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Idli rice is an Indian rice which is parboiled. Parboiled rice is pre-processed in order to reduce soaking time before grinding and it also has gelatinised starch which gives added texture. Short or medium grained rice is used because you need over 80% amylopectin (s starch) to make soft and plump idlis. Long grain rice contains only 78% amylopectin and therefore is not suitable. If you are unable to get idli rice, you can use a risotto rice such as arborio, carnaroli or vialone nano, but as this is not parboiled it will need to soak for about 4 hours longer.
Rice is the seed of the grass species Oryza sativa (Asian rice) or Oryza glaberrima (African rice). As a cereal grain, it is the most widely consumed staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in Asia.
Since sizable portions of sugarcane and maize crops are used for purposes other than human consumption, rice is the most important grain with regard to human nutrition and caloric intake, providing more than one-fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by humans.There are many varieties of rice and culinary preferences