When mature, the rice has a red husk. But this is not the rice used: this mature rice is harvested in November for normal use. Duman is made from the greenish kernels of rice that stay on the stalk after the mature rice is harvested. The stalks are beaten against a hard surface till they fall the rice kernels fall off, then the kernels are gathered, then tossed in the air so the wind can carry loose debris away. These are then gathered, wetted, toasted in a clay oven for up to 30 to 45 minutes, then pounded to separate the chaff away.
They the kernels are put in a large wooden barrel called an “asung” that looks like an overgrown mortar, and pounded with thick poles for up to 3 hours. The rice is not pounded flat; it maintains its shape. At the end of processing, it comes out a golden green colour.
The variety of rice used can only be harvested once a year (other rice varieties yield up to 3 crops a year), and yields only 1 sack per hectare, compared to around 300 sacks per hectare for other rice varieties.
Duman Rice is very expensive; 2006 prices were approximately $36 US per kilo.
Duman Rice can be made into rice cakes, or toasted and sprinkled with sugar, or stirred into the hot drink called “tsokolate.”
The variety of rice used possibly originated with rice brought by Chinese traders in the early 1800s.
Literature & Lore
A Duman Festival is held every December in Pampanga.