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The Secret Of...RICE

Rice (English)
Chawal (Hindi)
Arisi (Tamil)

The Good Grain:

Rice is a symbol of life and fertility - hence the tradition of throwing rice at weddings.

Most believe the roots of rice come from India in 3000 BC.

Rice has been part of the staple diet in several countries for thousands of years.

For centuries, rice was a standard of wealth and was often used in place of money.

Even today, rice is presented at the shrine as a gift to the gods.

Nutrition experts recommend we eat at least three servings of whole-grain foods like rice daily.

How is it grown?

Rice is a grain belonging to the grass family.

Rice is grown in a water field called a paddy and needs humidity and sun to grow. Rice finds most of its nutrients in water, so the plant does not remove nutrients from the soil.

It measures 2-6 feet tall and has long, flat, pointy leaves and stalk-bearing flowers which produce the grain.

The paddies of rice change from green to golden yellow to the familiar pale honey color of parched straw. These grains are known as rice, also known as "paddy" rice.

The grains are dried and with the process of milling the hull and various bran layers of kernel are removed, and the rice is polished, giving the resulting seed a bright, white, shiny coating.

Over 2000 varieties are cultivated world wide. One of the world famous rice is Basmati Rice cultivated in the foothills of the Himalayas in areas of high altitude.

Interesting Facts:

Rice is naturally fat free, cholesterol free and sodium free.

Rice is consumed by nearly one-half the entire world population.

More than 1 billion people throughout the world are actively involved in growing rice.

50% of world's rice is eaten within 8 miles of where it is grown.

Today, rice is grown and harvested on every continent except Antarctica, where conditions make its growth impossible.

Rice is the first food a new Indian bride offers her husband.

Rice swells to approximately 3 times the volume on cooking.

Goodness:

Vitamins:

Rice is the major source of energy in the diet, it provides valuable quantities of minerals as well as riboflavin and calcium. Brown rice has five times more Vitamin E and three times more magnesium.

Minerals:

Rice is a good source of minerals. Rice is enriched with thiamine, niacin and iron. Brown rice is rich in phosphorus which helps keep bones and teeth strong, and is essential for a healthy body.

Non-allergenic:

Rice is one of the few foods in the world which is entirely non-allergenic and gluten-free.

Digestion:

It is easily digestible making it a good choice for infants and people with wheat allergies or digestive problems. Whole-grain foods like Brown rice are important sources of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Studies suggest that eating more soluble fiber may reduce blood cholesterol levels.

Protein:

Rice is a fair source of protein containing all eight essential amino acids. Avoid boiling in excess water most of the nutritional value will be lost. Flaked rice or beaten rice is rich in carbohydrates and vitamins, retaining all the qualities of rice. Otherwise steaming may be considered preferable as the nutritional value is retained, along with the flavor, and the grains do not become "mushy".

Weight Reduction!:

In addition, diets rich in fiber are greater in volume and take longer to chew. As a result, high fiber diets may be more satisfying and may control food intake to help weight management. Studies have shown modest weight losses in obese people who increase their fiber intake.

No Expiry:

WHITE rice can be kept indefinitely in a cool, dry area. Cooked rice stays fresh for up to a week in the refrigerator, and can be frozen for up to six months.

How can you enjoy?

Rice may be steamed, boiled, baked or fried eaten in breakfast, lunch, dinner or as anytime snack.

Flaked rice needs hardly any cooking but only soaking, it is ideal for instant snacks or quick-fixes.

Try vegetable aval uppma,tamarind aval from our recipe section.

Puffed rice (pori/bhel) is another variation which is equally satiating and easy to consume and hence popular.

Variety rice spiced with different ingredients is a favorite dish in India.

Steamed rice can be enjoyed with all kinds of curries.

Enjoy rice in breakfast in several different ways - Try Try idly, dosa, uppma.

Rice flakes and cereals are very healthy breakfasts.

Rice payasam, sakari pongal, akaradaisal are festival time delights.

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