Red rice had been a preferred cereal and once meant exclusively for Royals of the Chera and Chola dynasties, according to historical narratives. It is indeed highly nutritious compared to other variants of rice. Even today, Red rice is the staple grain in Kerala and some parts of Karnataka. It is popularly called as Kerala Matta Rice or Palakkadan Matta Rice, inheriting the names from the region where it is widely cultivated and also consumed. The soil in Palakkad region attributes to its unique color and texture, and to the nutty flavor of this rice.
The whole grain usually requires 'double cooking,' and it needs more cooking time and water. Once cooked, red rice appears slightly bulked up in size and assumes light pink shades of color. Red rice is served as the main dish in a full course meal with curries that usually accompany white rice like Dal, Sambhar, Kootu, Rasam, etc. The grain is also ground into flour to make snack preparations. White rice, whose outer coat is removed by way of polishing provides relatively low nutritional value, when compared to Red, Brown, and Hand pounded Rice. The outer layer in these variants of rice is rich in minerals like Manganese and Zinc, also Protein, Fiber, and Vitamin B6.