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Manipuri Black Rice | Benefits, Recipe, Nutrition | Chak-hao

Black rice is a type of rice that belongs to the Oryza sativa L. species. The rice endosperm, which is translucent with grey to almost black color, turns deep purple when cooked. [1]

My first encounter with Black Rice got me very fascinated and curious about this rice. At that time I thought I'm going to cultivate this rice in our own firm land as experiments see how it performed in our agricultural land. We also cultivated Assamese Red Rice (local name is Bao Paddy ) and 10 different varieties of local (native) rice.

Black Rice Cultivation

My experiment result surprises me. The above picture is from our agricultural field captured before harvesting black rice. it is not hard to cultivate the black rice. There is no need for extra precaution to cultivated black rice but it does need important minerals contain soil and climatic condition in favor of black rice to grow organically.

When I started cultivating black rice I have gone through some research and learn many things about this rice. The rice I cultivated is the Manipuri Black Rice, we people of Northeast India use this rice for making  Rice pudding and other rice desserts. 

So, I thought it will be better if share this information and findings to you peoples. Here I'm covering all the important aspects of  Black rice or forbidden rice and its benefits. Also, our (Assamese) traditional recipe that you can make easily in your home.

Black Rice or Forbidden Rice

Black rice or Forbidden rice

Black rice is glutinous and takes longer time to cook, and is stickier than white rice. Due to its unusual color and sweet nutty flavor, black rice has become popular for making sweet snacks and desserts in many Asian countries.[2]

Finest of all, black rice varieties are stickier than regular white rice or brown rice due to a lower Amylase content and a higher Amylopectin content. Amylose and amylopectin are the two components of starch. Stickier black rice is thus called glutinous. 

Secondly, its dark color is the result of a high anthocyanin content which gives the rice a black pigment when raw.

Hundreds of years ago, black rice was tagged as ‘Forbidden Rice’ in Ancient China since only those belonging to the upper class could afford to eat it.[3]

Black rice is a range of rice types, some of which are glutinous rice. Varieties include but are not limited to Chettinadu black rice of India, Indonesian black rice, and Thai jasmine black rice.

"Rice is known as the grain of life and is synonymous with food for Asians". In addition to being a staple food and an integral part of social rites, rituals, and festivals in almost all Asian countries, rice also has medicinal value, which was clearly recognized by the medicine systems of the region centuries ago.[7]

Black Rice Benefits

  • Black rice is also being looked at as possible preventing factor from serious illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease
  • Black rice is high in nutritional value and contains 18 amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene, and several important vitamins.
  • The grain has a similar amount of fiber to brown rice and like brown rice, has a mild, nutty taste.
  • Black rice is a good source of dietary fiber and phytochemicals that help combat heart disease and cancer. [5]
  • It also contains vitamin E and is lower in sugar than berries that have similar phytochemical qualities.
  • Black rice is a healthy source of minerals, especially iron.
  • The bioactive compounds have strong free radical scavenging and antioxidant effects which help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
  • Black rice absorbs cholesterol and explored cholesterol-lowering compounds present in this rice.[6]

White, Brown and Black Rice Nutrition Value Comparison

USDA calculates values per 100g

White rice

Brown rice

Black rice

Ingredients: MILLED RICE



Energy 344 kcal

Energy 162 kcal

Energy 356 kcal

Protein 6.67g

Protein            3.33g

Protein 8.89 g

Total lipid (fat)  0g

Total lipid (fat) 1.19g

Total lipid (fat) 3.33g

Carbohydrate, by difference 77.78g

Carbohydrate, by difference 34.29g

Carbohydrate, by difference 75.56g

Fiber, total dietary 0g

Fiber, total dietary 1.4g

Fiber, total dietary 2.2g

Sugars, total including NLEA   0g

Sugars, total including NLEA 0g

Sugars, total including NLEA 0g

Calcium, Ca 0mg

Calcium Ca 10mg

Calcium, Ca 0mg

Iron, Fe 0.8mg

Iron, Fe 0.86mg

Iron, Fe 2.4mg

Sodium, Na 0mg

Sodium, Na 0mg

Sodium, Na 0mg

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0mg

Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units 0 IU

Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid 0mg

Vitamin A, IU  0IU

Fatty acids, total saturated            0.24g

Vitamin A, IU 0 IU

Fatty acids, total saturated 0g

Fatty acids, total trans 0g

Fatty acids, total saturated 0g

Cholesterol 0mg

Cholesterol 0mg

Fatty acids, total trans 0g



Cholesterol 0 mg


Uses of Black Rice

Black Rice (Chak-hao)  is consumed mainly after being cooked like rice or kheer (Rice Pudding). Some of the value-added products that can be prepared are powder, suji (flour), syrup, chocolate, beer, wine, cake, bread, flattened rice, paratha, ladoo (rice flour ball), other sweetened food and cosmetic items.

