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Monthly Archives: January 2013
Rice is one of the most misunderstood foods despite being the most eaten staple food in the world. Though studies suggest that the high carbohydrate and starch levels found in rice are the reasons why most people, in recent times, opt out of it. We try giving answer to most of the general misconceptions here.
Myth 1: Rice is fattening
Fact: Rice is low in fat and cholesterol free. It is a good source of energy because of the carbohydrates present in it. Carbohydrates help the body carry out its functions and everyday growth and repair.
Myth 2: Rice does not contain protein
Fact: After carbohydrate, protein is the second-most abundant nutrient found in rice. Rice protein is considered to be of the highest quality compared to other grains.
Myth 3: Rice contains gluten.
Fact: Rice is gluten-free and the most non-allergenic of all grains.
Myth 4: Rice has high amounts of salt.
Fact: Rice contains negligible amounts of sodium. It is considered as a super food and safe to consume by people who watch their salt intake.
Myth 5: Eating rice at night will make you unhealthy.
Fact: High carb foods that are digested to form glucose include rice, wheat, rye and millets. These foods should be eaten at night, so that after they are digested (it takes two hours to digest complex carbohydrates), the glucose which is absorbed into the blood, will more readily convert into energy. These foods should not be consumed during the day, when glucose more readily converts into fat.
Pitha is a type of cake, dimsum or bread common in Eastern India, especially in the states of Assam, Orissa and West Bengal. Pithas are typically made of rice flour.
- 1 & a half cup rice
- 1 cup black gram
- 1 cup scrubbed coconut
- 100 gm cottage cheese
- 150 gm jaggery
- 3 small cardamoms
- 6 peppercorns
- Green turmeric leaves
- Salt to taste
Soak rice and blackgram for about 4 hours. Use only the skinless blackgram for the purpose. Wash the same thoroughly and then grind into thick batter. It need not be a very fine paste. Grind leaving a little coarseness in the rice. Whip well. Leave the batter for fermenting for about 8 hours. Add salt and mix well.
Now to prepare the stuffing, place a frying pan on medium flame. Put the scrubbed coconut, cottage cheese and jaggery. Stir and fry till it becomes a little dry. Add powdered cardamom and black pepper. Mix well and keep aside.
Now to prepare pitha take one whole green turmeric leaf. Put a little batter on the leaf and flatten the same. Then put the required quantity of stuffing on the batter and fold the turmeric leaf length-wise in such a way that the stuffing gets sandwiched in between two layers of batter. Tie a thread around the folded leaf to keep it secured. Now steam it in the traditional way. It is similar to the way we steam idli. Steam it till done and fork comes out clean. Serve the pitha with any curry of your preference.
We thought of being a bit informative this time. Hope you don’t mind. Read it and get to know about your Basmati a little more.
Basmati rice is a unique species of rice originating from India. Just like all species of rice, basmati is available in white or brown versions, depending on the extent of the milling process. Like jasmine rice, it has its own unique smell. In the case of basmati, this smell is due to the presence of a chemical called 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, which is found in basmati rice at about 90 parts per billion. That’s about 12 times more than in other types of rice, giving basmati its special aroma. Brown basmati rice is comparable to other types of brown rice in nutrient content although it does contain about 20% more fiber compared to most other types of brown rice. To understand more about the difference between brown basmati rice and white basmati rice, let’s look at the difference between brown and white rice in general.
An important first question to ask about all rice-and for that matter, most foods-is how much it has been processed. In the case of rice, processing usually involves milling and polishing. The outermost layer of rice, called the hull, is removed to make brown rice. Brown rice is with the whole kernel intact surrounded by all layers of bran.
To produce white rice, the bran layers of the rice have to be milled off. Most of the rice germ is also removed during this grinding process. At this point in the process the rice is called milled unpolished white rice. Finally, a wire brush machine is used to remove the aleurone layer that remains on the rice. This step is called polishing.
There is a processing technique called conversion that results in “converted rice.” Converted rice is produced by steaming the whole grain before milling, causing some of the B vitamins to migrate from the outside layers into the starchy center of the rice (called the endosperm). This process leaves some B vitamins inside the converted rice even though the manufacturers remove the outside layers to preserve the nutrients.
Raindrops Basmati Rice comes from the house of REI Agro Limited – World’s largest basmati rice processing company. REI Agro Ltd was established in the year 1994. Within less than 2 decades of its inception, today REI commands a sizable 22% share of World’s Basmati Market and is India’s Leading Food Major which is listed in Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), National Stock Exchange (NSE), London Stock Exchange and Singapore Stock Exchange.
REI Agro maintains world-class quality standards in all areas of its operations. The company procures the best quality of paddy and processes it using state-of-the-art technology. The company has the maximum ability to mature basmati rice thereby ensuring quality. The experienced professionals extensively analyze the quality standards in different locations of the world and ensure that the finest quality of Basmati rice is processed and branded by REI Agro.
By productive use of sustainable resources, the company saves on the cost of production and passes the benefit to its clients at the most competitive prices. With its wide network, REI Agro offers the premium quality rice matured from 18- 24 months having the best flavor and fragrance. REI Agro has invested a significant amount in its processing, and research facilities to maintain the trust of its connoisseurs.
Our society is governed by religion, cultural values, traditions, mores and so on from the time immemorial. Due to which every entity in the world has some or the other story attached to its history and origin. And when it comes to the most eaten staple food “Rice” there can be numerous stories to be found. But we would like to share an interesting belief on rice from the land of Indonesia where in their mythology 3 mothers (Goddesses) are associated with rice.
