Here’s How Rice Can Make You Stronger? Celebrate Magic Of Traditional Rice.
Rice is one staple food that receives constant bully from modern Nutritionists and Doctors and is always projected as a villain in the market.
“Please Avoid Rice and Walk for 30 minutes daily” is a common dialogue which most doctors say when we visit them with any signs of diabetes or obesity-related troubles.
Although partially it may be accepted to compensate for the sedentary lifestyle in today’s modern world, the South Indian or Rice Eating Heart never accepts this. It keeps asking how did my Patti or Ajji(Grand Mother) live for 100 years.
I caught your mind!! It’s very simple to understand the actual Villain is not Rice but the polished hybrid breed which is a mere starch source and not so friendly for healthy living in long run.
It is not the case if the medicine rich traditional non-hybrid variations of rice rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins are consumed in your daily diet. This is how our ancestors were happily living hitting century.
Let’s check out some traditional rice which is not merely STARCH or CARBS!! But has lots of vitamins, minerals like calcium, potassium and also protein and fibre.
Traditional varieties available
A few years back my friend Lakshmi showed me rice that was black in colour, I could not imagine rice that exists in black colour. I realized my ignorance and limits of imagination of diverse rice variations in this country. These Rice are called Forbidden Rice in ancient times and was only accessible to the royalty. Of course, now anyone could walk into organic stores or order online.
Black rice in India is grown in the states of northeast, Odisha, West Bengal, Tamilnadu and Jharkhand. It is commonly eaten in Manipur because of its medicinal value. This rice has its signature purple colour from a pigment called anthocyanin.
- Karuppu Kavuni Rice is a very popular black rice grown in Tamilnadu. It is mostly used to make a sweet dish, payasam(Kheer) and the rice flakes are used to make Aval Upma which is similar to Poha. Chettinad Special sweet of Karaikudi is a must desert in all marriages or functions.
- Chak-Hao is the delicious rice of Manipur and is popular at every feast. These rice are aromatic and nutritious.’Uton Chak’ is a special dish cooked in bamboo tubes which is a royal feast in various ceremonies.
- Kalo Dhaneer Chaal again literally means black rice in Bengali. Desserts are made out of it. These Rice with husks contain high Vitamin E and boost immunity.
Himalayan Red Rices, Rakthashali, Navara, Palakad Matta Rice are highly nutritious and holds medicinal properties.
The red colour can vary from lighter tone to darker deep maroon colour
Karunkuruvai, Kattuyanam Rice from Tamilnadu is rich in calcium and phosphorous is given to people who need to gear up their health post any ailments.
Mapillai Samba is called ‘Bride Groom Rice’ which revolves around a story of a Prince winning a Princess by deadlifting a round stone overhead. He is believed to have eaten Mapillai Samba to get the required strength. This Rice is especially given to the newlywed groom for increased vitality and strength.
Thooyamalli Rice from Tamilnadu has a mild fragrance upon cooking and we can make soft idli or Kozhakattai (steamed rice balls) with the same.
Krishna Kamod is scented rice from Gujarat. The grains with husk has a purple tint but the rice is whitish in colour.
Jeeraga Samba or Seeraga Samba Rice smells mildly like Cumin seeds called Jeera/Jeeragam and is mostly used for making biryani. The famous food chain of Tamilnadu DIndukal Thalapakatti Biryani uses this Rice for making Biryani.
The list goes on with the most popular and internationally recognized ‘Buddha’s Gift’ Kala Namak Rice with a GI(Geographical Indication) tag, Bihar’s Katarni and Orrisa’s Kalajeera.
Where were these Magical Medicinal Food varieties so far?
When the Green Revolution was implemented in the 1960s the government focused on eradicating the food shortage across the country by focusing on the distribution of high yielding seeds of wheat and rice. Although this has worked out well to handle famine or drought situations, it of course impacted the production of other food crops and indigenous seed varieties. There were more than a lakh of rice varieties a few decades back and now we may have about ten thousand variations across India.
Why are they different?
High Nutritional Value for Consumer
- Mineral Bank – Black rice contains more Vitamins B and E, niacin, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc compared to white rice. It is rich in fibre and the grains have a nutty taste. The anthocyanins not only act as antioxidants but also activate detoxifying enzymes.
- Rice with Protein! – As per the laboratory results published by CIKS(The Centre for Indian Knowledge Systems), the variety ‘Karunguruvai’ is highly valued by the Siddha physicians has a high content of protein, fat and phosphorous
- Calcium Bombs for Pregnancy and Lactation care –Kuzhiyadichan rice is rich in calcium and is recommended for women.
- Low Glycemic Index and Weight loss secrets – Kullakar Rice has high fibre and low glycemic index and is very effective for weight loss.
The Benefits of this Indigenous rice are mentioned in Ayurvedic and Siddha literature for healing many diseases.
Low Maintenance and Happy farmer
The maintenance cost involved in growing these variations is very minimum and the crops are generally resistant to pests, diseases, droughts and floods.
Eco Friendly and Sustainable
Heritage rice does not exploit natural resources and can grow itself without any external synthetic manure or pesticides. This way growing them creates a sustainable ecosystem around that area.
How to use them?
Many find it challenging to start their fitness meals using these heritage rice in daily diets since they have remained alien for decades and the knowledge of using them remains hidden.
Rice Flour, Rice Flakes, Raw Rice, Boiled Rice, Rice Rava(Noi Arisi in Tamil) are some of the forms we innovatively or traditionally make uncountable dishes.
Idli and Dosa are the most popular dishes made of Rice.
Kanji or Porridge with milk or water thickened to desire consistency and topped up with favourite nuts can be an easy breakfast recipe. The same thing can be done with Rice flakes which come in the interesting colour range of grey, red, purple and brown.
Honestly, most of the Rice may not support the comfort expected of the modern world as table rice for gravies or sambhar. In that case, spicy steamed balls or sweet jaggery steamed balls (Kozhakattai or modok versions) are delicacies to try as evening snacks.
In general, any rice recipe can be replaced with this rice and tried out. Suma who is a doctor recently tried making Idiyappam or Shavige with Ottadaiyan Rice known for strengthening bones. Same Shavige was used to make spicy Shavige Uppitu.
My personal favourite is Black Rice Poha which tastes heaven when prepared with spicy chilli, onion and lots of Coriander leaves.
To try out these Heritage Rice to enhance your health and become stronger by absorbing all nature benefits you can click on the link