Go Red When It Comes To Rice

Make this rice a part of your everyday diet for its nutty flavour and nutritional value

Mohini Mehrotra Updated: Aug 10, 2020 13:47:48 IST
Go Red When It Comes To Rice Red rice (Photo: Shutterstock)

With thousands of varieties grown worldwide, rice continues to be a staple food for millions of people. In India alone, there are about 6,000 varieties, but it’s the polished white rice that finds the most buyers.

Of late, however, more and more people have been embracing the colourful, indigenous varieties for their nutritional benefits. Red rice, in particular, has been a favoured choice among many. Here’s what makes it a valuable addition to your everyday diet:

The ancient one

Red rice finds a mention in ancient Indian texts as far back as 1000 BC—apparently, a variety of red rice was considered so sacred that its pap was offered to Lord Indra. It also finds a place in Ayurvedic texts for its anti-inflammatory and medicinal values. 

What is red rice?

Red rice is a variety of un-hulled or partially hulled rice, with the bran and the germ intact. The colour of the bran ranges from light to dark red, depending on where it is grown. Do not process or remove its husk, as it will lose both its colour and health benefits. Red rice owes its beautiful colour to anthocyanins, which are also known to have antioxidant and other health-benefiting properties.

All in the husk

Experts are always on the lookout for foods with antioxidant properties, low glycaemic index and high mineral content to combat ailments like obesity, diabetes, heart diseases and cancer. Red rice ticks all the boxes here. Not only does it contain polyphenols and anthocyanins, its zinc and iron content is also 2-3 times higher than that of white rice. It is also high in fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium, selenium, among other nutrients, making it a power-packed food.

Cook with it

Because of its lovely nutty flavour, this rice lends itself well to a lot of preparationsā —whether it be South Indian dishes such as dosa, sambar and appam or even as a simple dal-khichri. It can also be used as a replacement for white rice in preparations such as Mexican burrito or in Asian fried rice or as a base for a healthy salad. That’s not allā —go ahead and try a delicious kheer or a Thai red-rice pudding.

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