There was a time parboiled rice (Puzhungal Arisi) was cooked in most Indian homes. I still remember the strong smell that wafted through the house when this rice is boiled. I never liked it. The grains used to be fat and the smelled strongly of the rice and interfered with the aroma of the dishes. There is nothing wrong with the rice, it is just supposed to smell like that. It has been cooked in the husk and it is just a different way to process rice.
These days more people are cooking basmati rice at home but at the same time complaining that it is expensive. Basmati rice is low in glycemic index and therefore very suitable for diabetics and everyone in general. But just because it is recommended that the rice is suitable for a diabetic diet, one cannot indulge in it and eat platefuls of this rice!!
Among the parboiled rice, basmati rice and brown rice, I prefer the brown rice. When I asked a few people about brown rice, these are the comments they gave for example that it takes a long time to cook and so lots of gas or electricity is used and that the rice does not become fluffy. I do agree that it takes longer time to cook brown rice, but you can invest in a pressure cooker to cook the rice faster. Do you know that we spend more time cooking sambar, fish curry, chicken curry etc and yet we complain that brown rice takes a long time to cook?
I personally feel that there are other reasons why people don’t like brown rice. Do you agree that Asians like everything white and think that white is better, pure and rich and brown is inferior? Did you not notice they adore white skin and white anything? So, this maybe another reason why brown rice is not favoured. Another reason could be the fact that in those days, chicken were fed with brown rice or what the Tamils would call “koli arisi”. But the chickens were healthy and tasty then because of their diet of brown rice!
Another reason could be that we Asians like anything soft. Rice must be soft and not al dente. Kuehs are soft, Chinese paus are soft, the breads are soft, vegetables are cooked till soft et. On the other hand, the Europeans liked food that has texture eg. Salad, whole grain breads, al dente pastas etc.
Here are some benefits of eating brown rice:
- Evidence suggests that eating brown rice decreases your risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
- Certain studies also suggest that eating brown rice can lower your blood pressure and help fight inflammation in the arteries.
- Switching to brown rice may help reduce the risk of you getting certain types of cancer.
- Generally eating whole grains and brown rice can help you lose weight and reduce the risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases.
It would be nice if all families switched to brown rice now so that the next few generations will live a healthy lifestyle. For a start, mix brown rice with basmati rice and eventually eat only brown rice. It is not easy to switch but it is possible if your thoughts are for living healthy for the next few years. Making one small change can yield big health results in your family’s life and yours.
Are you willing to switch to brown rice and join me in a campaign to create awareness for a healthy eating habit?