The Real Basmati Rice Company sources rice from single estate farms that we know, and that share our love of keeping it ‘real’ and doing things right.
Our search for beautiful basmati showed us that the trend in lots of the farms in India and Pakistan pool together their harvests and sell them as a commodity at auctions, making it hard to know where the rice has come from or how it’s been farmed. And that’s not for us.
Then we found Gujrat, a small area in Pakistan known as the ‘The Punjab’. After making contact and visiting a few of the small farms, we quickly realised we’d found something really special.
It was like stepping back in time. Traditional methods, obsessive care and attention, a slower process, infused with dedication and passion. Generations of farming by hand, people smiling as they work, enjoying living off the land, and knowing that their simple, traditional methods might seem crazy to many farmers, but that when you taste their rice, you’ll realise it’s everyone else that’s crazy for not doing it this way.
A bit like shopping for a wedding outfit, this was the first farm we visited…we visited plenty more, but just had to go back.
We learnt so much about the region and their slow farming heritage. Traditional farming has been at the heart of the Gujrat region for centuries, sustaining generations of farming communities.
There was such as strong sense of community in the villages within Gujrat, like Kala Kamala and Gratia.
Gujrat is an ancient city, between two well-known rivers of Jhelum and Chenab – this is what makes the land ideal for rice farming – and why it’s such a strong source of income for the people of Gujrat.
Aslam Farm is a family estate, they live, work, eat and do everything together, a shared sense of achievement – and we think this is one of the many reasons the quality of their rice is so high. In fact, all their rice is dried for a minimum of 12 months, which adds to the quality (no one likes soggy rice).
It’s a labour of love for these farmers. And for us, it was a joy to be able to share that with them. We think (and hope) you’ll enjoy eating it as much as we enjoyed being able to bring it to you.