Ofada Rice (grown in Mowe Ofada Town, Ogun state, Nigeria.) also known as Abakiliki rice (grown in Abakiliki – Ebonyi state, Nigeria) has it very own unique spot in the Nigerian cuisine table. It’s a Locally grown type of short grained brown rice which is mostly sold unpolished and unrefined with part of the bran still intact. Surprisingly, even though it’s not as refined as the regular rice and most times abandoned for white rice due to it’s peculiar qualities, it’s much more superior nutritionally to white rice.
Technically speaking, white rice is polished (it was once like ofada rice). And polishing removes the layer known as the “Aleurone layer” of the grain–a layer filled with health-supportive, essential fats. Because these fats, once exposed to air by the refining process, are highly susceptible to oxidation, this layer is removed to extend the shelf life of the rice. The resulting white rice is simply a refined starch that is largely lacking its original nutrients.
Unlike white rice which has been stripped of it’s basic nutrients such as iron, vitamins, Zinc, magnesium and other nutrients during the refining process by manufactures, ofada rice still contains these basic nutrients and aleurone layer which makes it far healthier than white rice.
Ofada Rice preparation
Step 1: One major problem with ofada rice is the presence of stones. This is the major reason why people are put off by the local rice. Once the stones are taken out, you’d have no more issues with the tasty local rice. So before cooking Ofada rice, take out time to remove the stones.
Step 2: After picking out the stones, Wash the sorted rice severally with clean water. It could be extremely dirty so you have to wash it severally till the water gets clean. Once done, place in a small pot.
Step 3: Add some water just enough to cover the rice. Parboil for 10 mins and turn out into a clean bowl. Rinse a few times more and place back in the pot.
Step 4: Add some salt and clean water then boil till the rice softens.
Serve with Ofada stew, Ayamase aka designer stew, or any Nigerian Stew/sauce available.
Health benefits of Ofada Rice a.k.a Abakiliki rice (just to state a few)
• Due to its rich fiber concentration, ofada rice facilitates healthy bowel movement and promotes weight-loss.
• it helps improve metabolism and keeps you feeling fuller for a long time.
• it’s rich in protein
• it contains lignans which helps Protect against Heart Disease
• it’s a good Source of Fiber which has been shown to reduce high cholesterol levels, prevent atherosclerosis.
• The fiber contained in it helps keep blood sugar levels under control and so is an excellent grain choice for people with diabetes.