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Black Rice

Also Known As : Forbidden rice, Indonesian black rice, Italian black rice, Purple rice, Chinese black rice
Technical Name : Oryza sativa


Taste Profile

It has nutty and umami flavour.

Usage Tips

  1. It can be used to make rice bowls along with cooked chickpeas or rajma topped with vegetable salad.
  2. It can be used to make a pudding using mangoes and coconut.
  3. Black rice can be stir fried with cabbage and peanut sauce to make a tasty dish.
  4. Cooking black rice is similar to cooking other kinds of rice except that black rice will take about 10 minutes longer to cook than other types of rice.
  5. The purple pigment in the black rice is so strong that it will stain anything and everything. So, use glass or metal cookware

Common names and forms

  1. Black orza rice
  2. Chinese Black Rice
  3. Organic Black Rice


Black rice which is also known as purple rice, forbidden rice, and Chinese black rice is a type of whole-grain rice that is quite dark in color. It can be completely black or more of a dark purple or burgundy with some multicolored kernels. It gets it's a signature black-purple color from a pigment called Anthocyanin. On cooking, black rice turns dark purple. There are two main varieties of black rice found in the market namely Indonesian black rice and Thai jasmine black rice. It was first introduced to the United States in 1995. This species of rice is found growing in tropical zones like China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, and North East India. Black rice is usually sold as a whole grain, with the outermost layer of bran intact, making it technically a type of brown, or unrefined, rice. The taste of black rice is very similar to that of brown rice and is often described as having a “nutty” flavor. It’s quite dense and chewy. Depending on the method of cooking, black rice can also be quite sticky.

Health benefits

  • Along with Anthocyanins, black rice also has flavonoids and carotenoids which act as potent antioxidants. These antioxidants are the compounds that protect the cells against oxidative stress caused by molecules known as free radicals. These free radicals cause degenerative changes and affect the body functioning. (1)
  • Black rice contains lutein and zeaxanthin which have been shown to help protect the retina by filtering out harmful blue light waves. These antioxidants may also play a major role in protecting against age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. (1)
  • Black rice is naturally gluten-free. People with celiac disease need to avoid gluten, as it can trigger immune responses in the body. Thus this rice can be a good option for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. (1)
  • It is low in calories, low in carbohydrates and high in dietary fiber. It gives a feeling of fullness for long and keeps hunger pangs at bay. Thus it acts as an ideal choice for weight loss. (2)
  • It plays a significant role in increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol in the body and significantly reduces LDL cholesterol levels. This reduces the chances of fat deposition in the form of plaques in the arteries and prevents problems like coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, or kidney problems. (2)
  • Black rice can be effective in treating asthma by reducing the inflammation in the airways and mucus hypersecretion. (2)

Selection Guide

Choose clear plastic bags through which you can see the rice, or ask the store owner to show you a sample of the brand that you wish to purchase. This rice can vary from a very dark plum color to brown or nearly black, but should never be light brown or faded as it indicates deterioration of quality. Avoid bags with a larger percentage of broken grains, as these will cook faster and be mushy.

- Disclaimer
"Information here is provided for discussion and educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice or product or ingredient review/rating. The information may not apply to you and before you use or take any action, you should contact the manufacturer, seller, medical, dietary, fitness or other professional. If you utilize any information provided here, you do so at your own risk and you waive any right against Culinary Communications Private Limited, its affiliates, officers, directors, employees or representatives.”