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We have made a chhenar polao with Rani Kajal, an aromatic rice variety from the Sundarbans lowlands. The slightly buttery popcorn flavour of the rice compliments the milkiness of the entire dish, which we adapted from Prajna Sundari Devi’s cookbook.
about the rice
The rice with an intriguing name, Rani Kajal is an aromatic variety from the low-lands and is among the type of flood-tolerant rice that grows taller and taller in tandem with rising water levels. This characteristic underwater “stem elongation” property is governed by the genes, SNORKEL 1 and SNORKEL 2, located on chromosome 12. Hence, it can elongate their stems as floodwaters rise, keeping their seed-bearing panicles above water up to four metres deep. It is also resistant to bacterial blight. Rani Kajal was also one of the particular rice varieties that ensured rice production for southern Bengal farmers after a flash flood of the Hugli River in 1999.
the uncooked grains are slender, dirty-white in colour and medium-long
store them in air-tight jars away from direct sunlight and moisture
what you can cook with
Rani Kajal’s aroma and flavour makes it quite versatile as a pilaf rice. It can also be served just plain with a little bit of ghee and our famous goyna bori.
|botanical name||Oryza sativa|
|origin||North 24 Parganas|