Are you feeling naughty? Don’t let the name fool you. Forbidden rice, or black rice as it is also called, should be anything but forbidden in your kitchen. Research shows this little gem of a grain to be higher in antioxidants than super fruits like blueberries and blackberries, without the sugar. In addition, forbidden rice is high in fiber, contains lots of heart healthy vitamin E and…here’s the kicker…it is inexpensive compared to super fruits.
That’s not to diminish the importance of super fruits in your diet, but often we don’t think of rice as a super food. In fact many people avoid rice because they think it is high in carbs. But be aware that all rice is not created equal, and cooking with forbidden rice should definitely be encouraged!
Part of the reason forbidden rice is black in color is because it retains the outer bran that is removed from many other rice grains. The bran adds iron and fiber, but the distinguishing factor from other rice grains is in the vast amount of dark cancer fighting pigments, which give this rice its super food status.
Call me shallow, but another reason why I fell in love with forbidden rice, besides the fact that it makes me feel naughty, is because it is beautiful. It cooks to a deep and rich purple color that puts its bland relatives to shame, and compliments any dish; it’s the perfect plate accessory. Forbidden rice also adds a hearty and nutty, yet mild flavor to your dish of choice. I use it as I would any other rice or grain and serve it hot as well as cold in tabbouleh-like salads.
Forbidden Rice Pilaf
1 large onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup forbidden rice
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3 carrots chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Juice from 1 lime
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan, sauté the onion in the olive oil on low heat until it is soft. Add the rice, water, salt, and carrots. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low-medium heat for about 30 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Squeeze the lime over the rice and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled.