Compared to white rice, red rice has a high nutritional value and is rich in minerals such as zinc and iron. In reality, there are about 40,000 varieties of rice. But our knowledge is limited to a few very popular ones. Red rice hasn’t been discovered recently, but what certainly makes it popular are its health benefits.
Red rice gets its striking color thanks to an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is also found in abundance in acai berries. Red rice is a nutrient powerhouse and is known as Rakthashalior Matta rice or Kerala red rice due to its origins in Kerala. It is a nutritional powerhouse and also an integral part of Indian cuisine. Red rice is rich in antioxidants and fiber and can help lower cholesterol, improve digestion and more.
But what is the right way to cook red rice? Health Shots contacted Dr. Ushakiran Sisodia, Registered Dietitian and Clinical Nutritionist, Nanavati Max Super Specialty Hospital, Mumbai, to understand how to cook red rice, and some red rice recipes to help you prepare tasty meals with this rice variety.
How to cook red rice?
Cook red rice the right way with an easy 2-step method!
Wash and soak
Start by thoroughly washing 1 cup of red rice under running water until the water runs clear. This helps remove any impurities. Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
In a pot, add the soaked rice along with 3 cups of water. Let the water come to a boil and then turn the heat down. Cover the pan and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed. Let it sit for about 5 minutes and then fluff it with a fork.
5 simple recipes with red rice
1. Red rice pulao
Ingredients: Red rice, onions, tomatoes, green peas, carrots, beans, green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, cumin seeds and spices (turmeric, red chili powder, garam masala).
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• Start by frying the onions, followed by ginger-garlic paste and spices in some oil.
• Add the chopped vegetables and fry until lightly cooked.
• Mix in the soaked red rice, add water and cook until done.
2. Red rice khichdi
Ingredients: Red rice, yellow moong dal (split yellow gram), turmeric, cumin seeds, asafoetida and ghee.
• Heat ghee in a pot and temper with cumin seeds and asafoetida.
• Add the washed rice and dal mixture.
• Add water, turmeric and salt. Cook until soft and mushy.
3. Red rice salad
Ingredients: Boiled red rice, cucumber, carrot, tomato, lemon juice, fresh coriander, roasted peanuts, mustard seeds and olive oil.
• Mix cooked red rice with chopped vegetables. 4
• Season with salt and lemon juice. In a small pan, temper the mustard seeds in olive oil and pour over the salad.
• Garnish with roasted peanuts and fresh coriander.
Also read: The good, bad and ugly side of red rice, the new obsession for healthy eaters
4. Red rice biryani
Ingredients: Red rice, mixed vegetables (potato, peas, carrot, cauliflower), onions, tomatoes, yoghurt, biryani masala, ginger-garlic paste and fresh mint and coriander leaves.
• Prepare a masala base with onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste and yogurt.
• Add the vegetables and partially cooked red rice.
• Top with herbs and biryani masala. Cover and cook until done.
5. Red rice poha (flattened rice)
Ingredients: Red rice flakes, onions, green chilies, mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric and peanuts.
• Rinse the red rice flakes with water and let them drain.
• Heat the oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves and onions.
• Once the onions are translucent, add peanuts, turmeric and soaked poha.
• Cook until done.