While oats porridge makes for a healthy start to the day, our taste buds sometimes crave for something different. Also, some people’s systems might not be suited to the consumption of oats daily. So, here’s a way to satisfy your health needs and your tummy’s cravings both- rice porridge.
Rice, one of the most overlooked and underpraised grains, has many benefits: it is gluten-free, making it non-allergic, and a great source of energy and anti-oxidants, among other things. Eaten by itself, or with accompaniments like lentils, vegetables or meat, it is a good healthy source of carbohydrates. Read more about the benefits of eating rice here.
Then why not start the day with this grain in the form of porridge! This versatile dish can be altered to suit different needs:
- Make it like the Chinese do, with vegetable or meat stock, vegetables, meat and various sauces added for flavor.
- Prepare an absolutely bland version to be eaten with a spicy accompaniment.
- Opt for the simple Indian way of adding only salt and a tadka of cumin seeds
- Satisfy your sweet tooth by adding a little jaggery and milk to the porridge
Since the preparation process for rice porridge differs slightly from that for rice, certain things should be kept in mind:
- Always wash the rice. Rice, unlike pasta, needs to be washed well with water before cooking.
- This dish can be prepared either in a regular dish on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker or rice cooker.
- Got leftover rice from the previous night’s dinner? Instead of throwing it away, make porridge out of it.
- Rice is considered cooked when the grains are soft throughout, but when cooking porridge, ensure that the grains are broken. A handy tip to aid this process is to either give the raw grains of rice a quick round in the mixer, or to put the finished dish in the blender to puree it further.
- Rice porridge can be made of three consistencies – thick, medium and thin. These require 8, 10 and 12 cups of water respectively to each cup of rice used.
- Usually, medium to long grain white rice is used in the preparation of rice porridge. If you want to opt for a healthier version, brown rice can also be used, but should preferably be soaked for a few hours beforehand and more water should be used and it will take more time to cook. For more information of this unpolished variant of rice, click here.
Light and easy to digest, rice porridge in its simplest form is recommended as a good nutritious meal for babies, and is one of the first things to be fed to infants. Care must be taken that no condiments or spices have been added and the thinnest form of the dish must be used in this case. Rice porridge is also recommended for those who cannot eat greasy food since this dish can be prepared without any oil. It also acts as a good pick-me-up for those who are recovering from a long illness and are feeling weak or tired. Low in sodium, fat, and sugar, rice porridge made with brown rice is a healthy option for those looking to lose weight.
Following are some of the health benefits of eating rice porridge:
- Strengthens the spleen, which is responsible for the transportation and transformation of food.
- Harmonizes the stomach, making it a good meal option for those suffering from digestive system-related issues.
- Helps soothe senses and increase energy levels
- Boosts longevity
Famous not just in India, but also in other parts of Asia – the Chinese for example call it Congee or Jook –Rice porridge is a healthy wholesome way to start the day. And why just breakfast, try it for lunch or dinner too!
Click here to read more about ways to incorporate rice in your diet.