Energy kJ (Cal)
Thiamine (B1) (mg)
Niacin (B3) (mg)
Vitamin B6 (mg)
Rice is an important part of an Indian meal; it is eaten as a main course with curries. It is also a major ingredient for hundreds of dishes including sweet and savoury snacks.
There are many varieties of rice available e.g. short, medium or long grain. Most varieties are sold either as brown or white rice depending upon how they are milled. White rice goes through a complete milling and polishing process that results in a loss of 70% - 90% of its B vitamins and also large amount of fibre, phosphorus, iron and manganese. Brown rice isn’t milled as much as white rice, which makes it fibre-rich and nutritious. Parboiled rice is also rich in fibre and nutrients. It is steamed before it is husked; a process that causes the grain to absorb many of the nutrients from husk.
There are several varieties of specialty rice - brown and white basmati rice, Red rice, Black (purple) rice, Wild rice etc. Highly coloured rice strains such as Red and Black rice derive their colour from anthocyanins which have antioxidant properties.
As rice is our staple food, it’s important to use brown or parboiled rice. Using brown and parboiled rice when making idli (steamed rice and lentil cakes) and dosae (rice and lentil pancakes) assists fermentation. Being rich in fibre, they promote normal bowel function and keep blood sugar levels under control. The nutrients in brown and parboiled rice assist optimal functioning of blood vessels, control high blood pressure and decrease cancer risk.
Soaking brown rice in cold water for an hour not only reduces cooking time but also makes it soft and fluffy when cooked.
For vegetarians it is important to eat grains (example: rice, wheat) with a legume (lentils and dry beans) dish. This not only improves the biological value of protein, but also helps to regulate blood sugar levels.