Thursday, December 24, 2009
Healthy carbs = brown. We hear it all the time: eat more brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta. They taste nutty and delicious and they are so much better for us. My pantry now stocks only brown carbs, and when I am out and about I will not let any refined, white items pass my lips. But black??
While at the Slow Food market at the South Bank a few weeks ago I discovered black rice on one stall. A vacuum packed block of 500 g jumped out at me. Could this be the healthiest rice there is? I was so excited!
Black rice takes a bit longer to cook than brown rice. It can be soaked first to shorten the cooking time. But its deep, nutty flavour was such a reward for my patience. It was sticky and very slightly sweet, a perfect backdrop to roasted cauliflower and a tomato and turkey curry. I thought it was stunning as well; it is still a deep purplish black after cooking. Because it is so sticky it can be moulded or even used for sushi as at one London restaurant.
And although it is indeed very healthy, it doesn't taste as bland (and as much like cardboard) as brown rice can occasionally. (These complaints are from others, not me. I love the nutty, course texture of brown rice. It's healthy and delicious, I think!) Black rice is used in Thailand for rice-based desserts, but Ant and I loved it with our main meal. I guess the only down side to black rice is that it is not so easy to acquire. It's available at some Thai and Asian groceries, so I will be on the lookout in my neighbourhood from now on. And it's definitely available at SeeWoo shops in Chinatown and Greenwich. I'm convinced that I'll make it again--it's a showstopper, it's delicious, and it's healthy!