin and lacks any formal crop improvement. Landraces are often genetically diverse and associated with traditional farming systems. They are closely associated with traditional uses, knowledge, habits, dialects and celebrations of the people who developed and continue to grow them.
Dehraduni basmati gets its name from the city of Dehradun, capital of the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, in the foothills of the Himalayas, where it has been grown for centuries on small family farms. However, in recent years, farmers have been abandoning the rice to get higher yields from hybrid rices. To counteract this trend, Lotus Foods is sourcing Dehraduni basmati from farmers who have adopted More Crop Per Drop™ (System of Rice Intensification) methods. With this method of organic rice intensification farmers can increase their yields 40-50 percent with 30-40 percent less water. And because they need 80-90 percent less seed than with conventional practices their actual yield is even higher and their production costs significantly lower. “Providing these innovative farmers with a market and organic premiums will make Dehraduni basmati production profitable,” says Ken Lee, Lotus Foods Co-Founder/Co-CEO. “We hope that consumers will join us in helping to preserve this traditional basmati and at the same time scale adoption and spread of More Crop Per Drop practices, which reduce women’s toil, conserve water and cut methane emissions.”
The company’s introduction of the Dehraduni basmati coincides with the launch of its “Do the Rice Thing” campaign, which will draw attention to the benefits of More Crop Per Drop growing methods for water and women. It will be available in bulk initially, and in both polished white and whole grain brown rice options.
Since 1995, Lotus Foods has been partnering in fair trade with small family farmers around the world who are growing rice more sustainably and preserving heirloom and specialty rices. Lotus Foods’ product line is unique in delivering consumers healthier, versatile rice and rice-based foods that respect their multiple concerns for the highest standards of taste together with social and environmental ethics.