Rice builds ojas. Ojas is said to have the smell of burnt rice. Of rices, Basmati is the most sattvic and aromatic.
Rice is nourishing and easy to digest giving more 'bang for the buck'. Rice offers more calories with less effort from digestive organs. Plain rice is a good late night snack that wont disturb agni. Strained water from cooked rice can me made into a gruel. It is a valuable food for those recovering from an illness and a cornerstone of samsarjana karma
Brown rice, although nutritionally superior, is harder to digest than white rice. A person with a compromised digestive tract may not be able to absorb these nutrients. Poorly digested food becomes a poison in the digestive tract. Ayurveda recommends white rice for anyone gas, bloating, or indigestion.
Rice that is cooked 'al dente', without enough water, can cause gas, bloating and constipation for Vata people. If rice gives you gas, add extra water and cook the rice until soft and puffy.
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Cooking rice is quick and easy. with slight additional effort, it can also be an art form. To make grains tasty I always add salt, oil and spices. A few roasted cumin seeds add a pleasant aroma. You may add other spices as well. Here is a basic recipe for rice. For every one cup of rice add:
- 1.5c water for 'al dente' rice, 2 cups of water for soft rice. An easy rule of thumb for al dente rice is to add water to 2x the height of the rice.
- 1/4 tsp of your favorite spice (examples are cumin, fennel, ginger, cardamom, oregano, thyme)
- 2 tsp of oil or ghee
- 1/4 tsp of salt
First, sautee the spices in the oil for 10 seconds. Then add the rice and water. Bring the rice and water to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer and cover. You may need to stir the rice to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Avoid stirring rice once it is soft. Stirring breaks the rice grains making it less light and fluffy. White rice will be ready to serve within twenty minutes. Brown rice takes up to an hour.
Other Rice Options
Rice flour is heavy and sticky. Breads made with rice flour are too drying for Vata. To make rice milk, blend rice with water. Rice cakes are a great snack for Kapha. Glutinous rice is a variety of rice that is especially sticky and used to make mochi in Japan.
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What about brown basmati rice? Is this easier to digest than regular long or short-grain brown rice?
- Jess, Allen park, MI, 07-01-12
Brown rice is generally much more difficult to digest. However, brown rice provides more nutritional benefits and fiber. It depends on the needs of the person...
I find white rice, cooked until mushy, makes me tired. Do you know why this is?
- Jackie, Kalamunda, 27 OCTOBER 1982, 09-16-13
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