Rice, in its most nutrient form... - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Rice, in its most nutrient form...

It is quite a common scene in Chennai roadside to see carts selling unpolished rice with its gravy. Called KooLu or Kanji in tamil and Ganji in Kannada, they sell nearly 500 ml of this for Rs 5. Many of you will term this as roadside and unhygienic , but this is the most nutrient form of rice available and is certainly worth having. I sampled it twice and don’t see any side effect or harm in this. Mixed with buttermilk and onion and served with fried chilli and raw mango slice, you might actually enjoy eating it.

The highly polished white rice we eat sans most of the nutrients, more so with the liquid filtered out. The original, unpolished version of rice takes extra time to cook and not that tasty, hence most of the hotels and households never use it. If you can think of any hotels in your locality which serve this variant of rice in their meals, please drop a comment. Kamat hotel in Milagris, Mangalore is one place where I have enjoyed such a meal.

Any thoughts on this issue?

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  1. Unpolished rice is the staple food in Dakshina Kannada and Kerala too, which is rich in Vitamin B.

  2. I would like to try this. Is this a village speciality? My two years in Chennai, I never came across this. Is it considered an acquired taste? The mango and chili accompaniment- how do you eat it with the 'rice drink'? Does this come in Kerala- what is it called in Malayalam? I think I can try it out on our upcoming trip to Kerala. Got any recipe for this? It reminds me my post on sambaram-http://alaivani.com/Default.aspx?tabid=56&EntryID=213.
    Thanks for posting!

  3. Jennifer, we used to drink kool every saturday when I was a kid..and even nowdays during AAdi(tamil month),households in chennai prepare this drink as part of marriamman festival. with right accompaniment..this will taste very yummy...try dry fish(karuvadu) with it.Also it is mandatory to prepare this for the pooja which happens one or two weeks before the marriage..

  4. HI Jennifer,

    Thanks for dropping by and for the comment..

    Answers: Besides what Saravanan has explained, this unpolished rice is more used in poor families than rich. It is not village speciality.

    I will try to take another photo and add here.

    You keep a piece of mango or fried chilly in your mouth and then kind of drink this rice drink...

    I will try to get you Malayalam word for this. It is used in almost allover South India, including Andhra Pradesh, but as I said mainstream hotels and households wont use it much-this is more popular among villages and poor people in city.



    Thanks for providing the additional information.

  5. @Jennifer,

    I have been told it is known as "Kuttari" in Malayalam.

    I've added another relvant photo to the post

  6. How do you make sure that the water that they use is of good quality?

  7. C,
    That is a valid concern... But then, at times we need to take certain things in faith...Even in decent hotels, we only see water coming out of the tap-what's on the other side (inside the tank) we assume to be pure.

    You are at your liberty to chose not to take that risk (if you feel it is a risk) but I feel we can trust these vendors

  8. On the similar lines.
    There is a new trend around jogging/morning walk parks in mumbai. Just outside the gate you would notice some Juice vendors selling juices of vegetables and herbs. I have tasted it and strongly recommend it.

  9. Yes Ashish, I have seen those fruit juice shops in Bangalore... though never tried it.

  10. ganji is actually one of the most common food items in Mangalorean homes. My mom makes it quite often and it is great to have when you are ill and cant eat the regular stuff. It is very healthy too

  11. Mithun Kotian,

    Yes, I know... I was mainly referring to bigger metros where Ganji is seldom used...

    Even we prepare that at home-very tasty, when served with Ghee and mango pickle.

  12. I know people used to prepare this during tamil festivals but never knew that this was sold on streets.

    I could feel the taste of Rice + Mango + Chilli + Onions combination.

    Villagers (mostly) soak the day's remaining cooked rice overnight - so called ' Pazhaya Sadham' in tamil. The next day morning, they have it with Shallots (small onions) and green chilli.
    This is believed to be very nutritious.

    Worth trying.

  13. Thanks SeeC for dropping by and sharing that useful info.

  14. I read in article 'unpolished rice' is good carbohydrate. how do i ask for unpolished rice in a tamil grocery shop and after buying it how should i cook it? my mom cook white rice daily..which is polished rice right? so how should she cook unpolished rice properly? i want to know how unpolished rice tastes before i buy..where should i try it as u said it might not be available in all hotels.

  15. Unpolished rice needs extra water to cook and takes longer time. Add 50% more water if using pressure cooker. Else cook using open vessel-you can check if it is cooked properly...

    A few hotels do serve this-not sure which one

  16. Hi Nidhi, I know this is going to be pretty late comment, but as i have started going through your blog quite recently wish to post a comment on this, yes, this unpolished rice and ragi together cooked as porridge has high nutrient value, and as you said available and sold in city lately, by road side vendors.

  17. Its never late to comment on any posts. By 2-3 year old posts still command comments.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting


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