Folklores About the Origin of Black Sticky Rice

Black rice of Meghalaya

The minute you hear the word 'Rice' your mind could conjure up an image of white grains. Am I right? Do you know that there is a variety of rice that is Black?

'Black Sticky Rice' grows in Meghalaya, a state in the Northeast of India where Zizira operates from. We work with small farmers using traditional methods of farming and procure directly from them. Zizira procures only carefully selected, nutrient rich, pure, rare, and hard to find produce and brings them to the doorsteps of our customers all across India.

Read our story – how our conscious business is making a difference to the community of farmers of our state Meghalaya.

Yes, the grains of black sticky rice look jet black, like burnt rice, but when you wash them with water you will find the water turning a rich purple! And the rice when it is cooked is delicious. In fact, it is sought after for its taste.

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What is Black Rice?

Black sticky rice is a variety of cultivated rice. What gives it the color is the presence of an anti-oxidant called anthocyanin. What gives it the stickiness is the high level of amylopectin. The black sticky rice is short, slightly fat and an unpolished grain. When cooked, it tastes nuttier than any other rice. Asians use this rice mostly for sweet dishes. If it is overcooked, it disintegrates and so it is normally not polished or milled.

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Did you know?

All rice cultivars can be traced back to over 10,000 years ago, to a single crop in China? Black rice is considered very healthy. Because its yield is lower than other rice varieties, only the rich could afford it and so it was called 'Emperor's rice' or 'forbidden rice. (Source)

One more interesting lore:

Black rice was known long before Chinese dynastic times. During the Warring States Period (476 - 221 BCE), a different tale of its use was told. One General Sun Bin was caged, reasons unclear, and he survived because he ate black rice balls. In Hangzhou, where this General came from, they honor him by eating black rice on the first day of Chinese summer. (Source)

Traditional Recipe using Black Sticky Rice

  • Cooking one cup of glutinous white rice for half an hour; and in another pot, cook one cup of black sticky rice, both for the same amount of time.
  • While still hot, combine both the rice and add 1 cup of hot peeled cooked chestnuts, a teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of vegetable oil.
  • Cover the pot and wait for twenty minutes before serving.
  • This rice can be reheated and used many times in a day.

Want to know more about Black Sticky Rice from Meghalaya? Contact us!

Do you know more about black rice, its medicinal uses or recipes with it? We would be delighted to hear from you, share it in the comment section below.

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