Short grained rice with a sticky texture is grown among the hills of Meghalaya using natural means and is called Khasi sticky rice. It is savored as a staple food and prized due to its versatile nature. It is believed to have a high Amylopectin content which gives it the stickiness. In India, sticky rice is grown only in the Northeastern states.
During mid-June the field are weeded and the secondary plants are cleared and burned in the field itself. The cleared field is then ploughed in the month of July-August and rice saplings are planted.
The seasonal rains help meet the water requirement. The planted fields are weeded through September and October. The fully matured sticky rice is harvested around November and stored for winnowing. Traditional winnowing methods are used for separating the rice grain from chaff.
Sticky Rice paddy fields at West Jaintia Hills district of Meghalaya.
Sticky rice is said to have negligible amount of the starch Amylose and more of Amylopectin. Due to its high Amylopectin content it is believed to be helpful in constipation and helps improve digestion.
Sticky rice is also believed to be rich in selenium and fiber. Selenium is believed to act as an antioxidant. The fiber in Khasi sticky rice is believed to lower the risk of heart disease. Sticky rice is also believed to be helpful in keeping our connective tissue strong and promotes a healthy brain function.
Use it as you would any sticky rice – best in South Asian cooking. It is eaten as snack by the Khasi and Jaintia tribes of Meghalaya along with their teas. Sakkin and pitta are other forms of snacks made from sticky rice by the Garo tribe of Meghalaya.