Rosematta rice is a delicious variety of red rice from the scenic South Indian state of Kerala. It is very healthy and a rich source of dietary fiber. Rosematta rice is a robust rice with a very subtle earthy/nutty flavor. Rosematta rice differs from other rice varieties in that it has a slightly pinkish hue & it is also a parboiled rice.
Parboiling is actually quite a lengthy & complex process whereby the rice is partially boiled. This process includes hydrating, steaming and drying the rice grains after which the outer husk can then be easily removed. This process also forces the essential vitamins & nutrients found in the outer husk to be absorbed into the rice grains yielding a very healthy final product. Parboiled rice is also very good for digestion.
Now this rice cooks up a bit differently in that it takes more water and just a little bit more time but the results are absolutely worth it. It can be eaten like any other rice with dal or curry but I have spiced up my Rosematta rice & added some vegetables as well. Rosematta rice is readily available in any Indian grocery store or market.
ROSEMATTA VEGETABLE RICE
1 cup of Rosematta rice
1 medium onion, finely diced
1½-2 cups of your favorite vegetables*
3-4 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
½ cup unsalted toasted peanuts (or cashews)
4-6 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida (hing)
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
salt and pepper, to taste
juice of ½ lime or lemon
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
*Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to the dish such as some diced red or green bell peppers, grated carrots, green peas, mushrooms, zucchini, corn kernels, small cauliflower florets or you can even add some lightly fried paneer or cooked chickpeas. Just make sure the vegetables are cut roughly equal in size so they cook evenly.
To cook the Rosematta rice: first, rinse the rice under cool running water & drain well. Now the simplest way to cook this variety of rice is in a pressure cooker, but the ratio here is 1 cup of rice to 3 cups of water. The cooking time will vary depending upon the pressure cooker but in general, add an extra 5-8 minutes cooking time to your normal cooking time for Basmati rice. The Rosematta rice should be fully cooked & completely soft, if there is any extra water remaining – just drain it off. Set aside until needed. You can also make Rosematta rice on the stovetop by simply bringing a big pot of water to a good boil. Then add the rice grains & stir well. Then partially cover the pot and let cook on medium low heat for about 18-20 minutes. Drain out any excess water & set aside until needed.
In a large deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, very carefully add the mustard seeds and reduce the heat to medium. After the splattering has stopped, add the cumin seeds along with the asafetida, curry leaves and green chilies. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes and then add the onions, ginger and peanuts. Sauté until the onions have browned slightly and then add the turmeric, salt and pepper. Stir fry for a few more minutes before adding the vegetables. Stir and let cook for a few minutes and then add the cooked Rosematta rice. Mix well to combine all the ingredients and then add the lemon juice. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve.