Puff rice is one of the popular low calorie healthy food snacks in most traditional cuisines of Southeast Asia, East Asia, and South Asia. Its a refreshment staple food made from rice commonly eaten as loose grains or made into puffed rice cakes. They are white in colour, light in weight, crisp in texture and gives nourishment. In India, puff rice is known as muri. Other regional names includes parmal, puri, mudhi, murmura, murmuri, borugulu in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and pori in Tamil Nadu.
Puff rice is a delicious refreshment snack in India when mixed with different chutneys, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, sev, and papdi such as bhel puri. In the United States and Europe, puffed rice is served with milk as a breakfast cereal and puffed rice cakes are sold as low-calorie snacks. In Bangladesh, mostly used to make Jhalmuri which is the most common and cheapest snack there. Also in Thai cuisine, a traditional popped rice snack is associated with the Buddhist Saat festival which is celebrated in autumn. It is mixed with caramelized palm sugar, coconut milk, peanuts, sesame seeds, and khao mao (pounded green rice). Korea also has a tea beverage made with puffed rice made with green tea and roasted puffed brown rice.
Puff rice is also offered to Hindu gods and goddesses in all poojas in the southern Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Pilgrims of Sabarimala often pack puffed rice in their Irumudikettu along with jaggery meant to be offered to Lord Ayyappan. Tamil saints say that Lord Ganesh loves pori, so it should be offered to him without fail. Pori has been mentioned in various Tamil literatures as an offering to Hindu deities.
TYPES OF PUFF RICE GRAIN
Puff rice refers to pre-gelatinized rice grains (either by being parboiled, boiled, or soaked) that are puffed by the rapid expansion of steam upon cooking. Puffed rice retains the shape of the rice grain, but is much larger.
Popped rice, on the other hand, refers to rice grains where the hull or the bran is intact. When cooked, the kernel explodes through the hard outer covering due to heating. Popped rice has an irregular shape similar to popcorn. There are various methods, both modern and traditional, for making puffed and popped rice.
Enriched with calcium, iron, vitamin D, thiamine, riboflavine and fibre, puffed rice ensures proper bone cell growth, regeneration, which in turn helps in bestowing a positive structural development of the body. Packed with fibre, puffed rice is pivotal for treating constipation. Renowned as a potent digestive stimulant, this desi snacking option helps in breaking down of food particles in the stomach and intestine, promotes the secretion of the digestive juices and thereby increases the absorption of essential nutrients through the intestines.
The high carbohydrate content in puffed rice acts as fuel for the brain by converting it into glucose. The array of antioxidants, minerals and nutrients are present in puffed rice due to which its an incredible option for improving the immune system, fighting microbes and shielding the body against various infections. Puffed rice having low sodium content, actively helps in normalising the blood pressure levels and keeps it under check. Being light and low on calories, puffed rice is an ideal option for people on a weight loss regimen. But loaded with carbohydrates, overeating puffed rice can also cause obesity.
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