Where to Buy Black Rice

Black rice previously was only available in gourmet grocery stores and Asian specialty markets. Due to growing demand and health benefits, online store like Amazon sells some of the best qualities organic black rice. Click on the brands to see details.

Internationally Available

1. Nature's Earthly Choice All Natural Rice

2. LundbergFamily Farms Black Pearl Rice

3. OrganicWild Rice — Raw, Long Black Whole Grain, Non-GMO, Kosher, Bulk

4. Gerbs WildBlack Rice

Available in India

1. Pekkoy Black Rice,Manipuri Chak Hao, Aromatic Forbidden Rice

2. Organic Delight Black Rice from Manipur

3. B&B Organics Black Rice Karupu Kavuni

4. Natureland Organics Black Rice Pouch

Manipuri Black Rice

Black rice is known as Chak-hao in Manipur and it is also cultivated in other Northeast Indian States. The black rice of Manipur of India has its importance as glutinous or sticky rice and is used for ceremonial purposes as a delicacy.

manipuri black rice

Black Aromatic Rice of Manipur is well known for its attractive color and aromatic flavor and considered as one of the richest source of anthocyanin found among food grain product apart from its optimal content of vitamins, minerals, fiber, proteins, and many other nutrients.

Two varieties viz., Chak-hao ‘Amubi’ and Chak-hao ‘Poireiton’ which are quite popular in the state are being cultivated organically. It will be available in the state during the month from December to May every year.

Among the different varieties of black rice, Manipuri black rice is well-known and has high demand in the international market. Therefore, online stores like Amazon sells some of the best Manipuri black rice. Click here to see details

Nutrition and Minerals Value of Manipuri Black Rice

Nutritional Value per 100 g

Total crude protein

: 12.15%

Total carbohydrate

: 72.43%


: 8.27%

Total fat

: 4.8%


: 1.57%

Crude fiber

: 0.71%

Source- MOMA



: 24.06 mg


: 58.46 mg


: 1.03 mg


: 4.30 mg


: 0.43 mg


: 23.34 mg

Total anthocyanin

: 69.2-74.0 mg (cyanidin 3-glucoside)

Total phenolic

: 500 and 577 mg (Gallic acid equivalent)


Manipur Black Rice gets Geographical Indication Tag

Chak-Hao, scented glutinous rice popularly known as Black Rice which is cultivated in Manipur since centuries and popular to people apart from the State has got GI (Geographical Indications) registration after almost a yearlong battle for registration competing with the other States of India.

The Geographical Indications Registry website also confirmed the report of registering Chak-hao in the name of ‘Manipur black rice’ on their official website.[8]

A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin (e.g. a town, region, or country).[7]

The use of a geographical indication, as a type of indication of source, acts as a certification that the product possesses certain qualities, is made according to traditional methods, or enjoys a certain reputation, due to its geographical origin.

Chak-Hao of Manipur is registered under GI certificate number 364 which application was filled by North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC). 

However, the whole documentation processed was done by Manipur State Agriculture Department in collaboration with other agencies including Manipur Small Farmers Agri-Business Consortium.[4]

Black Rice Recipe - Black Rice Pudding (Kheer)

Black Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding is basically served as desserts and its very famous in India known as Kheer. Here I'm going to give you the step by step processes of making traditional Assamese Black rice pudding recipe. it is simple and easy to make.

What I like most about this recipe that you can add other ingredients according to your taste and sometimes rice pudding becomes very sweet that some of you wouldn't like or if you have sugar problem.

But Black rice pudding is very much settled doesn't make sweetness overshadow the other ingredient test. If you are using black aromatic rice then it is best.

Black Rice Pudding Ingredients List

  1. Milk 1 ½ litter (1500ml)
  2. Black Rice ½ cup (with measuring cup or 1 cup with medium-size regular use cup)
  3. Sugar 3 or 4 table spoon (As your per your taste)
  4. Dry fruits (Almond and Raisin)
  5. Water as required for the rice to soak
  6. Ghee 1 table spoon (Clarified Butter)

Process of Making

  • Wash the rice with normal water
  • Add some water, so the rice can soak and leave it for 3 to 4 hours. This is because black rice outer shell is very hard as compared to normal white rice.
  • Take a pen and boil the milk
  • Once the milk started to boil reduce the gas flam so the heat of the milk also reduce and add black rice with some water.
  • Cook in low to medium heat to prevent overflow of milk and stir
  • Add Raisin (Kismis),
  • When the rice is 70% cooked after that adds sugar as per your taste.
  • Add 1tb spn ghee (Pure Ghee) or Clarified Butter
  • Stir continuously and mix all ingredients properly
  • If the rice (pudding) is getting too much thick then add ¼ (250 ml) of milk and stir constantly
  • When the milk is getting thicker and the rice also becomes soft and nice turn off the heat and leave it for about 10 minutes to rest. 
  • Cut almonds and add and mix
  • Now you can serve it hot. If you are making it in summer season you can serve it after become cold.

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