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Posted on January 24, 2018

After a grueling week of early mornings, meeting schedules, making deadlines and endless work, weekends are the only bright stars on your horizon. Weekends are all about rest and relaxation…and comfort foods that are easy to prepare!

The perennial favorite Kerala breakfast dish comes to mind…hot steaming rice and coconut cakes served with the accompaniments of your choice. Red rice which is indigenous to Kerala is used for making this simple and healthy dish. There is no oil or frying involved, just quick and easy steaming of milled rice powder. Red rice is special as it tastes more robust and nuttier than the white variant and takes longer to digest, making it perfect for a lazy weekend! Its high fiber content and lack of refined carbs and sugars makes it perfect for healthy living. This is the way our parents and grandparents lived and we would definitely be in a healthier place today if we followed more of their dietary principles!

Though grains were milled at home in stone ‘chakkis’ in those days, we can enjoy the benefit of escaping from that arduous task and yet enjoy the fruits by simply visiting the supermarket and picking up a plastic pack of the same thing. Yet, there is something to be said about the fresh wholesome and organic diet of earlier days where fruits came from the surrounding trees in the compound and milk came from the family cow tied in the backyard, and life was so good!

The red rice or ‘Chemba puttu’ is made of coarsely ground rice that has been washed, soaked and dried before being coarsely ground. Coconuts used were freshly grated. The cakes were earlier cooked in coconut shells, but the modern woman uses steel moulds to achieve the same effect.

After adding a pinch of salt to the flour, water is added bit by bit with a tablespoon while constantly rubbing the flour between the fingers. When you feel that further adding would make the rice powder clump, stop adding water. The texture should be like wet sand when you are done with rubbing, which just takes about 2-3 minutes; the first-timer shouldn’t think it’s a lot of work, as it really isn’t. Add about a teaspoon of freshly grated coconut into the base of the mould before packing in the moistened powder. Add another teaspoon of the coconut to top it off, cover and you are ready to start steaming. Once steam starts emitting from the holes in the moulds cover, leave it for a couple of minutes before switching off the fire. Unmould it after a minute of cooling and your rice cake is ready to be served!

Health benefits:
1.Contains antioxidant, vitamin b6
2.Can lower high cholesterol
3.Helps to prevent heart diseases
4.Lower”s blood pressure
5.Lower the risk of obesity
6.Good for bone health and rich in fiber

Nutritional value of Red Rice

Serving Size:100 g
Calories:405 Kcal.Calories from Fat 44.10 Kcal.

Proximity Amount % DV
Energy 405Kcal (1695 KJ) ND
Protein 7g 14.00%
Total Fat (Lipid) 4.9g 14.00%
Carbohydrate 86.7g 13.55%
Total dietary Fiber 2.7g 7.11%
Water 1.6g ND
Ash 3.4 g


Minerals Amount % DV
Iron, Fe 5.5 mg. 68.75%
Zinc, Zn 3.3 mg. 30.00%
Potassium, K 256 mg. 5.45%
Sodium, Na 6 mg. 0.40%

*Percent Daily values are based on 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.