Mapillai Samba or “Bride Groom Rice” is a native variety of rice, which is red in colour and is grown predominantly in Tamil Nadu. It’s well suited to organic farming because it is hardy and demands little or no fertilisers or pesticides. It is a 160 days crop. Unfortunately, along with other native varieties of rice, mapillai samba has all but disappeared from our farms and markets, making way instead for highly processed, nutritionally inferior white rice. Very few passionate traditional farmers still grow such rice now. This rice comes from Thiruvannamalai in Tamilnadu.
Origin of its Name : The origins of its name can be found in Tamil forklore. In olden days, it is essential for a man to show his bravery through many traditional sports. These sports are conducted to test their physical as well as their mental strength. One such game was to lift a heavy rock, in which, the newlywed bridegroom is asked to lift the rock in front of everyone to display his physical power. In order to boost the energy and power of son-in-law to lift the rock successfully, mother in law wanted to cook and serve a rice which is high in nutritional value. Mappillai samba is one such native rice which has got a high nutritional value that will help him to stay focused while lifting the rock as well as gives him the power to lift. Hence, this red thick rice got its name as “Mappillai Samba” and was often cooked and served to newlywed bridegrooms.
Interesting Info – During Sangam period the kings served half-boiled mappillai sambarice to their guests and that seemed to be the practice then.
Even though the name of the rice is “Bride Groom’s Rice”, it is meant for all who wants to get good energy and strength. Here are the benefits:
The high fibre content present in the rice eases digestion.
The vitamin B1 present in the rice aids in healing stomach and mouth ulcers.
Improves immunity and stamina
Strengthens muscles and nerves
Makes the blood flow faster so that our body gets instant energy
Increases hemoglobin content
Good for diabetics since it is has a low Glycemic Index.
Little ones will achieve better growth
How to Cook……………
It can be cooked as rice, or made as Idli, Dosa, upma, pongal etc.
How to prepare a gluten free mapillai samba rice
1. Rinse the rice in water & soak it for 90 minutes.
2. Keep a pot shaped vessel on the stove add water (qty should be 3 times of the rice) and let it boil.
3. Add washed and soaked rice to boiling water, keep the stove in slow speed.
4. Optional – Add a pinch of salt
5. When it has almost absorbed all the water, check whether the rice is cooked, if not add little quantity of water.
6. Repeat step 5 of adding little quantity of water untill the rice is cooked. Usually it takes about 30 to 45 minutes for Mapillai samba rice to be cooked well, there will be some water still left over with the rice.
7. Drain the remaining water in a separate vessel, that’s your Gruel – morning energy drink Mapillai samba’s Gruel is so unique – known to provide high energy, a proven cure for ulcers, traditionally given to new mothers to regain strength.#