Going beyond the Basmati fix
Here is an extremely informative article on reviving Scented Rices by Sree Devi Lakshmikutty, a Co-founder Director of Bio Basics. She writes about the many a fragrant rice variety still available in India.This article has been published in the Metro Plus section of The Hindu in Bangalore, Hyderbad, Chennai and Coimbatore Editions.
But unfortunately, today’s lifestyle choices coupled with the media hype has narrowed down our knowledge (an therefore, use) of fragrant rice to only Basmati.
Fragrant Rice Varieties are grown pan-India
But as it happens, in the past and even today, there many not so famous varieties of rice that are extremely fragrant and can be eminently used as alternatives to Basmati. These include Mullan kazhama and Gandhasaale scented rices from Wayanad, Kerala, Jeeraga Samba from Tamil Nadu, Govinda Bhog and Tulaipanji from West Bengal, Ambe Mohar from Maharashtra. from West Bengal, Kaala jeera from Odisha, Chinnor from Madhya Pradesh, Vishnu Bhog from Chhattisgarh, Badshah bhog of Eastern India, and the aromatic black rices Chakhao amubi and Chakhao poireiton of Manipur.
As it happens, even this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg as can be seen in this Research Paper titled “Scented Rices of India“, published in Asian Agri-History, the Journal of The Asian Agri-History Foundation.
Fragrant Rice Availability
We at Bio Basics actively promote over 25 organic traditional rice varieties, arguably one of the highest range to choose from in India. This is largely thanks to Sree Devi’s involvement with the Save Our Rice Campaign, that is active in all Southerns States of India.
Further, all of these rices we offer are Organic Whole Foods, as they are either semi-polished or unpolished. They also include some special rices that are medicinal, scented, etc.
Many of rice varieties are under threat of extinction thanks to our modern food choices fueled by promotion of the very few High Yielding varieties. If are at all serious about protection of our Agro-biodiversity, it is essential that we, as consumers, must eat these diverse varieties as part of our daily diet.
The Organic Traditional Fragrant Rices we offer include not just Basmati, but also Mullan kazhama, Gandhasaale, Govinda Bhog, etc.
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