Rice Mother is widely distributed figure in the mythology of Indonesian culture. There are three main types of Rice Mother, which are either found separately or combined.
The first is that of a goddess from whose body rice was first produced. The second is that of an all-nourishing Mother Rice (Me Posop), who is the guardian of crops and good fortune and whose milk is rice—which is considered to be the soul-stuff of every living thing. The third is the last sheaf of harvested rice that is ritually cut and dressed as a woman. This is believed to contain the concentrated soul-stuff of the field (analogous customs occur in peasant Europe, where the last sheaf is designated Wheat Mother and Barley Mother).
In other traditions a particular rice plant is designated as Mother Rice from the time of planting, and its vitality is believed to influence the growth of all of the other plants in the field.
I was totally tensed, my hands were totally sweating and I could hear my heart beat. And suddenly I heard my name in the loud speaker. Did I hear it right? Then finally I realized yes indeed it was my name when judges of the cooking contest, where I was one of the finalists, repeated my name. I was shocked in disbelief, I missed couple of ingredients in my preparation of the food item which I made, and then how could I win? These were the questions which were dousing me while I took the winner’s trophy. People from the audience started coming on the stage and congratulations were flowing high but my mind was still stuck on the question of “Why Me”. Then finally after half n hour when people lessened in the hall and I just took a side and confronted one of the judges. And as obvious I asked him at once. Sir, what was the final factor which lead me to the winner’s trophy. He said “The fragrance of your Kashmiri Pulao was so different and aromatic that all the judges couldn’t help but to appreciate your recipe with highest numbers”. Oh so the fragrance of my choice of basmati rice made me win the trophy. But I didn’t know the name of the basmati rice, since I picked it up from the store in a hurry. So I just ran backstage to see which rice made my dream come true. And I saw 3 Words, they were Raindrops Basmati Rice.
Indeed Success Guaranteed with RBR.
It was my first day at my husband’s place, just the very next day of our wedding. Since it was an arranged marriage, I was pretty new to their home and new to their kitchen as well, rather say new to kitchen in totality, as I have never cooked in my life. But such excuses don’t help after wedding, as people consider you being “fully mature” as soon as you get married and they expect you to be trained for taking responsibility in managing daily chores including cooking. Such burden of expectations were crushing me hard in the kitchen where I was supposed to prepare a full four course lunch for my new family. But out of my surprise, my mother-in-law just sensed the trouble and came for my rescue. She smiled at me and said “don’t worry, even I didn’t know cooking when I came to this family”. By saying such pleasing words she took out a packet of Raindrops Extra Long Grain White Basmati Rice and gave me the mantra to impress people at one go. She said that the smooth and soft surface, shiny grains and non-sticky behavior makes Raindrops Basmati Rice the choice of most households, which is apt for making Pulav and other rice based dishes. Finally, Pulav was served which I made for the first time with the help of my mother-in-law. And to my utmost surprise, it was not me but the trust of my mother-in-law, passed the test. Though my husband was happy to get a good wife, but I was happy to found a friend in my mother-in-law and Raindrops.
Image Courtesy: www.ayurvedicyogi.com
Pongal is a four-days-long harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, on 14th January every year. For as long as people have been planting and gathering food, there has been some form of harvest festival. Pongal, one of the most important popular Hindu festivals of the year. This four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature takes its name from the Tamil word meaning “to boil” and is held in the month of Thai (January-February) during the season when rice is harvested.
Enjoy this little piece of happiness
Milk Rice the Golden child came – granting
immeasurable ecstacy in her cooking
Farmers with the beauty of lion dream
a picturesque memory this new year gleam.
Elevated threshing floor courtyard the face-where
month of January gave love’s kiss with rice share
abundance in red rice and charity – sweet
to the tongue January child glad to meet.
With the plough he tills the land – the ploughman
is the old man ladder of progress of all human.
Dark clouds and sun our life – milk rice
is dream field’s harvested crop of rice.
Red sugar cane and saffron aplenty – flood
of happiness to sweep our country.
Rise, rise milk rice – bring smile
to the face of the poor, so rise milk rice.
Getting married and starting a new life is a dream for every one. But this dream becomes a nightmare when one starts shopping for kitchen. And especially for those working women who never stepped into kitchen before getting married. But here is a list of some essential items which should help those who are starting this task. So pick up a pen and start noting down the following which is missing from your list. Enjoy Cooking!
- Aprons and potholders
- Kitchen towels, dish towels, dish cloths, sponges
- Set of airtight canisters for storage
- Bottle opener, corkscrew and can opener
- Dish drain and drain board, trash/waste bin
- Salt and Pepper shakers
- Large and small sieves or colander/strainers
- A cutting board
- Wooden spoons, assorted sizes; rice scoop/paddle
- Ladle, slotted spoon, solid bowl spoon, large fork
- Spatulas, metal, rubber or plastic; whisks, assorted sizes
- Small utility knife and/or paring knife, 5″–6″ utility/boning knife
- Hand grater for cheeses or vegetables, cheese shaker
- Vegetable parer or scraper/peeler
- Set of measuring spoons
- Set of measuring cups for dry and glass set for liquid ingredients
- Set of glass or stainless mixing bowls
- Sauce pans and saucepots with lids as per use
- Roasting and/or baking pan
- 9″ pie pan, 9″cake pan and 9″ square baking pan
- Wax paper, plastic wrap, foil paper, paper towels, coffee filters
- Coffee pot and/or tea kettle