Winter in the southern parts of India might not be so cold as the northern winters, but even we get to feel a chill in those months. The usual humidity is less in the air and you can easily feel and see that on a human skin that the climate has changed. I feel, as European who grew up in the mountains, that the climate changes are less in the subcontinent then those we experience in Europe, but for some reason the weather affects us in Goa more. Everybody ends up at the chemist buying some cough syrups and the doctors must be making a great amount of money treating our colds and fevers. So when you are sick in India, what do you eat to get healthy again?
My mother in law cooks us always a plain rice pot called kanji in India (pez in Konkani). It tastes of pretty much nothing. Anyway when you experience a cold you don’t taste and smell much so pleasuring your taste buds is out. The essential value of kanji rice are the high amounts of nutrients which are vital for the recovery of a human body and an other plus point, it is easy to digest. But kanji is not only for the sick, it is still prepared in local homes in Goa every day. These people have a strong immune system and get rarely sick Mostly Goan brown rice is used for a traditional kanji, some people have their own fields and some (like us) have to buy it in the market. It’s a very inexpensive Food, pretty much anybody can afford a kg or two.
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Brown rice is a million times healthier then white polished rice. Why is that?
I found that image on wikipedia which will help to understand everything easier. I thought it to be useful, credits for the image and legend go to wikipedia and the author who released it into the public domain.
|A||Rice with chaff||(1)||Chaff|
|C||Rice with germ||(3)||Bran residue|
|D||White rice with slight bran residue||(4)||Cereal germ|
* Musenmai:Polished and ready to boil rice, literally, non-wash rice
In this image you can see that white rice is missing on Bran and Cereal Germ, compared to the brown rice. So the grain looses a portion of its nutritional value. Bran is rich in Dietary Fiber and essential fatty acids and contains a good amount of starch, protein, minerals and vitamins. It contains further Antioxidants which prevents cancer and heart diseases.
Because of the process of milling and removing layers of the grain, some important nutrients get destroyed such as Vitamin B1, B3 and Iron. Vitamin B1 (Thyamin) for once is important for the human nerve system and heart. One Syndrome for example caused by Thyamin deficiency is called Beri Beri.
But brown rice has its disadvantages too. The bran and germ are rich in oils and so the cereal gets rancid very quickly. I have observed that ordinary cooked brown rice can be kept maximum 24 hours. That’s why the cereal industry removes those parts to convert it to white rice so that it can be stored for longer periods. More info about brown rice here…
Well, anytime you are sick or when you just feel like having a plain comforting rice dish, then you can easily cook some kanji. The kanji can be served too, instead of normal rice, with fish and Vegetable bhaji for a Indian taste experience. Researching around the web, I discovered that kanji is well known all over Asia, just that it is called and prepared in different ways in each culture. In China it is called zhou, in Indonesia bubur, in Japan Okayu and in Sri Lanka Kola Kanda. So many people preparing and eating it shows its dietary value. Maybe we should more incorporate our ancestors special dish in our daily diet.
- 1 cup Brown Goan rice (or any other brown rice)
- 5 cups water
- Rinse the rice and remove any small gravels and other unwanted stuff. Add it to a pot with the water and keep on high heat till you see it bubbling. Return the heat to low, salt it and keep it simmering for 30 minutes. Don't drain the water, that's very important!
I wanted to thank my friends for the wonderful guest posts of the past weeks. Interesting, creative recipe Ideas were shared here at Masala Herb and not only that my friends helped me out when I needed them the most. Thank you all, I appreciate all what you have done for me. For those who missed all the delicious foodie posts, please take a look around and if you like the recipe don’t forget to leave a comment or share it in your preferred social network. Thank you! =)