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Rice Varieties

Paddy – ready for harvesting

What is your favourite kind of rice?

In your local supermarket you’ll probably have come across Basmati or even the easy cook versions.

If you are a person who would choose whole bread instead of white then you’ll probably be careful about the type of rice you choose too.

Basmati usually tastes better but it can be very difficult to get to perfection, as adding even a little bit more water than necessary can result in mushy rice. 

The Basmati rice you may eat is rice with the bran removed and is calorie dense. This is why Tamils look elsewhere for a healthy version. 

There are actually thousands of different varieties of rice but lets look into the popular ones:

Red raw rice

This is the new rice that will be obtained when the paddy’s shell (husk) is removed.

It is full of bran and healthy but bitter and so a single polish will make it correctly balance.

This is the rice many villagers use and it is used for Pongal, Congee and also pounded to create rice flour.

The food items off the red raw rice flour (You may never have tasted these)

The Famous Congee Ingredients

The Basic Congee can be with single polished red raw rice, coconut milk and salt. I prefer a handful of roasted green beans as well. (My granny’s recipie)

The Famous Basic Congee

The Brown Rice also known as Parboiled Rice ( Rice with bran)

The paddy is boiled and in this process the paddy would be cracked open and so the bran on that craked part will be lost but the remaining shell will still retain the bran. This boiled paddy is then sun dried before being milled to remove the husk. This results in rice that is perfectly balance. 

Puli – Congee (Sour Congee)

Cold and mucus? Perfect ancient medicine of grannies: Sour Congee – made with par-boiled rice, prawn, Muringa leaves, and little spicy, but the cold and mucus will disappear. Traditional medicine of Tamil grannies.

Puli Congee (Sour and Spicy Congee)

Cooked Brown Rice

Cooked Brown Rice – Suitable for those who opt for brown or whole bread

Samba Rice

This is very popular rice among the Tamils. Slightly more expensive than the others, it’s used for special dishes such as Lumprist (LumpRice) a Dutch – Tamil delicacy (an answer of the Tamils to the Persian (Arab) Biryani).

Apart from Lump Rice, it is also used for the famous ‘Yellow Rice’, Pineapple Rice and various fried rice.

Yellow Rice

Milk (Coconut) Rice

Samba rice also used by the Tamils for making special (Coconut) Milk Rice and its flour is used for other famous food items of the Tamils, Hopper (Appam), String Hopper (similar to noodles) and Idly and Dosa, etc.

Many of these recipes will be seen later on in this book!