Black as the night, a deep purple when cooked, full of antioxidants and anthocyanins, while being absolutely delicious with an inherent rich taste. Black rice is mysterious and has many tales associated with it.
All black grains of rice is supposed to have originated from the erstwhile Burma and China region. Various strains were carried to different parts and are being cultivated in many regions of Asia.
Karuppu Kavuni is black rice being cultivated in Tamil Nadu. Adhappan Sir who has been working with organic farmers and promoting conservation of traditional rice told me, “A large number of people from a trading community from Pudukottai and Sivaganga moved to Burma, about 150-200 years back, to do business and trade and we believe they brought this black rice from there. It was named Karuppu Kavuni after its colour ( “Karuppu” in Tamil means black). Since then it is being grown in these parts and is quite in demand to make sweets. It is also considered to be good to deal with joint pains.”
Our Karuppu Kavuni comes from farmers who grow it organically and have been conserving the seeds to regrow it every season, a valid reason for us to incorporate this variety into our cuisine. The medium grain variety is grown during the Samba season from September to January. Nowadays due to rains playing truant, the harvest is extending to February. It is a 130-135 day crop. Even though the variety is quite pest and disease resistant, the yields are low, making it high-value rice.
Karuppu Kavuni is usually used in its unpolished with the black bran intact. The rice kernel inside Karuppu Kavuni is not black, which is the case with almost all black rice, it is the bran that is black, imparting the nutritive value. Black rice contains more anthocyanins than many dark fruits. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in fibre, iron and other minerals. Here is my recipe to make Karuppu Kavuni payasam. This works for all black rice..
1 cup Karuppu Kavuni rice
1.5 cups jaggery powder/jaggery or slightly more based on your appetite for sweetness
Cardamom to taste
2 teaspoons ghee ( optional)
Wash the rice and soak it overnight (10-12 hours). Cook the rice with water (1:3) in a pressure cooker and keep it for 3-5 whistles. Take the rice out of the cooker and add the jaggery/jaggery powder and slowly cook in an open vessel, till the jaggery and rice mix well. It becomes sticky in consistency and shiny in appearance and will retain a chewy texture. Add crushed cardamom and ghee and mix it in. (Ghee is optional; the rice is so glutinous and tasty that it gets the right consistency even without ghee)!
Get this Karuppu Kavuni rice here – https://shop.biobasics.org/…/black-ricekaruppukavuni-raw-5…/ or call us at +91-9790516500 to order.