Just last week one of my' morning-walk friend' gifted me this rare variety of rice called Manipuri Black Rice."Make payas (rice n milk pudding) for kids" ,was her advice.I have been living in North East India for more than 25 yrs ...this part of India is blessed to have varied kind of rice .This rice grain when dry looks black in color. In closer look "black" rice isn't really black at all. After soaking for a few hours, the water turns into a deep burgundy, showing the rice's true colors.Here in this picture you can see that.Let me share few more interesting facts about this rice..
It is considered to be both food and medicine in Manipur.The Rice gets its dark purple color because it is rich in anthocyanins, which act as powerful antioxidants.The rice contains more vitamin B, niacin, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc than white rice.This grain is high in fibre and has got a sweet and slightly nutty taste.It as an unmilled rice, meaning the the fiber-rich black husks of the rice are not removed. It is also known as 'Forbidden rice' in some parts of the world.“Forbidden Rice” probably originated in the royal court of China, when the unique grain was consumed by the emperor and his chosen favorites.
The unusual color makes black rice very popular for exotic desserts, and the high nutritional value is an added benefit.Like other unmilled rice, black rice takes longer to cook than traditional husked rice. Rinsing and soaking the rice before cooking helps to bring the cooking time down.I soaked it for nearly three hours before preparing kheer/payas .The idea to blog about it popped only after i soaked the rice,i wish i had a picture of the dry grains too.First i cooked soaked rice with little water for about ten minutes,later i added milk and sugar.The milk turned purplish the moment it touched the pan.Another fifteen to twenty minute of constant stirring and this yummy pudding was ready to be served.My kids are so fond of this one that i never get any chance to garnish it,to be frank i prefer it without any nuts and raisins because it has got a very distinct taste of its own.
__________________________________________________________________An article by Kavita who blogs at My Room