Guest Author - Jason Hodge
Kalijira Rice, a tiny aromatic rice, imported from Bengal, was all its package said it would be: nutty, fast cooking, aromatic, firm in texture, a great alternative to basmati rice, and I might add... fun to eat.
I popped into my local Whole Foods Market and was on one of my explorative shopping trips when I came across this tiny rice. I've never seen rice this small, so I had to get it.
We had family over and felt that it was a good enough time as any try it out. I cooked the rice as per the instructions on the package, got great reviews on it and thought that it tasted pretty good; however, there was a little bit of a peculiar taste to it that was quickly remedied by a good washing of the rice prior to cooking the next time.
It was good.
What I truly appreciated about it was it's versatility. The following week, we had more family pop on by, so I decided to make some coconut rice, a traditional West Indian dish. Everyone hit the roof! The flavors went well with the coconut. Savory, sweet, nutty and comforting were all rolled into this rice. The next evening, I converted that into a tofu fried rice, with raisins, spinach and minced red onions. Glorious!
Pricing is always a relative thing. I spent $3.69 for a 15oz. package of rice, which is just about $3.94 per lb. which fed 5 of us 2 days in a row at $.37 per serving. Not bad. Now are there better prices out there for rice? Of course there are, but can you get this rice for those prices? Maybe, but you'll have to use some creative shopping techniques.
Do I think the price I paid was worth it, and would I buy the Kalijira rice again? I would buy it again, but I would definitely get a better price for it. I would have to research it a lot more to determine if I felt the rice was worth that price.
Here are some of the things I would look at:
The company that produces it
What goes into its processing
Where the monies go
All of those factors would play into the justification of the price.
I used it to make traditional rice, coconut rice, fried rice, but it can also be used for a new twist on rice pudding, rice porridge, rice stuffing, rice bread, rice pilaf, rice salad, beans and rice, etc. Every area you would use other rices in, aside from the obvious ones, you can try adding this rice.
Play with this rice and use it as an option in your menus to offer to your clientele.
As always, it's been my pleasure sharing with you my product review of the week. Until next time...