Navara: The Ultimate Off-Road Truck for Adventure Seekers
Navara Rice: A Unique and Medicinal Variety of Rice from India
Rice is one of the most widely consumed staple foods in the world, especially in Asia. There are hundreds of varieties of rice, each with its own taste, texture, color, and nutritional value. One such variety is Navara rice, a rare and special type of rice that has been cultivated in India for over 2000 years. Navara rice is known for its medicinal and healing properties, as well as its religious and cultural significance. In this article, we will explore what Navara rice is, where it comes from, how it benefits our health, how it is used in Ayurveda, and how we can cook and enjoy it.
What is Navara rice?
Navara rice is a whole grain that belongs to the Oryza group of plants. It is native to Kerala, a state in South India, where it is regarded as endemic. It is also grown in some neighboring states that have similar soil and climatic conditions. Navara rice is harvested in 60 days, which is why it is also called Shashtika Shali in Sanskrit, meaning "rice that matures in 60 days". There are two varieties of Navara rice: white glumed and black glumed. Both are sweet in taste and easy to digest. Navara rice is often referred to as a medicinal plant, as it is used in various Ayurvedic treatments and remedies.
How did Navara rice come into existence?
The origin of Navara rice is not very clear, but some legends suggest that it was a divine gift to humanity. According to one story, Lord Vishnu once visited Kerala disguised as a sage and asked for some food from a farmer. The farmer offered him some cooked rice, but Vishnu said he wanted raw rice. The farmer then gave him some unhusked paddy grains, but Vishnu said he wanted husked grains. The farmer then gave him some husked white grains, but Vishnu said he wanted black grains. The farmer then gave him some black grains, but Vishnu said he wanted red grains. The farmer then gave him some red grains, but Vishnu said he wanted yellow grains. The farmer then gave him some yellow grains, but Vishnu said he wanted all the colors mixed together. The farmer then gave him a handful of mixed grains, which Vishnu accepted and blessed. He then revealed his true identity and told the farmer that the mixed grains were Navara rice, which had the power to cure all diseases.
What is the significance of Navara rice's GI status?
In 2007-09, Navara rice received the geographical indication (GI) status from the Government of India. GI is a sign that identifies a product as originating from a specific region or locality, where it has a certain quality or reputation due to its natural or human factors. GI helps to protect the authenticity and uniqueness of the product, as well as to promote its economic value and marketability. GI also helps to preserve the traditional knowledge and practices associated with the product.
What are the different types and features of Navara rice?
As mentioned earlier, there are two varieties of Navara rice: white glumed and black glumed. The white glumed variety has a white husk and a white kernel, while the black glumed variety has a black husk and a red kernel. The black glumed variety is more rare and expensive than the white glumed variety. Both varieties have long and slender grains that are aromatic and sticky when cooked. Navara rice has a high amylose content, which makes it resistant to overcooking and gives it a firm texture. It also has a low glycemic index, which means it does not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels after consumption.
What are the main nutrients and calories in Navara rice?
Navara rice is rich in various nutrients that are essential for our health. According to a study by the Kerala Agricultural University, 100 grams of raw Navara rice contains about 349 calories, 9.4 grams of protein, 1.9 grams of fat, 74.7 grams of carbohydrates, 1.3 grams of fiber, and 10.9 grams of minerals. Some of the minerals found in Navara rice are calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. Navara rice also contains vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid.
How does Navara rice help in various health conditions?
Navara rice has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various ailments and disorders. Some of the health benefits of Navara rice are:
It helps to improve digestion and metabolism, as it is easy to digest and has a cooling effect on the body.
It helps to strengthen the immune system and prevent infections, as it has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties.
It helps to regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as it has anti-hypertensive and anti-lipidemic effects.
It helps to control diabetes and obesity, as it has anti-diabetic and anti-obesity effects.
It helps to enhance memory and cognitive functions, as it has neuroprotective and nootropic effects.
It helps to reduce stress and anxiety, as it has adaptogenic and anxiolytic effects.
It helps to treat skin diseases and wounds, as it has anti-inflammatory and wound-healing effects.
It helps to prevent cancer and aging, as it has antioxidant and anti-aging effects.
How is Navara rice used in Ayurvedic treatments and remedies?
Ayurveda is an ancient system of medicine that originated in India. It is based on the principle of balancing the three doshas or energies in the body: vata (air), pitta (fire), and kapha (water). Navara rice is considered to be tridoshic, meaning it can balance all three doshas. It is also classified as sattvic, meaning it can promote purity, harmony, and peace in the mind.
Navara rice is used in various Ayurvedic treatments and remedies for different purposes. Some of them are:
Navarakizhi: This is a type of massage therapy that involves applying cooked Navara rice wrapped in cloth pouches on the body. It helps to rejuvenate the muscles, nerves, and joints, as well as to improve blood circulation and skin complexion.
Navaradhanya: This is a type of diet therapy that involves consuming nine types of grains along with Navara rice. It helps to detoxify the body, boost immunity, and prevent diseases.
Navarapayasam: This is a type of dessert that involves cooking Navara rice with milk, sugar, ghee, cardamom, raisins, cashews, and saffron. It helps to nourish the body tissues, increase strength and stamina, and enhance fertility.
How is Navara rice associated with rituals and traditions in India?
Navara rice is not only valued for its medicinal and nutritional qualities but also for its religious and cultural importance. In India, Navara rice is considered to be sacred and auspicious. It is used in various rituals and traditions such as:
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Pooja: This is a type of worship that involves offering prayers, flowers, fruits, and other items to a deity or a sacred object. Navara rice is often used as an offering to various gods and goddesses, especially those related to prosperity, fertility, and health.
Annadanam: This is a type of charity that involves donating food to the poor and needy. Navara rice is often cooked and served as a part of annadanam, as it is believed to provide physical and spiritual nourishment to the recipients.
Vivaham: This is a type of marriage ceremony that involves exchanging vows and rings, tying the knot, and taking seven steps around the fire. Navara rice is often used as a symbol of abundance, happiness, and harmony in the marital life.
Shraaddham: This is a type of ritual that involves paying homage and respect to the ancestors. Navara rice is often cooked and offered to the departed souls, as it is believed to satisfy their hunger and thirst in the afterlife.
How can Navara rice be cooked and enjoyed in different ways?
Navara rice can be cooked and enjoyed in different ways, depending on one's preference and taste. Some of the common methods and recipes are:
Plain rice: This is the simplest way of cooking Navara rice. It involves washing and soaking the rice for 30 minutes, draining the water, adding fresh water and salt, and boiling it in a pot or a pressure cooker until done. Plain rice can be eaten with curries, dal, yogurt, pickle, or any other accompaniment.
Fried rice: This is a popular way of making Navara rice more flavorful and colorful. It involves heating some oil in a pan, adding some chopped onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies, carrot, beans, peas, corn, and any other vegetables of choice, sautéing them for a few minutes, adding some cooked Navara rice, salt, pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, and any other seasonings of choice, tossing them well until well combined. Fried rice can be