The states in north East India are home to some uncommon and amazing plants and herbs. These herbs and plants are often used by the residents and tribes for edible purposes and they also have strong medicinal properties. Rice is a staple in Indian food and the same is true about these states. However, the famous Black rice of Manipur is unique and offers multiple benefits. This glutinous rice variety is called Chakhao Amubi.
Nuances of the Manipur Black rice
The Chakhao Amubi is one type of sticky black rice that is indigenous to Manipur. ‘Chakho’ means delicious while ‘Ambui’ means black. In Manipur, it is generally served in special occasions and festive events. After cooking, the black hue turns purple and it has a slightly nutty flavor. It is used to make porridge, kheer, Chinese black cake and many other dishes. It is deemed that cultivation of black rice started when the earliest settlers of Manipur came to the place. In hills of Manipur, the grain is harvested in organic methods. No pesticide and chemical fertilizer is used. The black rice needs to be soaked for a few hours or overnight for cooking.
A variety named chakhao poireiton is being harvested these days and a few draught fighting variants have also been developed with time. Chakhao poireiton is said to be good at fighting cancer. Overall, 20 types of black rice are harvested in Manipur.
Nutritional value and health benefits
Chakhao Amubi is a powerhouse of nutrients and scientists have found consuming it can be extremely beneficial for human health. It contains 18 amino acids, along with minerals like copper, iron and some vitamins too. It reportedly contains more Anthocyanin antioxidants than blueberries and contains less sugar and more fiber.
The major health benefits offered by Chakhao Amubi are:
It has high antioxidant quotient. Antioxidants boost immunity levels and help your body stave off various ailments and infections better. The antioxidants also help discard toxins from body.
The Anthocyanins is said to be helpful for reducing heart attack prospects. It reportedly plays a role in preventing plaque buildup in artery walls. They are also helpful in lowering cholesterol levels in body.
Studies have revealed eating black rice can also help keep some dreaded ailments at bay. It may prevent onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Though solid scientific evidence does not exist, a lot of users of black rice say its consumption helps prevent and cure certain types of cancer.