Abu’l Fazl, the sixteenth-century official chronicler of Akbar’s reign presented an account of the different varieties of rice around the Gangetic basin. Abul Fazal said that if a single grain of each kind of rice was collected, they would fill a large vase. The Mughal chronicler described the rice cultivated in Patna as being ‘rare and unequalled in quality’. The shali rice was popular and much in demand in Europe, while Indians preferred the shahpasand and basmati.
Being a favourite of the emperors, this grain was aptly named the Shah Pasand (King’s delight). A salt tolerant grain, it classifies as a mildly fragrant rice.