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Thursday, June 18, 2009

All about Rice


img src:CalRice.org

Rice is the seed of the monocot plant Oryza sativa, of the grass family (Poaceae). It is a cereal grain (good source of protein) & one of the most important staple food globally, especially in tropical Latin America, West Indies, East, South and Southeast Asia.

Rice is a good source of protein and should be combined with other sources of protein like nuts, seeds, beans, fish, or meat for a wholesome healthy meal.

Preparation as food:

  • The seeds of the rice plant are first milled to remove the chaff (the outer husks of the grain) .to get brown rice. Wer get white rice, after futher milling and removing the 'bran (rest of the husk & germ).
  • Raw rice may be ground into flour for many uses, including making many kinds of beverages (amazake, horchata, rice milk and sake).
  • Rice flour does not contain gluten and is suitable for people on a gluten-free diet.
  • Rice may also be made into various types of noodles.
  • Raw wild / brown rice may also be consumed by fruitarians if soaked and sprouted (usually 1 week to 30 days).
  • Processed rice seeds must be boiled or steamed before eating. Cooked rice may be further fried in oil or butter.
  • Rice can be puffed (or popped).

Cooking

  • Rice may be classified in several varieties, specoally long-grain rice and medium-grain rice.
  • The grains of long-grain rice (tend to remain intact after cooking; medium-grain rice becomes more sticky.
  • Medium-grain rice is used for sweet dishes, and for risotto and many Spanish dishes.
  • Rice is cooked by boiling or steaming, and absorbs water during cooking. It can be cooked in just as much water as it absorbs (the absorption method), or in a large quantity of water which is drained before serving (the rapid-boil method).
  • Rice is often heated in oil before boiling, or oil is added to the water; this is thought to make the cooked rice less sticky.
  • Rice may be soaked prior to cooking, which saves fuel, decreases cooking time, minimizes exposure to high temperature and also decreases the stickiness of the rice. Sometimes, soaking improves the texture of the cooked rice by increasing expansion of the grains.
  • In Arab cuisine rice is an ingredient of many soups and dishes with fish, poultry, and other types of meat. It is also used to stuff vegetables or is wrapped in grape leaves.
  • When combined with milk, sugar and honey, it is used to make desserts.
  • In some regions, such as Tabaristan, bread is made using rice flour. Medieval Islamic texts spoke of medical uses for the plant.
  • Rice may also be made into rice porridge (also called congee or rice gruel) by adding excess water, so that the cooked rice becomes very soft, expanded, and fluffy. Rice porridge is commonly eaten as a breakfast food, and is also a traditional food for the sick.
  • In some countries parboiled rice (Rice that has been steamed / parboiled in the husk) is popular, which is nutritionally superior to standard milled rice. It does not stick to the pan during cooking like regular white rice.
  • Minute Rice, or "easy-cook rice", differs from parboiled rice in that it is milled, fully cooked and then dried. It does not share the nutritional benefits of parboiling.
  • Cooked rice can be stored for use the next day after rapid cooling to reduce the risk of toxin production.
  • Rice flour and starch often are used in batters and breadings to increase crispiness.

Rice growing ecology: Rice can be grown in different ecologies, depending upon water availability.

  • Lowland, rainfed, which is drought prone, favors medium depth; waterlogged, submergence, and flood prone
  • Lowland, irrigated, grown in both the wet season and the dry season
  • Deep water or floating rice
  • Coastal Wetland
  • Upland rice, also known as 'Ghaiya rice', well known for its drought tolerance

info src: wikipedia

Useful links:

Click here to know diferent types of rice.

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1 comments:

Debbie said...

Excellent info on rice Malini!
Thanks for the reference.
I added your site to my Blogroll :)

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