What would your day be like if it began with fluffy idlis or ghee soaked pongal? Your lunch box had tamarind rice and curd rice while the night meal got over with pongal. A common ingredient in all these mouth watering dishes is rice.
We would like to introduce some of the artisanal, organic heritage and non-hybrid rice grown in our 40 acre organic farm in Manjakkudi. All these varieties are nurtured in the rich, alluvial soils of the Kaveri delta. What’s more the lush fields are tilled with natural and organic manure.
* Iluppai Poo Champa: This quality gets its name because it has the fragrance of the Bassia Latifolia flower. Its consumption is set to improve red blood cell levels and also ameliorate breathing patterns.
* Kaatuyaanam: Can an elephant hide behind a rice plant? The tusker can certainly conceal itself behind Kaatuyaanam and hence the name. Kaatu meaning forest and Yaanam meaning elephant. This variety is cultivated mainly in the coastal delta region of Tamil Nadu. The plant grows up to seven feet. While pachyderms can be obscured, humans can benefit by consuming this grain as this rice type helps keep diabetes and arthritis under control, boosts immunity and also offers protection against skin problems.
* Kalajeera: This is the Prince of Rice is an aromatic variety that is semi-polished This rice type is believed to increase haemoglobin levels and body metabolism. This fragrant grain has antispasmodic, stomachic, carminative, hypolipidemic, antibacterial, astringent and sedative properties. Ancient text explains that Kalajeera improves memory and controls diabetes.
* Karuppu Kauvuni : Black rice called as ‘Kavuni Arisi‘ in Tamil, is a rich grain which has been grown in India since the Chola Period. With powerful disease-fighting antioxidants, this sticky texture, contains dietary fibre, anti-inflammatory properties, and has the ability to prevent diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and even weight gain.
* Kichili Champa: Also refered to as ‘Chitti Muthyalu’ (meaning small pearls) is an extremely fine and long grain rice, which was often used to prepare pulao and biryani. With a relatively low glycemic index of 50, it is a table rice that can be served every day.
*Mapillai Champa: As the name suggests this rice was given to the mapillai (bridegroom) . Cooked grains of this rice variety were soaked in water overnight before the wedding. In the morning, the bridegroom would drink the supernatant water of the soaked grains, which was full of enriching nutrients and prove his strength and valour by lifting a heavy boulder. This rice is said to improve digestion, cure mouth ulcers, and is suitable for people with diabetes. It increases hemoglobin count and is believed to fight cancer. This fibrous rice helps keep the mind and body alert.
* Thooyamalli: A traditional rice variety, it gets its name from its striking resemblance of jasmine buds. Thooyamalli is a tasty rice that strengthens the nerves in the body. Loaded with medicinal benefits, this grain delays the ageing of internal organs and keeps the mind active and the skin healthy.
Recommended cooking instructions
Cooking with an open pan
* Semi-polished hand-pound coloured rice: Soak rice for two to three hours before cooking. For one cup rice, add three cups of water.
* Par-boiled rice and brown rice: This variety does not require soaking. For one cup of rice, add three cups of water.
* Polished rice: It does not require soaking. For one cup, add 2.5 cups of water.
All grains are semi polished to retain the husk, which contains essential nutrients. These grains can also be cooked on a microwave, electric rice cooker or a pressure cooker.
(This is the second part of the three part rice series)