An ancient rice native to Tamilnadu, Kitchdi Samba is one of the popular traditional varieties of paddy. It is a fine grained, white rice that is excellent for sadam, biriyani and kanji. It is a personally experienced fact that regular eating of this rice increases disease resistance in the body and substantially improves our robustness. In spite of being fine grained with a slender stalk, this variety of rice is also extremely hardy, resistant to both pests and diseases and can withstand both drought and flood.

There are only 2 traditional varieties of paddy that are fine grained and white (excluding jeeraga samba which is more a fragrant variety) – one is Thooya Malli and the other is Kitchadi Samba. Preferred for its taste and flavour, this rice was eaten by Kings and Lords in the ancient days. The Tamil film song writer Marudakasi was so thrilled by the taste of Kitchadi samba that he made a special mention of it in his famous song “Manapparai Maadu katti”.

We can make 3 different types of rice from Kitchadi Samba paddy: White Polished Rice:  This is milled and polished (or semi-polished), which is super tasty and white but lacks nutrition due to the loss of valuable bran.  Parboiled Rice(semi polished): This is rice that is milled after boiling and cooling paddy (puzhungal – parboiled) where much of the nutrition goes inside the rice because of parboiling and most of the nutrition is preserved. Brown Raw Rice: This is the best in terms of nutrition; rice is dehusked in a rubber sheller (instead of huller polishing) and all the bran is intact. This is unrefined rice and is more nutritious than parboiled rice.

Kitchadi Samba Rice

Cooking Method: In general, the use of urea for fertiliser makes paddy kernels very thin and less meaty; whereas, organic rice, grown without synthetic fertiliser, will be tougher than chemically grown rice. So either soak the rice in water for 30 minutes before cooking or try extra water or extra whistles in the cooker to achieve desired level of cooking consistency.

We currently have a stock of par boiled kitchadi samba, please do try this delicious, traditional rice variety! This comes to us from Sirkazhi, the rice growing belt of Tamilnadu.

– Balaji Sankar is a farmer and works on an agri magazine called Thalanmayi

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