Coming from a very South Indian background where the staple grain is rice, I really held my head up high and felt I knew well about rice. That did not last long. The visit to a rice market in the Philippines exposed me to so many varieties. In colours, they ranged from glassy white to near jet black. In size, they ranged from a few millimetres to an inch long resembling vermicelli. From that day, I had harboured the love to learn about rice.
Forbidden black rice
Anything forbidden instantly increases the curiosity factor. The rice knows for its accumulation of anthocyanin was quick to be recognised as nutritionally superior. Hence it was reserved for the emperors. This was the basis of forbidden. The rice has multiple cultivars and the one I have used is the Manipuri one.
Earlier I had used the sticky Japanese black rice to make the avocado filled onigiri. Unlike that variety, this one has a nuttier aroma when cooked and a bite to the grain. Both varieties, however, are unpolished.
While cooking this rice, the deep purple colour is imparted to the cooking liquid. Thus gives the unique colour that you want to save while making these recipes. Hence I prefer to give the absorption method for cooking this rice and not strain it.
The north-eastern states of India have unique styles of cooking. Heavily reliant on local herbs and vegetables, this is predominantly a low oil style of cooking. The staple rice-based meals are further made exotic by the varieties of rice available in this region, like this black rice. With roots in Tibetan cuisine, these culinary secrets are often passed between the family. For dessert of course, just like all of us, they too have kheer.
Enjoy this unique recipe, spiced with gentle fragrance and nuttiness from the rice. Bring in the variety and then there is no border in the meals. Let us know how you enjoy this recipe. Tag us when you make this unique kheer or make any other dishes with black rice.
Chak hao amubi kheer
- 1/2 cup black rice
- 2 cup drinking water
- 3 cups full cream milk
- 1 long bay leaves
- 3 pods green cardamom
- 1/2 cup jaggery use honey instead if you prefer.
- Wash the rice and drain it.
- Place this in the saucepan with the water and bring it to a boil.
- Stir the rice around and as the liquid evaporates add the milk slowly to keep cooking.
- Add the bay leaf and the crushed cardamom pods at this stage
- Add more of the milk and stir it around till the rice is cooked on a slow simmer with constant stirring.
- The milk acquires a deep purple colour and turns aromatic.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and add the jaggery.
- Stir well, the kheer at this stage will have a flowing consistency.
- Remove the bay leaves and serve warm.