Since I was a kid, I've firmly believed that rice is the best form of carbs- why wouldn't it be? It's amazing in every form- be that fried rice, risotto, biryani, or pudding. But when I heard about "fermented rice" through my grandma, I wasn't so sure in my belief anymore. It just sounded like unappetizing extra calories for breakfast, which I'd rather spend on eating literally any other form of rice. 

But when I went back home for spring break this time, my grandmother managed to convince me to try it once, and when I did, I was sold. Here's 3 reasons why- 

1. It's packed with more nutrients than regular rice

Siya Chandrie

My family always told me about how this was the ideal breakfast for people involved in physical labour, because it provides a lot of energy. I never really believed them until I did some research and realized that they were actually right.

The process of fermentation increases the availability of several nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. What surprised me the most was that by simply fermenting rice overnight for 12 hours, its iron content increased 21 times as compared to regular cooked rice. Studies have also shown that eating fermented rice regularly reduces fatigue due to the high vitamin B12 concentration. This makes it a miracle food for sleep deprived college students like me, who are completely dependent on caffeine for energy. 

2. It's super sustainable, cheap, and reduces food wastage

Picture this: you have a bunch of rice left over from the takeout you ordered for dinner, and no idea what to do with it. We've all been there, and we usually just have to throw away the extra rice. But that's where fermented rice steps in as the perfect solution to food wastage. By simply fermenting the rice overnight and eating it for breakfast the next morning, you can save a tonne of money, time, and food waste by reusing the rice and converting it into something healthier. 

3. It takes almost zero effort to ferment rice

I'm not the best cook, which is why I was pretty skeptical about this "rice breakfast" initially. But when I actually tried it, I realized that it takes almost no work at all. To ferment rice, you literally just have to soak a bowl of cooked rice in some water, and leave it overnight for about 12-16 hours. To be honest though, eating the rice in this form might be kind of unappetizing, so here's a simple way to improve the taste- 

1. Add plain yoghurt, salt, and a chopped green chili (curry leaves and asafetida powder are optional)

Siya Chandrie

2. Either puree the mixture slightly in a blender, or mash it with a fork to make it grainy. 

Siya Chandrie

And voila! That's all it takes to create this healthy, sustainable, and cheap breakfast superfood. It's super underrated, but is a fantastic way to pack in those micronutrients into your daily diet.