'Women's Rice' ? Interesting, isn't it. We’ve hardly heard of varieties such as this, as they’ve been disappearing into the background with the introduction of modern ones.
Poongar Rice is an traditional unpolished red rice variety, indigenous to Tamil Nadu.
Farmers say that this crop can withstand and grow in drought conditions as well as during floods. Often mistaken for Mapillai Samba Rice due to similar appearance
Why its called women's rice ? It has been known to be helpful in women’s health. Poongar consumed by women after puberty, is believed to avert ailments associated with the reproductive system. And especially beneficial to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Appearance : It has a reddish brown appearance due to presence of anthocyanin pigments.
Taste : known to have a lovely nutty flavour
- great for making idlis, dosas(especially neer dosa), iddiyappam, puttu, kanji/porridge, even in sweets like payasam.
- Or cooking as rice with meals : Wash well and soak over night. 1 cup rice : 3 cups water, pressure cook for 5 whistles.
Benefits of this rice variety :
- Ancestors say, beneficial for women :
- is said to maintain hormone levels and regulate if needed
- Farming communities believe that consuming this rice regularly before pregnancy does facilitate smooth birth and increased stamina.
- Its kanji (water extracted out of boiled rice) is said to induce normal delivery in pregnant women.
- Lactating mothers were advised by our ancestors to consume poongar rice for good milk secretion and stamina.
- More research is required to support these traditional practices.
- Rich in Iron & Vit B12: Believed to be high in micronutrients like iron and vitamin B12, which is why it was probably found to be beneficial by our ancestors, particularly for women. Consumed regularly, helps to improve and maintain a good haemoglobin count.
- Good mineral content, compared to modern rice varieties Other than Iron, Poongar rice is found to contain, Zinc, Magnesium, and Molebidinum.
- Antioxidant rich, helps in non-communicable disease management:
- key antioxidants in poongar rice, are why this rice variety is good for the management of diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.
- It is also a rice variety with lower glycemic index.
- Contains proanthocyanidins, that is effective in reducing bad cholesterol from the system.
- Good source of fiber:
- Contains good amounts of fiber that helps with constipation, bloating and gas.
- The rice is gluten free and can be consumed by people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Let's not let go of these treasures and make sure we pass them on.