After making headlines with bamboo bottles and bamboo cookies, Tripura is now all set to grab the national market with bamboo rice derived from the flowers blossoms of bamboo trees. The state is also mulling to promote entrepreneurship models in bamboo rice productions.
Speaking on this, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said, “Innovative use of existing resources will help promote entrepreneurship in the state. Bamboo rice is unique and for its unmatched nutritional value and taste, it can give Tripura a major boost in penetrating the rice markets with this product”.
“We have already taken initiatives to market this product. And, now we need a dedicated strategy and invest more time in this. The young generation can earn a good living if they take this up as a venture,” He added.
Bamboo rice is said to have a lot of health benefits and is filled with nutritional value too. Based on its food properties, it is now gradually being incorporated into the mainstream kitchen, however its cultural side should not be overlooked as well. Poorna Banerjee, a renowed food blogger thinks that whenever a new food ingredient comes into the market, there remains a craze for it to know its background and origin. Bamboo rice too has a same story. “I tasted bamboo rice almost a year back and I felt it tastes similar to wheat and rice. Bamboo rice has a deep rooted culture and it was originally done by the tribal community in Kerala, since Bamboo rice harvesting is a source of income for many over there. Now it is gradually being incorporated in the kitchen by people of South India and in North East too. But personally I would want it to be preserved and treated with respect as a valued added food product rather than used for mass consumption. Also, it should be used by the artisans since it acts as a good source of income for many. Also, looking at its nutritional value bamboo rice is full of carbohydrates, protein, food fibre and lots of Vitamin D and it can be used as an alternative to rice as well. In the near future, there are chances of experimenting with this food product”, says Poorna.
Also, the Chief Executive Chef of Stadel, Kolkata Chef Karunamoy Chakraborty talks about the additional benefits of bamboo rice and the rasons behind its growing popularity. “Bamboo rice is special rice that is grown out of a dying bamboo shoot.
“When the bamboo shoot breathes its last, it flowers into a rare variety of rice seeds, which are known as bamboo rice. The addition of bamboo juice returns some of the nutrients that are lost in the white rice milling process. Bamboo Rice is especially high in vitamin B and antioxidants Bamboo rice is well known for its nutritive property. Bamboo flowers after 12 years and these have bamboo seeds in them often called bamboo rice. It is pungent, sweet and have whitish taste and richer in nutrients. These rice needs to be pre soaked well more than one hour before cooking.
It has ability to reduce joint pains and diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and swelling from wounds. It reduces sugar level notably once you consume for a week. Rich in antioxidants that reduces visible signs of ageing and calcium content is enormous.
Bamboo rice has low glycemic index compared to other varieties of rice, which is considered to be a healthier option for diabetics. It processed to make essential oils, supplements and powders. The extract comes from the shoots and leaves of Bambusa Vulgaris bamboo. This bamboo grows naturally throughout the tropics. Bambusa Vulgariscontains more than 70% of organic silica which is ten times
more than other supplements found in the market today. The bamboo rice is sweet, pungent, nutritious and strong. It cures kapha, pitta dosha, removes toxic substances from the body and cures the disease in which the vital humors of the body are excreted through urine”.
Talking about its food value he says, “The nutritious and health value of bamboo rice is very remarkable. It is more healthy to have bamboo rice than the rice from paddy seeds used to treat menstrual disorders, respiratory diseases and
infections. Its rich content of proteins controls back pain, joints pain and rheumatic pain .The other medicinal and health benefits are controls sugar, cholesterol and Blood pressure. Good for Pregnant women to overcome vitamin deficiency and also good for old people. This rice is used in all part of Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand. This rice is cooked and served well with mushroom, vegetable and meats. In times of covid it can act as a great source of supplements and is better than depending on other source of supplements which are artificial in nature. It goes well as a cooked rice and is better consumed if not mixed with other items / vegetable as its nutrients are conserved”
According to the chief minister, bamboo rice has good nutritional value, is rich in protein and can lower cholesterol and sugar levels. This makes the product very appealing for health conscious people. Moreover, clinical studies have also revealed that this rice is very effective in building the human immune system.