The city's favourite new grain is black and beautiful, and healthy to boot. Here's how restaurants are innovating with black rice from the Northeast to create everything from salads and sushi, to dosas and dessert
Pics/Shadab Khan, Sneha Kharabe, Suresh Karkera, NRI BKC
Dosa for the times
The Lobster Tale is a butter-poached lobster dish served with a black rice dosa. "I came across this rice when I travelled to the Northeast, where it is used in a kheer. In this dish, I felt the dark-coloured rice dosa would work well with the orange-red lobster," says chef Amninder Sandhu, adding that the healthy rice has a heady fragrance, and is sticky in nature.
AT: Arth, plot 604, Pinnacle House, PD Hinduja Junction, 15th Road, Khar (W).
COST Rs 1,200
Japan meets Manipur
The rice used in the Black Rice Sushi with Scallops and Miso comes from Manipur. Not only does the deep colour of the grains make the dish visually striking, it also gives it a nutty flavour. "Since black rice has the tendency to get sticky, we combine it with a small amount of white rice while preparing the sushi," says executive chef Prashanth Puttaswamy. The scallops that go inside are seared in butter and miso paste.
AT: The Fatty Bao, Kamala Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
COST: Rs 410
Fibre-rich and guilt-free
This vegan Black Rice Salad comes with red cabbage, capers, and green olives. "Black rice is a power packed grain of wellness and health, a very rich source of dietary fibre and antioxidants. This dish is a wholesome and tasty salad option, especially for those avoiding gluten," says owner Parvinder Singh, adding that black rice also has anti-inflammatory properties.
AT: Garde Manger Cafe, 3, Paranjay Scheme Marg No 1, Vile Parle (E).
COST: Rs 350
Organic, unpolished black rice, sourced from Shillong, makes its way into this Mushroom Kedgeree. A British rice dish of Indian origin, this version is cooked with black rice, three types of mushroom, moong dal and truffle oil, and garnished with broccoli, mushroom chips and a drizzle of truffle cream.
AT: NRI, 2, North Avenue, Maker Maxity, Bandra Kurla Complex.
COST: Rs 800
Vegan meal for one
Inspired by Thai Sweet Sticky Rice, this Vegan Mango, Coconut Milk Organic Black Rice Pudding is a healthy, gluten-free meal. "We make our own coconut milk, and mix it with rice, jaggery and top it with mangoes. The rice makes the dish nutty and crunchy," says co-owner Sumit Gambhir, adding that they source the grain from Assam.
AT: The Pantry, plot 14, ground floor, Yashwanth Chambers, Kala Ghoda.
COST: Rs 295
Fish and rice, with a twist
Executive chef Sanyo Vaz uses black rice from Manipur in the Baja Fish Tacos, which are essentially tortillas served with sour cream, red cabbage and pico de gallo. The tortillas are a blend of black rice dough and corn meal.
AT: It Happened in New York, 84, Chapel Road, Bandra (W).
COST: Rs 390