Indic languages: sella rice

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by marrish, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu

    It's a long time there was no culinary thread so how about this:

    There is a variety of rice named ''sella'' and it is distingushed from the 'baasmatii' rice that it lacks the perfume and is yellowish. Here is a link to some pictures.

    You might easily figure out that I'm asking this question after having enjoyed a meal made of it.

    The baasmatii variety means ''perfumed'' but what does sella mean? Which language does this word come from?
  2. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    I have wondered what sella as a word means myself.

    You can buy brands of sella baasmati, so sella refers to how the rice is treated and not to the variety of rice. Sella means parboiled for processing---I mean this is what sella refers to, but I don't know the etymology of the word. It is very rubbery firm when cooked due to this processing. I don't know where you are located or if you will get this reference but it is like converted Uncle Ben's rice. I do not like it and find it flavorless---applying the sella process of conversion to baasmati strips away all the khushbuu.
  3. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thanks for your coming in, lcfatima SaaHibah! I thought you would know it. I have purchase a sack of this rice by mistake, I thought it was baasmatii, but the dishes are still very nice, very different I must say. Yes, it is a kind of baasmatii, as far as the visual effects are concerned, but it doesn't have the xushbuu! It was my big astonishment when I ate it for the first time.

    And here you are, us two wondering what it means and which language it is!
  4. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I think "sella" means "be-raunaqaa" or possibly, "maaNjhiyaa par be-savaadaa"!
  5. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I agree with all the translations you gave, QP SaaHib jii, but I got used to it since it was 10kg, it does have a taste of itself, good with meats but useless for a vegetarian dish. Did you taste it and why?
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    No, I have only tasted Uncle Ben's Rice. agar chachaa kaa zaa'iqah aisaa (buraa) hai to bhatiije kaa kuchh ziyaadah bihtar nahiiN ho saktaa !":)
  7. UrduMedium

    UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Isn't it selaa instead of sella? The only thing I can remember from my childhood home is that selaa was the rice of choice for zardah, while baasmatii for biryaanii.
  8. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    I hesitated from giving cooking tips in this thread, but if you are looking for a way to use up the bag of sella, I second UrduMedium Saheb's recommendation for using it in zarda or mutanjan (if that is cooked in your family). Since it is tough and rubbery, it works well for those dishes because it never breaks. Somehow it absorbs the sugar well, too. But in my opinion it is not good for other dishes because it doesn't soak in the flavors of gravies for biryani (though some cooks prefer it for biryani since it doesn't break easily) nor is it good for daily chaaval to be mixed with wet dishes while one eats as it doesn't lend itself to be mashed into a luqmah with the other food.

    Also, I think we are writing sella because that is how it is transliterated on the rice bags, but yes, it should be selaa.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  9. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thank you very much! But still we don't know what is this sella/selaa.

Share This Page