What is Rice?
Botanical Name: – Oryza sativa
Family: – Grass
Commercial Part: – Seeds
Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza Glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in Asia. It is the agricultural commodity with the third-highest worldwide production after sugarcane and maize.
Rice is considered to have originated at least 130 million years ago as wild grass. Cultivated rice, as we know it today, was first grown about 10,000 years ago in south-east Asia, probably in India.
Rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans. There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences tend to vary regionally. Rice can come in many shapes, colors, and sizes e.g. Long Grain, medium grain, short grain, black rice, red rice, white rice, etc.
TPYES OF RICE
- Basmati Rice
- Non-Basmati Rice
USES OF RICE
- Rice is a very versatile grain and can be used to prepare numerous dishes to cater to your taste – sweet or savory, spicy or bland.
- It can be used to make the famous Khichdi, a hot pot dish in which rice, lentils, spices, and seasonings are thrown into a pot or pressure cooker and cooked until all individual ingredients are blended well together.
- Rice is used in a lot of dishes all over India. It can be used to make Pulao, Biryanis, Curd Rice, and other flavored rice such as Coconut Rice or Lemon Rice. These dishes are a part of the daily staple food of almost all Indians.
- Not only in India, but rice is also a grain that is used all over the world. Most of the South Asian countries use rice in their daily cooking. It is used to make delectable preparations like Nasi Goreng (Indonesian rice), Fried Rice and Sushi, etc. Variants of rice are also popularly used in the Middle east to make pilafs and in Europe to make Risotto.
- Rice can be used to make rice flour, which is gluten-free and can be eaten by people who are on a gluten-free diet. Rice flour in turn is used to make fabulous dishes like Panki and Khichu. It is also used to provide crispiness to deep-fried snack items.
- Raw rice in combination with some urad dal is used to make batters for south Indian dishes like idlis, Dosas, uttapam.
- Kheer is a famous Indian sweet dish made with rice and milk, that has its variations in all parts of India, the south has Paal Payassam and the east has Payesh. Rice is also used for making other types of desserts like rice pudding and Meethe Chawal.
- Steaming hot cooked Rice is the perfect accompaniment to Dals and curries.
- Cooked and leftover rice can be transformed into quick and easy snacks like Rice balls and Pancakes.
Health Benefits of Rice: –
- Rice is a great source of complex carbohydrates, which is an important source of energy for our body. The carbohydrates are broken down to glucose, most of which is used as energy for exercise and as essential fuel for the brain.
- Complex carbohydrates are digested slowly, allowing the body to utilize the energy released over a longer period which is nutritionally efficient.
- A good source of vitamins and minerals such as thiamine, niacin, iron, riboflavin, vitamin D, calcium.
- It has no gluten, so good for those with gluten sensitivity.
- Rice also contains resistant starch, which is the starch that reaches the bowel undigested. This encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria, keeping the bowel healthy.
- It is a fair source of protein containing all eight amino acids.
- Rice is wonderful in treating diarrhea in children.