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How to puff your own rice?


formula400
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Here in India rice is puffed by putting it in a karahi with very hot sand. It is stirred around until it puffs and is then strained. On the street you can get freshly puffed mixtures of peas and grains of all kinds. It is weighed out according to how much you want to spend, then puffed. Afterwards a common dressing is with some chopped onion, chopped chilli and chopped coriander, plus some spices, salt and mustard oil. Really delicious.

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I cook rice in an excess of water until what would normally be considered overcooked. I then drain it, spread it on trays and dehydrate it until completely dry. I store it in airtight containers until needed, a quick flash in hot oil puffs it nicely. It works equally well with barley. I don't see any reason it would work with other grains as well but I haven't played around with them yet. It also works, with a different textural result, with pasta.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Rice will usually puff just by tossing it in hot oil. I've just found I get a bigger puff and more consistent results with the cook/dehydrate method. It seems to store well so I just do larger amounts and have it on hand when I need it.

Also, in my first post, that should have said "I don't see any reason it wouldn't work with other grains". Apparently it was too early for proofreading before I posted.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Here's a really good article from Cooking Issues on the science of puffing

Thanks! I wasn't aware of an ideal moisture level in the dried product so that's definitely helpful information. The rest is pretty much what I do anyway but if over-drying can reduce the success rate I'll have to be a little more watchful during the dehydrating process from now on.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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going to try and boil the rice with sugar ti get them sweeter

Cooking Issues says that sugar will burn before the puffs puff.

Honestly, save yourself some oil and try the sand method! Actually this is a genuine request as I have always wanted to have a go at it but don't know where to get the sand...

A beach?

PS: I am a guy.

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I will not use any sand.

Sand is almost like glass and may have very sharp edges. There may be many other impurities as well. Microscopic sand particles can cause cancer in your lungs (silicosis).

I have never puffed rice, but I have puffed pork skin a lot (cracklings). I get perfect puffing of pork skin in a high heat oven. No frying in oil at all.

I will try puffing rice in a hot oven and see if that works.

dcarch

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Microscopic sand particles can cause cancer in your lungs (silicosis).

Considering the amount of microscopic sand particles we probably unknowingly inhale on a daily basis, I think a few pieces in the rice is going to have pretty low odds of increasing the risk by much. Not that I'm an expert on the matter.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Microscopic sand particles can cause cancer in your lungs (silicosis).

Considering the amount of microscopic sand particles we probably unknowingly inhale on a daily basis, I think a few pieces in the rice is going to have pretty low odds of increasing the risk by much. Not that I'm an expert on the matter.

Amen to that, Tri2Cook, and especially true for those who live within the ashfall radius of active volcanoes (where the rate of silicosis is actually astoundingly low). I probably breathe more silica on a daily basis than I get from my Machica (roasted barley flour, which is done whole-grain in hot sand in a very similar method to Jenni's rice puffing detailed above.)

I'm also interested to try the hot salt method - it seems that it would have interesting results

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I will not use any sand.

Sand is almost like glass and may have very sharp edges. There may be many other impurities as well. Microscopic sand particles can cause cancer in your lungs (silicosis).

Meh. It's a pretty traditional method that has been used for quite a while now. If it was hugely contributing to cancer, then I would have thought there would be high levels of lung cancer that someone might look into and find the link? I could easily be wrong, I am no scientist. And traditional does not equal automatically good for you, it is true.

And of course, everyone is welcome to consume what they wish, so it's up to you if you'd like to use a different method. I was merely sharing about how puffing is done here :smile:

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I will not use any sand.

Sand is almost like glass and may have very sharp edges. There may be many other impurities as well. Microscopic sand particles can cause cancer in your lungs (silicosis).

Meh. It's a pretty traditional method that has been used for quite a while now. If it was hugely contributing to cancer, then I would have thought there would be high levels of lung cancer that someone might look into and find the link? I could easily be wrong, I am no scientist. And traditional does not equal automatically good for you, it is true.

And of course, everyone is welcome to consume what they wish, so it's up to you if you'd like to use a different method. I was merely sharing about how puffing is done here :smile:

I should have underlined "any" in "any sand".

The sand they use will have no sharp edges and no microscopic particles. After many uses, the sand grains more or less are round from abrasion and all microscopic particles have been used up in many uses.

I don't know if there is danger in having sharp particles in you digestive system.

dcarch

Edited by dcarch (log)
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Well if you really are worried about the sand but really want to use it you can get washed sand with very rounded grains and uniform particle size. See if your local water well driller will let you have some. I like the salt idea, though.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I miss puffed rice. My grandmother used to purchase large bags of them. She'll put some in a bowl with toasted sesame, a pinch of salt, some cilantro and then add hot tea. I was a great snack. I am not sure why but I think the ones she got was cooked in sand.

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