Parboiled Rice Porridge or Ukda Tandul Pej
Ingredients: 1 cup Kokan ukda tandul kani, 6 cups water, salt.
Directions: Soak the parboiled rice for one hour. Boil the six cups of water and then add the drained rice to this. Cook uncovered on a medium flame for 10 minutes and then for about half an hour, partially covered. The final dish should have both mushy rice grains and rice water (nival). Serve this with kairi chi koshimbir, moogache birde, baked sweet potato chips or sardines stir fry.
Significance: This is a favourite breakfast item of people in the Konkan region. The rice is parboiled (partially precooked by soaking, steaming and then drying), an ancient process, which leads to vitamins being shunted from the bran to the endosperm, increasing its nutritional value. Parboiled rice has more fibre and protein than white rice. The resistant starch in parboiled rice acts as food for gut bacteria and is therefore good for health. Ukda tandul pej can be eaten with a variety of accompaniments like roasted papad, pickle or moogache birde. Those with hypertension (high blood pressure) should avoid papads and pickles.
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Dr. Manisha Talim