History of Rice
Archaeologists of India found rice that they were persuaded could be dated back to 4530 BC. Nonetheless, the first recorded mention begins from China in 2800 BC. Rice is on a very basic level vital to different societies, so much that it is regularly connected with fables and legends encompassing the grain. In numerous societies and social orders, it is incorporated specifically into religious conviction. In Japan it appreciates the support of its own God Inari, and in Indonesia its own particular goddess the Dewie Srie. All over India, multiple festivals are celebrated to mark the harvest season or production of first crop of the season.
Additionally, it is connected to fertility and hence the custom of tossing rice at recently married couples exists. In India, it is dependably the first dish cooked by the lady for her better half to guarantee the richness in the marriage. It is also treated as the first solid food for babies during weaning period. As per Louisiana fables, the trial of a genuine Cajun is decided whether he can calculate the exact amount of gravy expected to go with a yield of rice developing in a field. How simple to see that from its initial beginnings to the present day, it keeps on assuming an essential part in supporting both the world’s pangs of hunger and social conventions.
What is Rice?
It is a flexible grain that supplements for all intents and purposes any nourishment. Furthermore, there are in excess of 8,000 unique kinds of rice (Oryza sativa) classified by measure and by the technique used to process it. Long-grain, medium-grain, and short-grain are the fundamental sorts. Sticky version is created by the high-starch short grain assortment, while long grain is generally less heavy and starchy. Medium grain is someplace in the middle of the two.
Processing techniques additionally help characterize it, as white version is the most highly polished type, with its bran, germ, and nutrients removed. Brown version is packed with nutrients and only the inedible outer hull is removed.
Undeniably it is the most endless supply of food in East Asian nations. Truth is told in various Asian dialects that the words for “rice” and “food” are same.
Hull (or husk): Each grain is enclosed in a tough outer husk or shell that protects the seed. It is the inedible part that needs to be removed before it can be consumed. It is removed in all types.
Bran – Under the hull is the bran layer which is not removed in all types. It is the nutritious whole grain section which is usually tan-colored (or reddish or black depending on the pigmentation in the bran layers). The bran layer may be consumed, but it is often removed when further processing.
Endosperm – Once the bran and germ layers are removed, white portion remains. It is also known as the endosperm in scientific terms. This is the part is most commonly consumed and has come to be known as white rice.
Germ – Found under the hull, the germ or kernel is nutrient-dense. It is full of B vitamins, minerals, and proteins. It helps give the grain its colour and added nutritional benefits.
Varieties of Rice based on Length and Shape
With a length that is four to five times its width, long-grained variety is fluffy and dry when cooked. Due to its low starch content, it separates effortlessly without over the top stickiness. Long grained version is accessible in various assortments. For example aromatic, white, and brown colored. It incorporates long-grained white and brown grains, Basmati, and Jasmine variations. It delivers particular firm grains that stay fluffy and separate in the wake of cooking. The grains have a firm, dry surface, and are best for side dishes, pilafs, biryani, and servings sometimes in a salad.
Short and more extensive than its long-grain counterpart, medium-grained version is around a few times longer than it is wide. This sort produces moist, delicate, marginally chewy grains that stick to each other when cooked. Regular medium-grains include Arborio and Valencia, which are commonly used to make risotto, and Bomba rice, which is used in Paella (Valencian dish from Spain).
Short-grained variation, named for its size, is just a small piece longer than it is wide. It’s normal for medium-grain and short-grain versions to get joined into a similar class, which can make for some perplexity.
This squat, plump version cooks delicate and tender and is known for staying together and bunching up. American short-grain brown and sushi rice are regular assortments of short-grain versions. Short-grain-rice is used for sushi, moulded salads, and pudding.
Varieties based on the Colour
Rice is naturally brown subsequent to reaping, yet once the nutrient-rich external layer of bran is expelled, it is white in colour. Red, brown, and purple variations all element one of a kind pigmentation in the grain. For these vivid assortments, the bran layer usually remains for added visual appeal and added nutritional value.
Polished or Processed or White
The expression “polished (cleaned)” just alludes to white version that has had its external brown coloured layer of bran and germ separated. Rice that has shed its grain layers can likewise be referred to as “processed rice.”
