During the good old days, there was no practice of preparing hot morning breakfast, as we do now, among most South Asian and South-East Asian families. The previous day’s cooked rice was soaked in plain water overnight and was consumed the next morning with some nutritious supplements such as fresh buttermilk, slightly salted onions or other non-spicy pickles such as gooseberry or lemon.

In olden days, farmers and laborers, especially of South East Asia, who did a lot of physical work ate fermented rice for breakfast. Fermented rice is called pazhankanji or vellachoru in Malayalam, pazhaya saadam in Tamil and paaniwala chawal in Hindi.

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Known as “Pazhaya Saadham” (meaning old rice) in Tamil, “Pazhankanji” (old rice porridge) in Malayalam and “Saddhi Annamu” or “Saddhennamu” (meaning cold rice) in Telugu in South India, it is one of the most nutritious foods.

For centuries, this has been the staple food of many South Indian families, particularly of the low income groups. It is, of course, now replaced with fashionable hot breakfast.

The cooked rice may be soaked in an earthen vessel or vessel made of natural clay or rock. (In Tamil families, vessels made of natural rock, called “Kalchatti”, were used. Many South Indian families use this even now though it is called by different names in other languages. Some families use this “Kalchatti” that has been handed down to them from generations. It is found to be free of harmful bacteria and other normal disease-causing elements.

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Traditionally rice is cooked in the afternoon and excess water is drained. After the rice cools down to room temperature, it is soaked fully in water and stored in an earthen clay pot. This covered pot with soaked rice is left overnight at regular room temperature. The rice would ferment by the next morning and is eaten for breakfast. Traditionally, it is eaten with a side dish, raw onion or green chili. Some prefer to drain excess water and eat it with yogurt and a slight sprinkle of salt.

The lactic acid bacteria break down the anti-nutritional factors in rice resulting in an improved bioavailability of micro-nutrients and minerals such as iron, potassium and calcium by several thousand percentage points. For example, after 12 hours of fermentation of 100 grams of rice, the availability of iron changed from 3.4 mg to 73.91mg (an increase of 2073%).
In the agrarian communities of South East Asia, fermented rice played a big role in the lives of people. It gave the energy, the nutrition and the cooling effect that they needed for a full day of manual labor. Unfortunately, people moving up the food chain (or wealth chain, rather) looked down on fermented rice as the pauper’s food and ignored the great nutritional value it provides.
Food scientists who researched on the food practices among various regions in the world and concluded that the South Asia’s tradition of consuming the previous day’s cooked rice soaked in plain water overnight, in the morning next day, as break-fast, is the best. It has the rare B6 B12 vitamins which are not otherwise easily available in other food supplements. This rice generates and harbors trillions of beneficial bacteria that help digestion and has many disease fighting and immunity developing agents. The bacteria that grow in the intestines due to this rice safeguard the internal organs and keep them fit and ready. Consuming this rice helps quicker digestion and wards off ageing, bone related ailments and muscular pains. Brown rice is the best for this as its nutrients are retained intact.

By soaking the cooked rice in water, the lactic acid bacteria break down the anti-nutritional factors in rice, resulting in improved bioavailability of micronutrients and minerals such as iron, potassium and calcium by several thousand percentage points. For example, after 12 hours of fermentation of 100 grams of boiled rice, the availability of iron increased from 3.4 mg to 73.91 mg (an increase of 2,073%).

In the agrarian communities of South Asia (India included) and South East Asia, fermented rice played a big role in the lives of people. It gave the energy, the nutrition and the cooling effect that they needed for a full day of manual labour. Unfortunately, people moving up the food chain (or wealth chain, rather) looked down on fermented rice as the pauper’s food and ignored the great nutritional value it provides.

Food scientists, after researching on the food practices among regions in the world, have concluded that South Asia’s tradition of consuming in the morning as breakfast the previous day’s cooked rice soaked in plain water overnight is the best. It has the rare B6 and B12 vitamins that are not otherwise easily available in other food supplements. This rice generates and harbours trillions of beneficial bacteria that help digestion and has many disease-fighting and immunity-developing agents. It has been found that this is a compact and complete breakfast.

The bacteria that grow in the intestines due to this rice safeguard the internal organs and keep them fit and ready. Consuming this rice helps quicker digestion and wards off aging, bone-related ailments and muscular pains.

Brown rice or parboiled dark-brown rice (usually preferred in Kerala) is the best for this rather than white rice as the nutrients are retained intact.

The American Nutrition Association has listed these benefits if you stick to the practice of consuming such soaked rice.

Consuming this rice as breakfast keeps the body light and also energetic.

Beneficial bacteria get produced in abundance for the body.
Stomach ailments disappear when this is consumed in the morning as excessive and harmful heat retained in the body is neutralised.
• As this food is fibrous, it removes constipation and also dullness in the body.
• Blood pressure is normalised and hypertension subsides appreciably.
• Body feels less tired due to this food as a result of which one feels fresh throughout the day.
• This removes allergy-induced problems and also skin-related ailments.
• It removes all types of ulcers in the body.
• Fresh infections are kept at bay by consuming this rice.
• It helps in maintaining youthful and radiant look.
Consuming this rice takes away your body’s craving for tea or coffee. It is the richest source of Vitamin B12 for vegans.

American Nutrition Association has listed the following benefits if you stick to the practice of consuming such soaked rice.
  • Consuming this rice as breakfast keeps the body light and also energetic.
  • Beneficial bacteria get produced in abundance for the body.
  • Stomach ailments disappear when this is consumed in the morning as excessive and harmful heat retained in the body is neutralized.
  • As this food is very fibrous, it removes constipation and also dullness in the body.
  • Blood pressure is normalized and hypertension subsides appreciably.
  • Body feels less tired due to this food as a result of which one feels fresh throughout the day.
  • This removes allergy induced problems and also skin-related ailments.
  • It removes all types of ulcers in the body.
  • Fresh infections are kept at bay due to consuming this rice.
  • It helps in maintaining youthful and radiant look.

 

So, do not throw away that extra rice you had cooked. It could be the healthiest breakfast you will ever have.

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