Gobindobhog rice is a special variety of rice cultivated in West Bengal. It is a short grain, white, aromatic, sticky rice with a sweet buttery flavor. It derives its name from its usage as the principal ingredient in the preparations of the offerings for Govindajiu, the family deity of Setts of Kolkatta. Traditionally cultivated in the districts of Bardhaman, Hooghly, Nadia and Birbhum, the rice has now spread to Bankura and Purulia as well. More and more farmers are moving to cultivate the Gobindobhog rice as it offers better productivity and fetches a better price in the market.
Around 80% of the rice gets consumed locally while 20% of it gets exported. Hyderabad is one of the primary markets for Gobindobhog rice outside West Bengal, as the finest quality of the rice makes for a great biryani ingredient. Festivities in Eastern and Northern India also see a rise for demand of this rice.
I tried it at home, it does not need any extra soaking or cooking time, it can be cooked just like normal white rice. It makes great Bengali dishes like Bengali Basanti Pulao, Chaler Pulao, Holud Mishti Pulao, etc.
The rice has a very good flavor, totally loved it. It actually feels divine, no wonder it is used for preparations for the deity.