Moongil Arisi or Bamboo Rice, is a rare variety among native rice which is the gift of the bamboo flower, during the last stages of the plant. Almost similar to wheat in looks and nutty in taste, it is highly adaptable as payasam/sweet pudding, dosai/pancakes, uppuma, or a replacement to cooked rice with loads of nutritious value.
High protein, high in potassium and vitamin B, strengthens heart, reduces cholesterol, maintains sugar level as it is low in glycemic index…. so many details available. No doubt, it is several times healthier than the polished, refined rice and other carbs that are available today.
I chose to make a payasam/sweet pudding to relish this exclusive gift from the Bamboo Flower to mankind.
Moongil Arisi Payasam/Bamboo Rice Sweet Pudding
- moongil arisi/bamboo arisi – 1 cup
- vellam/cane jaggery – 3/4 cup
- thengai pal/coconut milk – thick milk: 1/2 cup; diluted thin milk :1/2 cup
- elakkai podi/cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
- chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
- nei/clarified butter – 2 tsp
- mundhiri paruppu/cashewnut – 8 no.s broken into smaller pieces
Method of Preparation
1. Soak jaggery in 1/4 cup hot water and close lid. It would be mostly dissolved after 15 minutes. Crush the jaggery pieces if any and filter for impurities. Keep aside to use it later
2. Wash well and soak moongil arisi/bamboo rice for 4 hours.
3. Use the soaked water for cooking too. Take 4 times water to 1 times rice (I used 4 cups water for 1 cup bamboo rice)
4. In a pressure cooker, reduce the burner after the first whistle and cook for 20 more minutes
5. Open lid after pressure subsides completely
6. Pour the filtered jaggery water and cook till the mixture thickens
7. Add the diluted thin coconut milk and cook for another 5 minutes. Like the paasi paruppu payasam, moongil arisi can be cooked in third coconut milk and then second and the first thick milk can be added to complete the process. But, moongil arisi is a hard nut to crack. I thought it might need more time to soften and hence used water to cook the rice well.
8. While using store-bought canned coconut milk – dilute 1/4 cup milk with 1/4 water and add at this stage, or if using home-made coconut milk from scratch, add the second milk (not so thin) after the rice is cooked with jaggery.
9. Heat clarified butter in a pan and fry cut cashew nuts and add to the boiling payasam. One can also use fried coconut slices or raisins to enhance flavor.
10. Check whether the rice is cooked well and absorbed the jaggery and coconut milk.
11. Now, add the thick milk and boil for just 2 minutes in simmered flame. The jaggery may curdle the coconut milk.
Nutritious Moongil Arisi Payasam is ready to be served.