You must taste the black rice at KOKO. It is chewy in consistency, very similar to that of sticky rice. The flavor, however, supersedes it by leaps and bounds. Cooked with edamame and spiced garlic, it needed no accompaniments. I thoroughly enjoyed its texture and nutty wholesome flavor. It was actually something very new to me. The Chef was infact absolutely thrilled to come and explain to me how he had prepared this delightfully tasty preparation.
The connoisseur of nutritious food that I am, I immediately delved into fact-finding. Black rice is also called the “Forbidden Rice”. Not because it was not supposed to be eaten but because it was meant only for the royalty. Originated from China, thousands of years ago and in trade diversified to Indonesia and even some places in Assam and Manipur. Cultivation in India started only in 2011 by a single farmer. Strangely with his efforts and perseverance, the black rice reaped gold for him. Difficult to cultivate, it is highly ranked for its high levels of anthocyanin, a prized antioxidant. It is not easily available in the regular market and is often stocked in the gourmet food sections.
It is far more nutritious than brown rice or red rice. It’s known to have the same antioxidants that are present in berries such as acai berry, blueberries grapes, etc as well as the dark purple eggplant. It is low on the glycemic index, making it ideal for weight watchers and diabetics. It is also high on fiber and other minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium, and manganese.
The black rice can be cooked is various ways, though it needs to be soaked overnight to reduced cooking time. For those who wonder how it can suit the Indian palate, grind it and use it in place of semolina. Its rich nutty flavor makes it ideal for rice puddings, rolled sweetened balls with nuts and much more. So add this exotic rice to your cuisine and feel like royalty.