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It commonly refers to unhulled rice or partially hulled rice which has a red husk, which is darker than the brown tinge of brown rice varieties. It has high nutritional value since the germ of the rice is left intact. Some cultivars are short grained and very sticky, while others are long-grained. Red rice is grown in Europe, Southeast Asia, and the American South, and some have developed their own brand by cross-breeding several varieties.
However, the term red rice can also refer to a variety of other rice yields. Few of them are as follows:
Himalayan/ Bhutanese red rice: Food experts believe that the elevation, which is about 8,000 feet above sea level, benefits the flavor of the rice. It is also possible that it is the water that the rice is grown in, which is fed by a glacier, is a credit to the flavor of the resultant rice.
Red yeast rice: It is a specialized product made in China and Japan. This rice is made by husking and polishing regular rice and then fermenting it with yeast, allowing a thick red crust to develop on the rice. Once the rice has been fully fermented, it can be processed in different ways.
Weedy Rice: There is another variety of rice which is considered as a pest for rice varieties. This is because it produces far less grains per plant than cultivated rice. It is considered as a nuisance since it can cross breed leading to inferior rice plants.
How to select
Red rice is readily available in most health stores, and like many other kinds of rice should be used within six months of purchase. Buy rice in the packaged grains section of grocery and specialty stores. Look for intact kernels that aren't broken, scratched, or damaged.
· When red rice is cooked, the natural red color in the bran leaches out and dyes the rest of the dish red to pink. Thus, it adds to the visual plate presentation in certain recipes.
· Eat it like regular rice, or serve with a variety of foods like spiced curry, sauces etc. For a visually stunning dish, try combining red rice and white rice. The combined textures are also a treat for the palate. Just remember that since both have separate cooking requirements, cook the two types of rice separately and then combine them before serving the dish.
· It can be incorporated into risotto and other mixed rice dishes as well.
· Use in chilled salads which call foe rice pilafs. They add the visual appeal in such salads.
· It would also pair well with fish, white meats, and vegetables.
How to store
It is best stored for up to 6 months under normal conditions. Store in air- tight containers
in a cool dry place away from moisture and humidity.
· Red rice is high in fiber, because of the bran.
· Studies on red rice also seem to suggest that it may help fight harmful cholesterol.
· It is said to be a part of traditional Chinese medicine.