There is nothing as stunning as a shiny bowl of rice laid on an Indian dining table. Be it an exotic dum biryani, puliyodharai, tamarind rice, curd rice, tomato rice, kozhikodan biryani or the famous punjabi rajma chawal, rice is an indispensable part of meals in every Indian household, turning a tiny grain into a wholesome experience with the best culinary ideas.

If that is not all, we are best at transitioning these little granules into khichdi, idlis, dosas, kheers so on and so forth. While we have our markets flooded with umpteen varieties of rice, some may not be as popular. One such rice type called bamboo rice which also goes by the name Mulayari comes from a dying bamboo shoot at the end of its life cycle. Short-grain rice infused with bamboo extract; this not-so-common tribal grain bequeaths the taste that you may love to relish once you get used to it. This wild variety also has a striking resemblance to paddy rice and is extremely rich in carbohydrates, fibre, protein, essential amino acids, antioxidants, and palmitic and linoleic acids. Let’s not forget the health benefits of this natural short grain this dying bamboo shoot offers! Owing to the fabulous presence of calcium and phosphorus content, it has been used to cure many health anomalies such as joint inflammation, osteoporosis, and many kinds of rheumatic pain. In the olden days, this wholesome grain was also consumed for its fertility-enhancing properties.

Also Read: Black Rice/Purple Rice: Types, Nutritional Content, Health Benefits, Recipes And Side Effects
Bamboo Rice

How Bamboo Rice Comes Into Life?

Many reasons make the history of rice intriguing. Bamboo rice in English, Moongil Arisi in Tamil and Veduru Biyyam in Telugu is a natural short grain emerging from withering bamboo shoots. Quite rare, do we know it takes a lot of years for a bamboo tree to flower? When the bamboo shoot breathes its last, its blossoms turn into nutritious seeds known as bamboo rice. The unpredictable flowering and thorniness nature of the bamboo makes it a very difficult, rare, and tedious to harvest crop. To get the perfect product, the area around the base of every single bamboo is cleaned and all the chaff is removed. The base is dried, and the bamboo rice is then stored and gathered into containers to be cleaned and finally, they are ready to be consumed.

Also Read: Bamboo Benefits: The Hidden Beauty Secrets of This Hollow Stem, Nobody Ever Told You - Infographic

Is Bamboo Rice Healthy?

Bamboo rice is generally cooked like any other rice and makes a great combination with any kind of food we consume. Nutty and chewy, it is slightly different in texture when cooked. Besides using it in steamed form, many people love to prepare bamboo rice kheer apart from consuming it with lentils and other Indian curries. The grain is filled with various nutrients that include the following as per a small cup serving:

  • Calcium- 4- 5 gm
  • Iron- 8 mg
  • Phosphorus- 12 mg
  • Calories- 150
  • Carbohydrates- 30 grams
  • Carotene- 11 mg
  • Riboflavin- 30mg
  • Vitamin B- 0.1 mg
  • Nicotinic acid- 0.4 mg

Befitting Wellness Benefits Of Bamboo Rice

Green lovely looking rice brimming with a nutrient-dense profile, there are many health and wellness incentives it offers and some of them are:

Controls Chronic Rheumatic Pain

Bamboo contains numerous bioactive compounds that have been known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities like flavonoids, polysaccharides as well as alkaloids that can effectively help decrease and soothe joint, rheumatoid, and back pain.

Ideal For Weight Watchers

With higher protein content than both rice and wheat, a small bowl of bamboo rice has a lot more protein than regular rice which makes it ideal for weight watchers as well as for people who are looking for an enhanced protein intake without adding too many calories in their diet.

Balances Cholesterol Levels

Bamboo rice has a significant amount of fibre as well as phytosterols-a plant sterol which is more like the cholesterol of the human body. Phytosterols block the absorption of bad cholesterol thus being able to efficiently manage and lower these levels in the body to keep heart diseases at bay.

Prevents Cough Formation

Being rich in phosphorus content as compared to other grains is another reason that bamboo rice has those extra points and health benefits acknowledged for ages. For example, phosphorus can help cure respiratory problems and irritation arising due to cough. Phosphorus has also been beneficial to soothe asthma symptoms.

Improves Cognitive Health

Bamboo rice contains almost all essential B vitamins. A deficiency of this vitamin can cause anaemia as well as Alzheimer’s. B vitamins are also crucial for red blood cell formation, effective nerve functioning, as well as healthy cognitive growth and this rice, can be of great help.

Fights Tooth Decay

Vitamin B6 also called pyridoxine is found in this rice which is one of the crucial vitamins that prevents tooth damage and decay. Besides, it also combats tooth cavities and strengthens the teeth and prevents mild to severe gum inflammation.

Combats Diabetes

One of the best qualities of this green rice is that it has a low glycaemic index compared to other varieties of rice. This is a boon and a healthier option for rice lovers who are also suffering from diabetes. The rice keeps the insulin in check and alleviates the symptoms of diabetes.

Also Read: Red Rice: Types, Nutritional Content, Health Benefits, Recipes And Side Effects

Side Effects of Bamboo Rice

While every rice including this one is mostly safe to consume, people with thyroid disorders such as hypothyroidism, tumour or goitre should avoid the consumption of this rice variety. Pregnant and lactating women are also advised to avoid eating this green rice.

How To Cook Bamboo Rice?

Nice, nutty, and chewy, this gorgeous rice is very similar to unpolished rice and can be cooked and consumed just like our regular ones. Simply soak for 30 minutes and pressure cook them for about five to six whistles and the rice is all set! If there is any water left, do not throw it, and use this nutrition-dense stock in other ways.

Also Read: Basmati Rice: Types, Nutritional Content, Health Benefits, Recipes And Side Effects

A unique flavour and delightful colour, no fat content, a low GI, and replete with energy and vitamins, isn’t this tribal rice type fabulous? We bet it is! Next time, instead of the normal rice pudding, try this chewy rice for your next sumptuous dessert. Here is the recipe:
Bamboo Rice Kheer

Bamboo Rice Kheer

Ingredients

½ cup bamboo rice

2 cups milk

3 tbsp Sugar (coconut sugar can be a substitute)

1 cup coconut milk

1 tbsp ghee

10 cashews

Method

Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes

Pressure cook for about 6 whistles

Let it simmer for a few minutes

Fry the cashew in ghee and keep it aside

Boil milk in another thick-bottomed vessel

Add the steamed rice to it and continue cooking till the milk is reduced to half

Add the coconut sugar or normal sugar and coconut milk

Continue to simmer

Add the cashews

Serve hot

Nutrition

Laden with nutrients, and nutty in taste, the kheer contains bamboo rice as a key ingredient with a low glycaemic index which makes it ideal for health-conscious people. The rice and ghee also provide a feeling of fullness. The cashews in the dessert are also a great source of protein and healthy fats.