Broken rice, soft nutritious nibbles

Do not be alarmed by the name of broken rice. Though cracked, these little nibbles, also referred to brewers’ rice, are nutritious and good to be consumed. They are those bits of grains which are split either at the time of harvesting or during the milling process.  More on the variant…

Setting it apart

Broken rice has a long history. Due to the changed measurement, appearance and size, it has a different, softer feel to it when compared to unbroken rice. If from a rice husker (an agrarian machine that removes chaff from grain), it will be wholegrain brown rice, and if from a gristmill, it could be white.

Around the world

The grain easily absorbs flavours making it a popular staple in Thailand and South East Asian cuisines. In fact, there is a Vietnamese dish staple cooked with pork called ‘Cơm tấm’ which translates to broken rice. The variant is also used in the West Africa dish Thieboudienne. In Bangladesh, this variety is often tempered and eaten as a side dish called khood.

Characteristics of the rice

The broken kernels have a distinct mouth-feel and soak in more water than whole kernels. It cooks differently and boasts of a nutty taste. The cooking water gets frothy and the rice texture more appetising. Therefore, this variant is used regularly to prepare rice kanji, starch (laundry starch), cosmetics or other industrial products (bolt manufacture).  Low non-starch polysaccharides, this staple is 80% starch.

Nutritional facts

Broken rice is separated after the polishing process. It is rich in carbohydrates, providing the required energy for the day. However, as the GI index is high, all those on a specific diet should take care when consuming it. Those looking for a low GI index can opt for red matta rice.

Low in fat and fibre but high in calories, broken rice is easy to use, palatable to taste and makes for a nourishing feed. Although lower in protein, this variant is rich in lysine and has amino acerbic that is good for digestion.  It cooks faster so uses less fuel which translates into making it an ‘economical staple’. It is no wonder then that this inexpensive staple is commonly used to make animal fodder, prepare food for pets, calf, chicks, livestock, and young of animals. It is used for all types of farm animals. Broken rice is also the rice of choice for aqua farming. Easy and quick to cook it can be acclimated to accomplish rice porridges.

Based on 50 gms:

Calories 208 Sodium 1 mg
Total Fat 0 g Potassium 0 mg
Saturated 0 g Total Carbs 40 g
Polyunsaturated 0 g Dietary Fiber 0 g
Monounsaturated 0 g Sugars 0 g
Trans 0 g Protein 3 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%
Vitamin C 0% Iron 0%

*Percent daily values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values would depend on your calorie needs.


Dishes with broken rice

The chef would recommend the application of brewed angle to add a pungent, edgy taste to the dish. Below are some of the delicacies that can be cooked:

Broken Rice Pulao
Com Tam (Vietnamese dish)
Savoury Broken Rice Porridge (Thai dish)
Sweet Broken Rice Porridge (Thai dish)
Fried Rice Balls (Italian dish)
                         Rice kanji
                         Rice wine
               Baby foods and Cereals
                 Home-made rice flour

Cooking time and method

Quantity 1 cup
Water 1 cup
A ratio of rice and water 1:1
Heat Medium flame
Result Perfectly cooked rice

Broken rice is perhaps just a misnomer. Therefore, though it is ‘broken’, it is still a forerunner among rice staples.

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