This health-giving variation sheds its external husk and holds its bran and germ layers that give it a trademark tan colour. Despite the fact that brown variation takes somewhat longer to cook than white version, the nutrient-thick layers are rich in vitamins and minerals.
It is high in nutritional value; this version is otherwise called black rice and has a mellow nutty flavour. Marginally sticky when cooked, it is utilized as a part of an assortment of Chinese or Thai dishes, including Chinese black-rice-cake and mango sticky-rice. Blend it with white version, and it will add shading to any pilaf or rice-bowl.
Wild grains are reaped from the genus Zizania of grasses. High in protein, wild version includes a beautiful, intriguing flair to any rice dish. Serve it with stir-fries, mushroom soups, or casseroles for something new.
Varieties based on the Texture
As the starch content varies in different types, it affects whether the cooked version is fluffy, or light, or sticky.
Otherwise called sweet rice, sticky rice is developed principally in Southeast and East Asia and is utilized as a part of numerous conventional Asian dishes, treats, and desserts. Whenever cooked, sticky rice is particularly sticky and is regularly ground into rice flour.
This “rough” rice has experienced a steam-weight process before milling that gelatinizes the starch in the grain. This procedure delivers a more separate grain that is light and feathery when cooked. Converted rice is a kind of parboiled rice that has been further pre-cooked, which eventually enables you to whip together dishes of rice much quicker. Parboiled processing technique is also known to retain good quantity of minerals and vitamins, which get transferred during the boiling process. Hence, it is deemed nutritious as compared to raw polished version.
Varieties based on Aroma
Aroma is another factor to consider when cooking with rice. Certain assortments emit satisfying aromas while being cooked. Add a tangible component to your guests’ eating experience with these types.
It is a sort of long-grain version that is well known in Indian cooking and other ethnic dishes. Cooked basmati grants an unpretentious nutty or popcorn-like flavour and fragrance. It is used by Indians mostly in special dishes like Biryani, Tahri, Pulao, etc.
It is now and then known as Thai fragrant rice, is a sort of long-grain-rice with a long piece and somewhat sticky surface when cooked. It is utilised to mix a subtle Jasmine flavour and fragrance into the dishes.
How healthy is rice and which type to prefer?
White rice is the highly refined adaptation of raw rice. Processing steps include hulling and removing the germ and bran, leaving mostly starch. This devoid the rice of majority Fibre, Vitamins, Minerals, and even Proteins, which reside in the outer layer. White rice although mostly available and consumed across the world is not so healthy version. Additionally, white rice is also treated with additives that can – in certain cases – harm human body and trigger metabolic disorders like diabetes, obesity and so on.
Red & Brown
Whereas, brown rice and red rice are quite similar; both are great sources of fibre, B vitamins, calcium, zinc and iron, manganese, selenium, magnesium and other nutrients. One thing that sets the red variety apart from its brown counterpart is it being enriched with antioxidants that can help fights damaging free radicals in our body. Brown rice is easily available across the globe whereas the red one is specifically typical to Himalayan Mountains, southern Tibet, Bhutan, as well as southern India.
Red rice is a rich antioxidant food product. It is accepted to have properties that can reduce inflammation, sensitivity, avoid dangers of cancer and help in weight control. The manganese present in the two assortments helps in fortifying digestion, while magnesium helps in severe headaches, brings down pulse and dangers of heart attacks. Alongside calcium, magnesium helps in keeping up solid bones and teeth and anticipates dangers of joint pain and osteoporosis. Selenium, then again, ensures the body against contamination and infections.
The two varieties are also highly recommended for diabetics – because of their low glycemic index – and heart patients. These are considered whole grains, which can help in reducing the arterial plaque, prevent risks of cardiovascular diseases, tame high cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
Forbidden or Black Rice
In ancient China black rice was forbidden to common masses of people and was consumed only by the royals. Shiny black rice grains, when cooked turned purple that not only is a treat to the eyes but also to the taste buds. This variety beats the nutritional benefits of brown and red variations combined. Rich in fibre, it comes loaded with antioxidants, phytonutrients, phytochemicals, Vitamin E, protein, iron, and other nutrients. It is believed to be beneficial for the liver, kidney and stomach. It has a high content of anthocyanin (antioxidant), which helps in preventing risks of cancer. Its low sugar and glycemic content make it an extremely desirable dietary option for heart patients, diabetics as well as for those with high blood pressure.