© Denzil Green
Purple Rice is a rice that is a very inky dark purple, almost black colour.
In Thailand, where it’s known as “Khao Hom Nil”, it’s grown in the east, in the Esan Plateau close to the Cambodian border.
The rice is a whole grain, unpolished rice with the bran left on.
When cooked, it is sticky and chewy, and has a slightly nutty flavour. It also retains its colour when cooked.
For a more tender rice, soak in cold water for 30 minutes before cooking. Put 1 cup (11 oz / 300 g) of rice and 1 1/2 cups (12 oz / 350 ml) of water in a pot.
Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until all the water has gone.
Store in a sealed container in a cool place for up to one year.
In the 1900s, Purple Rice had lost favour to white rice, but at end of the 1900s, interest in it grew again and production was revived.
In 2002, a company named Soon Hua Seng Marketing began promoting it.
Pongvutitham, Achara. Thailand: The Nation. ‘Purple rice’ hits the market. 5 February 2002.