Filed on April 20, 2021 | Last updated on April 21, 2021 at 08.56 am
Look for the Thai Hom Mali Rice certification for the genuine one.
Thailand is famous for its jasmine rice, the fragrant white variety that turns soft and fluffy when cooked. But if the rice you find in stores in the UAE does not impress you with its aroma and tenderness, then you probably have not gotten your hands on the real deal.
The world's second-largest rice exporter allows only two of its finest varieties - Kao Dok Mali 105 and Gor Kor 15 - to use the name Thai Hom Mali, which stands for quality and authenticity. Grown once a year in areas in north and northeastern Thailand with suitable terrain and climatic conditions, its long slender grain is stark white like the jasmine flower and its unique scent reminds you of Pandan leaves. Thai Hom Mali has been consistently winning the world's best rice title at the World Rice Congress, the latest being conferred in December 2020.
No wonder then that rice producers have to go through an elaborate process to get the coveted Thai Hom Mali Rice certification. Stringent measures are in place to ensure that only genuine and authentic rice is allowed the right to use the green logo, which is a stamp of authenticity.
"Exporters must submit samples of Hom Mali to the Ministry of Commerce's Department of Foreign Trade, which will confirm that they meet the specific characteristics of Thai Hom Mali Rice using various testing methods including DNA test," explains Panot Punyahotra, Director of Thai Trade Centre Dubai. "Only then are the exporters allowed to use the Green mark for three years."
Even after the certification, the Department of Foreign Trade evaluates the stocks for export closely.
"For every shipment, exporters must send a sample to the Department of Foreign Trade for testing and certification," Punyahotra adds.
In order to ensure consistent quality, the department allows only registered rice exporters to use the green logo and makes sure all Thai Hom Mali Rice leaving its shores are packed and sealed in the country itself.
A perfect accompaniment to Thai curries, stir fries, grilled or braised meat and vegetables, and a favorite of chefs around the world, Thai Hom Mali Rice is nutritious, containing high fiber, vitamins B1, B2 and niacin, carbohydrates, and protein but without any gluten. It is also rich in minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorous.
Restaurants serving Thai cuisine around the world rely on Thai Hom Mali Rice to offer authentic taste. "If you want to cook real Thai food, you need real Thai Hom Mali Rice," says chef Chai Siriyarn, owner of the San Franciso-based Marnee Thai Authentic Siamese Cuisine.
For a taste of Thai cooking with the authentic Thai Hom Mali Rice closer home, head to Benjarong at Dusit Thani on Shaikh Zayed Road Dubai or Pachaylen Restaurant at Anantara Eastern Mangroves in Abu Dhabi among many others.
That might even encourage you to try your hand at some Thai cooking yourself. But be sure to buy Thai Hom Mali Rice with the green logo, which assures authenticity and quality.
Thai Hom Mali Rice is available at leading supermarkets and stores in the UAE including Carrefour, Spinneys, Thai Smile Supermarket and Thailand Foodstuff Store. Just look for the Green Logo for the real Thai Hom Mali Rice.