A handful of Boka saul presented on a  bell metal container Credit: EastMojo image

Guwahati: Not too many people from outside the state will know that Assam also produces a ‘magic’ variety of rice, a ‘soft’ rice that doesn’t require any cooking at all. That the indigenous variety of rice, called ‘Boka saul’ (mud rice) locally, got a geographical indication (GI) tag recently is just another feather in its cap.

Going ahead, Boka saul will soon make its debut in US markets. The development comes after a Los Angeles-based non-resident Indian (NRI) businessman showed interest in promoting the indigenous rice, also called Komal Chaul (Oryza sativa). As per reports, the businessman, Nitin Patel, got in touch with Nalbari-based Lotus Progressive Centre (LPC), a local NGO involved in the promotion and preservation of the native variety of rice across 45 villages in and around Nalbari district.

A platter of Boka saul served with other traditional delicacies

The fun fact about Boka saul is that it does not need to be cooked and can be prepared only by soaking it in water in room temperature for about an hour

Now the question that might arise is: what is so magical about the magic rice? For one, the rice needs no resources or fuel or any cooking at all and can be prepared only by soaking it in water in room temperature for about an hour.

Apart from its user-friendly way of cooking, it is known for its nutritive values and its cooling effect when consumed in summer. This variety of rice is mostly used as part of the traditional cuisine with curd, jaggery, milk, sugar or other items.

Boka saul is mostly cultivated in lower Assam districts of Nalbari, Barpeta, Goalpara, Baksa, Kamrup, Dhubri, Kokrajhar and Darrang, among others.

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