Monthly Archives: March 2017

No debate on colour, black is the best.

The reports of an ever growing cosmetics market for skin whitening creams in India are abundant but this post is not about the cosmetics as I am a foodie and I will talk about food only. So you must be wondering how is the debate of colour applicable to food ?

Without any suspense, let me tell you that I am talking about the colour of rice today, yes you read it right, rice comes in various colours.

The common colours of rice are White and Brown but there is Red and Black.

rice_kernel- Healthy-Living.orgThe structure of rice grain shows some important parts like the Hull, Bran, Rice Germ and White Rice.

So firstly the key difference in a brown and white rice is that brown rice has only hull removed while white rice has the hull, bran and rice germ removed. The bran is brown in colour hence the brown colour of brown rice. Bran provides additional fiber when consuming brown rice while while same is absent in white rice.

The red or black colour of rice is due to presence of anthocyanin, a very powerful antioxidant, that gives the dark colour to the rice grain. Anthocyanin is also responsible for the dark red or purple coloured fruits and vegetables like dark purple eggplant, cranberries, blueberries etc.

White Rice:

White rice -alibaba.com Image Source: alibaba.com

The rice obtained after milling to remove hull, bran and rice germ and polished to give bright white and shiny appearance is white rice. Due to this white rice has higher storage life and less spoilage.

The milling and polishing processes both remove nutrients. A diet of unenriched white rice could cause neurological disease beriberi, due to a deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B1).

Brown Rice:

brown-rice-butterbeliever.com Image Source: butterbeliever.com

With just the hull removed, you get brown rice.  The rice is nutty flavor, and is chewier and more nutritious than white rice. Brown rice is good source of magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B6, and manganese, and is high in fiber.

Red Rice:

red-rice-wisegeek.comImage Source: wisegeek.com

The red rice has its colour due to presence of anthocyanin and it is eaten unhulled or partially hulled. It is has a red husk and nutty in flavour.

The anthocyanin is believed to have properties that can reduce inflammation and help in weight management. The manganese present in red rice helps in strengthening metabolism, while magnesium helps in migraine, lowers blood pressure as well as risks of heart attacks. Selenium present in red rice protects the body against infections.

Black Rice:

blackrice-amritawholesale.comImage Source: amritawholesale.com

Black rice or purple rice is more famous as ‘Forbidden Rice’ as it was only served to the royals in China and forbidden for the masses.

Black rice has a very high amount of flavanoid phytonutrients, a high source of fiber, substantial mineral content including iron and copper, and even a good source of plant based protein. The hull of the grain has one of the highest levels of anthocyanin antioxidants of any food. Its low sugar and glycemic content makes it an extremely desirable dietary option for heart patients, diabetics as well as for those with high blood pressure.

A quick comparison for every 100 gms serving of rice:

Polished White rice – contains 6.8 protein, 1.2 iron, 0.6 fiber.
Brown rice – 7.9 protein, 2.2 iron, and 2.8 fiber.
Red rice – 7.0 protein, 5.5 iron, and 2.0 fiber.
Black rice – 8.5 protein, 3.5 iron, 4.9 fiber, and the highest amount of anthocyanin (antioxidants) compared to other rice varieties.

So for a healthy diet, the best option is get the darkest colour of rice. Black is the Best !!

Rice cooking methods by removing starch:

For White Rice (1 cup):
  1. Wash rice thoroughly under tap water by gently rubbing the grains in between your fingers. This will remove the dirt as well as some of the starch. Repeat this process till water runs clear or if doing it in a pot then atleast change water 3 times.
  2. Soak the rice in 1.5 cups of water for 10 minutes.
  3. In a deep pan boil 3 cups of water and add 1/2 tsp of salt.
  4. Strain the rice and add to boiling water. Cook rice on a medium flame for about 5 -6 minutes.
  5. Once the rice starts to boil, a foamy and thick creamy liquid will start to float on top.
  6. Remove and discard this starchy foam with a laddle. Repeat this process for a couple of times until the starchy content will start to fade away.
  7. Allow the rice to cook until the water is reduced in quantity and rice grains start to float on top.
  8. Spoon out some rice and check the grain. The grain of rice should feel soft and tender.
  9. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully sieve it through a strainer.
  10. Run under cold water. All the starchy and cloudy liquid will wash away from the boiled rice. Wash for a minute and very gently run your fingers through the rice to wash away any remaining starch without crushing the grains.
  11. Let the water drain and then spread the rice on a plate and let it dry.
  12. Before serving, you can reheat rice in a microwave or steam the rice.
  13. To steam rice, add rice back to pan it was cooked, add 1/4 cup water, cover the pan and heat on low flame for 3-4 minutes. Do not stir the rice.
  14. Remove the pan from heat and let it sit undisturbed for 5-6 minutes.
  15. Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.
For Brown Rice (1 cup):
  1. Wash rice thoroughly under tap water by gently rubbing the grains in between your fingers. This will remove the dirt as well as some of the starch. Repeat this process till water runs clear or if doing it in a pot then atleast change water 3 times.
  2. Soak the rice in 1.5 cups of water for 30 minutes.
  3. In a deep pan boil 4 cups of water and add 1/2 tsp of salt.
  4. Strain the rice and add to boiling water. Cook rice on a medium flame for about 2 -3 minutes.
  5. Reduce the flame to low and let the rice cook.
  6. A foamy and thick creamy liquid will start to float on top.
  7. Remove and discard this starchy foam with a laddle. Repeat this process for a couple of times until the starchy content will start to fade away.
  8. Allow the rice to cook until the water is reduced in quantity and rice grains start to float on top.
  9. Spoon out some rice and check the grain. The grain of rice should feel soft and tender.
  10. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully sieve it through a strainer.
  11. Run under cold water. All the starchy and cloudy liquid will wash away from the boiled rice. Wash for a minute and very gently run your fingers through the rice to wash away any remaining starch without crushing the grains.
  12. Let the water drain and then spread the rice on a plate and let it dry.
  13. Before serving, you can reheat rice in a microwave or steam the rice.
  14. To steam rice, add rice back to pan it was cooked, add 1/4 cup water, cover the pan and heat on low flame for 3-4 minutes. Do not stir the rice.
  15. Remove the pan from heat and let it sit undisturbed for 5-6 minutes.
  16. Before serving, fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.