Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Whole Grains : Exotic Rice Blend

Clock wise: Brown rice, Wild rice, Parboiled rice, Red rice

Rice is the staple food for more than half of the humanity. Many cultures and civilizations are associated with rice. So significant of a grain, but is it nourishing our bodies? Coming from a state called as 'rice bowl of India', I grew up eating sona masoori rice my entire life. But recently ,If not late, I found an interesting fact about the rice I eat......It is just 'empty calories'. No nutrition whatsoever from that rice. I was surprised by the fact and did my research, I came up with some interesting facts:

1)Dehusked, unpolished rice grains(brown rice) are covered by the nutrient-rich bran and aleurone layers. Because these layers are rich in lipids they oxidizes rapidly when exposed to air, hence the grains turn rancid and untasty during storage.
2) Polishing, on the other hand, produces rice grains(white rice) devoid of the nutrients contained in the outer layers but not susceptible to changes in color, odor and taste.

Now this is a real fix!! If brown rice goes rancid and white rice is devoid of nutrition.......What is the the best alternative ? Shall we stop eating rice? I guess that is not an answer. Well there sets in the knowledge of our ancestors who knew it all and found an alternative ...Parboiled rice. Yes!! I am not kidding. What is parboiled rice? The three steps of parboiling – soaking, steaming and drying are generally achieved by soaking paddy in cold water for typically 24–48 h until the kernels are saturated. The soaked paddy is then boiled at c. 100 C for typically 1 h to obtain 80% gelatinized starch (Priestley, 1976a). The boiled paddy is sun-dried until the moisture content is reduced to c. 14%. Finally the dried grain is then milled.Parboiling rice drives nutrients, especially thiamine, from the bran into the grain, so that parboiled white rice is nutritionally similar to brown rice . Because of this, parboiling was adopted by North American rice growers in the early 20th century.The starches in parboiled rice become gelatinized, making it harder and glassier than other rice. Parboiled rice takes less time to cook, and the cooked rice is firmer and less sticky.
Now is there something like Indians (especially south Indians) over eating rice ? Well the answer is relative. There is always a factor called over indulgence. It would be beneficial if we include different grains in our diet.Try to eat different rice like red rice, brown rice, wild rice( not really rice) etc. often and replace white rice with parboiled rice.A research shows that Asians have larger pancreas and salivary glands in proportion to body weight than westerners, and these traits make us ideally suited to a grain-based diet.

Parboiled Rice - Usna chawal, Puzhungal arisi,Uppudu biyyam,Kusubalakki, Puzhangalari, Ubla hua chawal, Sidda chowl, Ukra chawl.

Exotic Rice Blend:

Exotic rice blend : Brown rice, Wild rice, Red rice

Long grain brown rice - 1/2 cup
Bhutanese red rice - 1/2 cup
Wild rice - 1/2 cup
water - 4 and 1/2 cups
a pinch of salt to taste.

Wash the rice, add water, cover and cook. It goes well with any curry. We just had it with ghee and vellulli karam for lunch today. Be Nourished!!!

Cooked Parboiled rice, Exotic rice blend


Sirisha Kilambi said...

Informative post on rice Swaroopa....The motley of rice varieties in the bowl looks good :-)

Siri said...

Wat a coincidence swaroopa, we were discussing about rice this evening and were planning to switch to brown rice for health reasons.. and here I see ur post.. neatly explained the same things we discussed at home couple of minutes ago.. :D.. :)

Dr T Chellathurai said...

Good Study on Rice habits.
We always take Pulungal Arisi.
Hope it is OK.
Best wishes
DR T CHellathurai and Prema


We get these rice varieties here,thanks for the information..!

Swaroopa said...

Hey Sirisha, thanx for the compliment.

Siri, I am glad it helped.

Dr TC thank u, Yes u r doing it the right way.

Rajeshwari, Yes we get these varieties here. u can find them in whole food stores.

Pooja V said...

This is such a n interesting post. First time here and i am loving it.

Anonymous said...

Hey Roopa,
Great going! This is some serious stuff you have put up here. I do have a question about the rice, I have been hearing about this "Red Yeast Rice"., seems like this is very good in lowering bad cholestorol, do you have info on this.

Once again, wealth of information. Keep up the good work!


Swaroopa said...

Hey Pooja, I am glad u like it. thanx 4 dropping by.

Vivek, thank u. Regarding red yeast rice...We get only red yeast rice supplements here in US. im not sure abt chinese stores.So, does red yeast fermented rice extract work? Yes, if it is fermented
in such a way that results in the byproduct monacolin K (lovastatin). Do
the currently available red yeast fermented rice extract supplements
work? Because of the judgment in favor of the FDA to consider the
monacolin K (lovastatin) component of red yeast rice extract a drug,
nutraceutical companies have had to change the way the red rice is
fermented. As a result, these supplements contain very minute, if any,
amounts of the cholesterol-lowering drug, lovastatin. Because of this,
the red yeast fermented rice supplements you see on the shelves would
not be effective and should not be expected to significantly lower
cholesterol levels. hope this helps.

kavita said...

Hi, First of all I want to Thank you for the wonderful blog.. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is also one of my favourite books..But being a vegetarian, I cannot follow most of the things that Sally recommends..

I also understand the importaance of soaking grains.. But I have no idea how to soak grains for making chapaties.. One idea could be to soak wheat for overnight, dry it in dehydrator and then grind it into flour for making chapaties.. But I dont have an oven or a dehydrator at home.. If I just leave the dough for making chaapati for 8 hrs at room temperature, it ferments.. do I really have an option??

How do you make wheat flour chapati and parantha..?


kavita said...

Hi Swaroopa, I saw your comment that you make chapati dough around 8 hrs in advance.. I want to understand how do you store the dough? Do you put it in the refrigerator? I want to know if the phytates chemical process happens at 4 degrees (refrigeration temperature) or not.. Because no where in the book Sally has metioned that she soaks grains and puts it in refrigerator.. she always socks grains with some acid in like like urd, whey or vinegar and leaves it at room temperature... so I am not sure if phytates digestion will happen when the dough has been refrigerated..

Please throw some light on this..

I also check the website


Really like it..though the recipes are not Indian, but can be adopted..


Anonymous said...

I consider this advice really important. Many thanks for the important info and observations you have therefore provided on this website. Keep writing!