6 Reasons Why You Should Have Bamboo Rice
I was first introduced to bamboo rice or moongil arisi (Tamil), a few years back, in my cousin’s house. She had made a delicious kheer out of this grain (which I initially mistook for wheat since it tasted very similar to it).
This initiated me on a journey to learn more about this medicinal rice.
Bamboo rice is actually the seed that is produced by a flowering bamboo at the end of its life span.
It is considered to be a forest produce and in most places only the local tribals are given access and allowed to collect these seeds. Given the height and thorniness of the bamboo,this is no ordinary rice harvest!
For the cleanest collection, the area around the base of each clump of bamboo is cleared of debris, then smoothed down with a slurry of clay. When this has dried, the bamboo rice is gently shaken down onto the prepared surface and then gathered up to be cleaned and consumed.
Bamboo rice is not commonly available since their flowering pattern is highly unpredictable and it may vary from a few years to up to 100 years for a bamboo plant to flower.
6 Health Benefits Of Bamboo Rice
1. Studies conducted on the Kani tribes in Kanyakumari forests have shown that they consume Bamboo rice for its fertility enhancing properties.
2. Higher protein content than both rice and wheat.
3. Controls Joints pain, back pain and rheumatic pain.
4. Lowers cholesterol levels
5. Good source of vitamin B6
6. Has anti-diabetic properties
So How Is Bamboo Rice Cooked?
It can be cooked and consumed just like our regular rice. Bamboo rice has a nice chewy taste and is very similar to unpolished rice. It goes well with most Indian curries.
Wash and soak 1 cup of bamboo rice for 30 minutes. Then pressure cook with 2.5 cups of water for about 6 whistles and simmer for 10 minutes.
If there is any water still left, drain it and use it for soups or gravy since it is highly nutritious.
Below are a few simple recipes that you can try. The bamboo rice kheer was a huge hit with my younger daughter
Bamboo Rice Khichdi (pongal)
Bamboo rice : 1 cup
Moong dal : 1/3 cup
Water : 3 cups
Ghee : 1 tbsp
Pepper : 1 tsp
Cumin : 1 tsp
Ginger : 1 tsp finely chopped
Cashew : 5-6
Curry leaves : 4-5
Hing : a pinch
Salt : as needed
- Wash and soak the bamboo rice for 30 minutes. Pressure cook the mixture of rice and dal in 3 cups of water for about 6 whistles and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add salt and hing to the cooked rice. Heat ghee in a kadai and fry all the remaining ingredients in the order given. Add them to the rice and mix well.
- Serve hot with coconut chutney.
Bamboo Rice Kheer
Bamboo rice : 1/4 cup
Milk : 1/2 L
Sugar or coconut sugar : 1/2 – 3/4 cup as per your preference
Coconut milk thick : 1 cup
Ghee : 1tsp
Cashew : 4-5
- Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Pressure cook in 3/4 cup of water for 6 whistles and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Boil milk in a thick bottomed vessel. Add the cooked rice to it and continue heating till the milk is reduced to half its quantity.
- Add the coconut sugar and coconut milk. Continue heating for another 10 minutes.
- Fry the cashew in ghee and add to kheer.
- Serve hot or cold.