Grains make up a significant portion of the human diet and are an effective source of carbohydrates and protein. They can be categorized as whole grains or refined grains. Whole grains are those that are minimally processed, which means they still contain the bran (outermost layer of the grain), germ (embryo) and endosperm (above the germ). These offer a huge source of fiber, vitamins, proteins, minerals and antioxidants. Refined grains are derived from the whole grains but without the three components and the nutrients. This renders them a longer shelf life as, without the oily germ, they avoid turning rancid when exposed to heat and light.
What are the types of grains that are common in our Asian diet? We are sure you would know the answer to this too well - rice grains!
Aside from noodles, rice is a staple almost every Asian swears by, one might even say that they cannot live without this grain. Available across a variety, this simple starch is widely known as the first cultivated grain in Asia. The Italian counterpart is risotto - made from arborio rice. The difference is, arborio rice when cooked, becomes firm, creamy and chewy - making it perfect for risotto.
Certain types of rice are also healthier than others. White rice is starchy, and contains fewer nutrients than other kinds of rice with its husks, bran and germ removed. Basmati rice is considered the healthiest rice as, being long-grained, it does not have as many calories compared to other types of rice. Fun fact: basmati rice elongates as you cook it, resulting in long pointy grains that are fluffy and separate rather than sticking together like white rice.
We show you three different (and on the healthier side) types of rice grains and how to use them for the perfect dish.