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Rice: An Ayurvedic Staple

Rice is used in India for many different ceremonies.  It is used in offerings, and colored, powdered rice is used to create mandalas.  Rice is a symbol of health and wealth in many countries.  We often toss rice at newlyweds to wish them fertility and prosperity.  There are many different kinds of rice, including brown, wild, jasmine, Arborio and Basmati.  The white rices are considered more easily digestible.  Of all the rices, Ayurveda favors Basmati, because it balances all three of the doshas.  And Ayurveda says that we need to avoid rice that is instant, pre-cooked, or leftover because it has less nutrition and life energy in it.  And here’s a tip: Ayurveda says to only add salt to the rice after it is cooked, because adding the salt to the cooking water can affect the cooking temperature of the rice.  Rice can be used so many ways, and cooked with spices, nuts, vegetables or beans.  When sweetened with milk rice can also be made into a delicious dessert.  I like to mix in coconut milk and sugar and serve the rice warm with fresh mango!  Ayurveda suggests that we eat rice several times during the week, but not everyday.  It is a good idea to alternate the rice in our meals with other grains such as couscous, quinoa, and barley.

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