What is black rice?
You may have known black rice as magic rice or emperor’s rice through restaurant menu cards. But it is only recently that this rice has come to be known as one of the superfoods. So if you’ve been looking for a replacement for your white or brown rice, it’s time to rejoice because black rice is easily available in India.
Who knew that there could be a day when rice would be one of the healthiest foods on your plate? Well, the reason black rice is considered oh so nutritious is because this is the only rice that contains the antioxidant, anthocyanins. This is exactly what gives the rice its deep purplish-black hue and is also the same antioxidant that’s found in blackberries and brinjals. The difference here is that one spoon of black rice bran contains far more antioxidants than one spoon of blueberries/blackberries. Oh and it also means less sugar! It’s not called a superfood for nothing, after all.
More power to you
Antioxidants are extremely helpful in flushing out toxins from the body. Moreover, anthocyanins have the power to keep you away from heart ailments because they prevent the buildup of plaques in the arteries—something that can cause heart attacks. Black rice is also rich in dietary fiber, minerals as well as contains anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Black rice vs. brown rice and white rice
One of the biggest drawbacks of white rice is that the bran is completely removed from the rice, which takes all the nutrition away including the dietary fiber and vitamins. On the other hand, in brown rice only the outermost layer of the rice is removed, which makes it slightly better and nutritious. The reason black rice is the winning food here is because it gives you the nutrients that brown rice has in addition to antioxidants!
How to cook black rice
The flavour of black rice is a bit nutty and sweet, which makes it best for preparing desserts. It also works well when made in the form of a salad. Here are two recipes to try out with black rice…
Black rice pudding
What you need: 1 cup black rice, ½ cup sugar, 30 ml unsweetened coconut milk
Preparation: Boil the rice along with 3 cups of water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Reduce the heat to low. After 45 minutes, you will notice that the rice is cooked but still moist. This is when you must add the sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 ½ cups of coconut milk and boil it. Do this till this mix is thick, which should happen after 30 minutes. Remove the mix from the gas and let it cool while stirring occasionally.
Black rice salad
What you need: 2 cups of black rice, 1 ½ cups of basil leaves, ½ cup extra-virgin oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 3 ribs diced celery, 5 diced radishes and 1 cup chopped spring onions.
Preparation: Add 1 tablespoon salt and 3 litres of water in a container along with the rice and bring to boil while stirring occasionally until the rice is tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. While the rice is boiling, make a puree of 1 cup basil leaves with oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/3 teaspoon pepper in a blender. Tear the rest of the basil leaves in a bowl and stir with the dressing with rice and rest of the ingredients.
You can buy black rice from Amazon for ₹195