Glutinous rice (also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, biroin chal, mochi rice, and pearl rice, and pulut) is a type of Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. It is called glutinous in the sense of being glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten. While called “sticky,” it is not to be confused with the other varieties of Asian rice, which become sticky to one degree or another when cooked.
Sticky rice is, in many parts of Asia, the rice of the “common people”.
Glutinous rice does not contain dietary gluten (i.e. does not contain glutenin and gliadin), and should be safe for gluten-free diets. It is distinguished from other types of rice by having no (or negligible amounts of) amylose, and high amounts of amylopectin (those are the two components of starch). Amylopectin is responsible for the sticky quality of glutinous rice. The difference has been traced to a single mutation that was selected for by farmers.
Glutinous rice can be used either milled or unmilled (that is, with the bran removed or not removed). Milled glutinous rice is white in colour and fully opaque (unlike non-glutinous rice varieties, which are somewhat translucent when raw), whereas the bran can give unmilled glutinous rice a purple or black colour. Black and purple glutinous rice are distinct strains from white glutinous rice. In developing Asia, there is little regulation. Governments have issued advisories about toxic dyes being added to colour adulterated rice. Both black and white glutinous rice can be cooked as grains or ground into flour and cooked as a paste or gel.