Over the last ten years consumers are going back to traditional rice varieties and millets in a clear recognition of their health benefits. It's why Kerala red rice was always considered a prized varietal even in the days of the Cheras.(Also read: South Indian Millets - How Ancient Grains Are Becoming Trendy Again)
Of all the rice varieties in Kerala, the Palakkadan Mattan Rice is probably the best known and one of the select rice varieties from the state that has been awarded a GI (Geographical Indication) tag. The Mattan rice thrives in the black cotton soil and humid weather of the Palakkad region. While the rice is known for its distinct flavour and texture, it's equally prized for its health benefits. The par-boiling of the rice ensures that the nutritional values are retained more effectively than other forms of rice. This fluffy rice with its rose-coloured hue and unique texture (you can separate one morsel from the other effortlessly) is clearly an acquired taste. It makes a terrific accompaniment to meat dishes and is an integral part of a traditional Kerala Sadya or vegetarian festive meal.Cooking Palakkadan Mattan RiceRapid urbanisation and the switch to pressure cookers and smaller family units were among the factors that led to polished white rice take over many households. Like most forms of brown rice or par-boiled rice, cooking Mattan rice needs time and patience.
1. While it is not uncommon to soak the rice overnight, 45 to 60 minutes in a large vessel or pan usually does the trick.2. Make sure you rinse the rise at least a couple of times before you soak the rice.3. While it's not uncommon to cook this rice in a pressure cooker, it's best to use a large vessel with a lid. You could use 1:8 parts (rice: water) to cook this rice on a low to medium flame for about 30-35 minutes.3. Drain the excess water and serve hot. You could use the excess water (with starch filled with nutrients) for some other dish.4. If you'd rather use a pressure cooker, cook on a high flame till you hear at least 2 whistles and then on a low flame for another 20 minutes (a total cooking time of approximately 30 minutes).Health benefits: With high fibre content and a low glycaemic index (compared to polished white rice), Palakkadan Matta or Rosematta is one of the healthiest Indian rice varieties. It is also high in magnesium and vitamins A and B.
About the Author:Ashwin Rajagopalan is a cross cultural training expert and lifestyle writer. When he's not writing about food, he thinks about gadgets, trends and travel experiences. He enjoys communicating across cultures and borders in his weekday work avatar as a content and editorial consultant for a global major and one of India's only cross cultural trainers.Disclaimer:The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.
About Ashwin RajagopalanI am the proverbial slashie - a content architect, writer, speaker and cultural intelligence coach. School lunch boxes are usually the beginning of our culinary discoveries.That curiosity hasn’t waned. It’s only got stronger as I’ve explored culinary cultures, street food and fine dining restaurants across the world. I’ve discovered cultures and destinations through culinary motifs. I am equally passionate about writing on consumer tech and travel.