What Is Matta Rice? (How It’s Made, What It’s Called + More)

Not all rice variants are created equal. As such, when looking for a more nutritious alternative to regular white rice, you’ll surely come across matta rice.

If you’ve never heard of matta rice before, you might be wondering what matta rice is and what makes matta rice better than other rice variants. I looked into it, and here’s what I found!

What Is Matta Rice?

Matta rice is a type of red rice that is cultivated in Palakkad, Kerala, India. Additionally, matta rice is a popular variant of red rice because of matta rice’s nutty taste and nutritional value. Like other types of rice, matta rice is sold in different formats. Usually, matta rice is parboiled to make matta rice easier for consumers to prepare.

In case you’re interested to learn more about the different kinds of matta rice and how to prepare matta rice, keep reading!

What Is Matta Rice Called In English?

Matta rice has many names, the most common one used in English-speaking countries being Rosematta rice.

Additionally, matta rice is also called red parboiled rice, Kerala red rice, and Palakkadan matta rice.

Where Is Matta Rice From?

Matta rice is cultivated in the Palakkad district of Kerala, India. Moreover, Palakkad is the rice granary of Kerala, and other rice variants are grown in Palakkad apart from matta rice.

When matta rice was first introduced to society, Palakkadan matta rice was reserved only for the royal families of the Chera and Chola dynasties of India.

Moreover, there is also matta rice grown in Karnataka in Southern India, which is called Kerala matta rice.

How Is Matta Rice Made?

Just like other rice varieties, matta rice is grown in paddy fields that have plenty of clay and silt, making them ideal for water retention.

After harvesting, the grains are cleaned, destoned, boiled and dried. Finally, the grains are graded and segregated using a computerized sorting machine before they are packed.

Is Matta Rice Hand Pounded?

There is matta rice that is sold as hand-pounded, although there is nothing to confirm that all matta rice is hand-pounded.

Is Matta Rice Better Than White Rice?

Matta rice is considered more nutritious than white rice because matta rice is often parboiled, helping the rice retain most of its nutrients.

Additionally, matta rice has a richer flavor and texture, contains fewer calories,

Is Matta Rice The Same As Red Rice?

Is Matta Rice The Same As Red Rice?

Matta rice is only one among the many variants of red rice. In India alone, some regions produce different types of red rice.

Kerala, where matta rice is primarily cultivated, also produces red rice varieties like kairali, kattamodan, rakthashali, bhadra, and jyothy, to name a few.

Are Matta Rice And Brown Rice The Same?

Matta rice is not the same as brown rice. Apart from the obvious difference in color between matta rice and brown rice, matta rice also differs from brown rice in terms of flavor.

Brown rice may be nutty, but matta rice is known to be significantly nuttier and has an earthier taste.

Additionally, matta rice is naturally pigmented and is unprocessed, while brown rice is simply the form white rice takes when the white rice is not fully processed.

Does Matta Rice Have Carbs?

Just like other types of rice, matta rice also contains carbs. Generally, a single cup of cooked matta rice has 77 grams of carbs.

Is Matta Rice Whole Grain?

Whether matta rice is whole grain depends on how the matta rice is processed. Typically, there is matta rice that is sold as whole grain, and matta rice is sold as partially milled.

Is Matta Rice Unpolished?

Matta rice can be sold unpolished or semi-polished. Typically, matta rice is sold semi-polished to make the matta rice easier to cook.

Moreover, unpolished matta rice tends to take much longer to prepare, which is why most matta rice is sold parboiled.

What Is Unda Matta Rice?

Unda matta rice is a type of matta rice with shorter grains. Additionally, unda matta rice is a popular rice variant in Kerala.

Is Matta Rice Parboiled?

Matta rice is commonly parboiled to make cooking matta rice easier and faster. Furthermore, it is through parboiling that matta rice gets its reddish-brown color.

Moreover, parboiling enables the matta rice to retain most of its nutritional value throughout the storing and second cooking process.

Is Matta Rice Fattening?

Matta rice can be fattening when over-consumed. However, since matta rice is rich in fiber, you’ll likely eat less matta rice than you would white rice.

This is because the fiber in matta rice will satiate you much sooner and longer than regular white rice, helping you keep your rice intake to a minimum.

Is Matta Rice Gluten-Free?

Matta rice is naturally gluten-free, just like most types of rice. However, it is possible to contaminate matta rice during the cooking process.

As such, celiacs need to use seasonings and ingredients that do not have gluten or to cook matta rice in a separate saucepan.

Does Matta Rice Have Arsenic?

Research shows that rice cultivated in India does not contain arsenic. As such, matta rice is considered to be naturally arsenic-free.

How Do You Cook Matta Rice In An Electric Rice Cooker?

Since matta rice still has bran, it’s better to soak the rice for at least an hour before you cook it in a rice cooker.

Afterward, rinse the rice thoroughly and place it in the rice cooker. Once the rice cooker indicates that the rice is cooked, let the rice sit for around ten minutes.

Giving the rice time to rest before you fluff or serve the matta rice makes the rice softer and easier to chew.

Take a look at our other articles to discover what malted rice is, what Masoon rice is, and what Young Chow fried rice is.


Matta rice is a type of red rice grown primarily in Kerala, India. Since rice from India doesn’t contain arsenic, consumers can be assured that matta rice is non-toxic.

Compared to brown rice and white rice, matta rice has considerably more nutrients to offer. Additionally, matta rice has a nuttier and chewier texture.

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