Burmese Glutinous Wild Black Rice and Yellow Peas (Nga Cheik Paung Pe Pyot)

Burmese Glutinous Wild Black Rice and Yellow Peas (Nga Cheik Paung Pe Pyot)
2 cups Thai glutinous wild black rice (note 1)
1 Tbs lemon juice
freshly squeezed
2 cups yellow peas (note 2)
6 cups water
divided 3 cups to cook rice and 3 cups to cook beans
1 tsp turmeric
freshly grated or powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 strip kombu
1 tsp sea salt
plus more to taste
1 Tbs olive oil
1 shallots
medium, moon shape slices
1 Tbs toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs sesame seeds
2 Tbs peanuts
toasted (optional)
2 Tbs coconut flakes
pre-soaked (optional)
  • large lead-free earthenware clay pot with cover
  • rice cooker
  • frying pan
Black rice and yellow peas is a breakfast staple in Burma. When I was young, I had this nearly every morning. Even now when I catch a whiff of strong nutty sesame oil, my mind goes back to when I was a child at breakfast drizzling sesame oil and sprinkling sesame seeds on top of the chewy savory black rice and soft sweet yellow peas. This rice and bean combination provides a complete protein making it a great way to start the day. In this recipe, both rice and beans are sprouted to improve nutrient absorption and better digestion.
Sprout rice and beans (note 3): Prepare this step three days prior to cooking the dish. To sprout the rice, place in a large bowl, cover with water two inches above rice, add lemon juice and let soak overnight. Drain rice, place in a sprouting jar or colander, and rinse with water twice daily. To sprout beans, place in a large bowl, cover with water for two inches above beans, let soak overnight. Drain yellow peas, place in a sprouting jar or in a colander and rinse with water twice daily. Within 2 to 3 days, both rice and beans should have tender sprouts. The volume of the sprouted rice and beans will increase by at least 50%.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Cook the beans: Place sprouted yellow peas in a large clay pot. Add 3 cups of water. The water will not fully cover beans. Add turmeric, baking soda, kombu and salt. Cover and bake until the beans are tender but al dente, about 1 hour. Turn off oven but leave clay pot in for another hour, to finish cooking. Most of the beans should still retain the shape while they are soft and tender. Remove kombu for stock.
Cook the rice: Place rice and remaining 3 cups of water in a rice cooker (note 4). Alternatively, use a saucepan on a stove top. Add the same rice to water ratio. Bring it to a boil uncover first. Lower heat and cover for 15-20 minutes until rice is al-dente. Turn of the heat, let the rice rest, covered for 5 more minutes.
Prepare garnish: Add olive oil to a frying pan with medium high heat. Sautee shallots until they are caramelized, about 5 minutes.
To assemble, place black rice on a plate first and add yellow beans on top. Drizzle with sesame oil. Sprinkle with shallots and sesame seeds. Peanuts and coconut flakes are also optional garnish. Add additional salt if needed.
Serve warm immediately or at room temperature.
source: Adapted from traditional Burmese recipe
1. Thai glutinous wild black rice can be found in any Asian grocery store. It is also available online at https://nuts.com/cookingbaking/grains/rice/sweet-black-thai.html. Forbidden rice can be used instead.

2. Yellow peas, also known as Vantana white peas, can be found in Indian grocery stores. They are also available online at http://shop.khanapakana.com/swad-vatana-white-white-peas-2-lb-907-grams/

3. Although sprouting would provide better nutritional benefits, if you have less time, you can simply soak the beans overnight. The result for sprouting varies depending on the type of beans and grains also.

4. Sprouted rice needs less water. The ratio of sprouted rice to water is 1 to 1.5.

Rice and beans are known for their complete protein when combined. Thai glutinous wild black rice is full of nutrition, containing antioxidants, amino acids, magnesium, iron, minerals and B vitamins. It also has anthocyanin, an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) claims black rice is good for kidneys, stomach and liver. Yellow peas (White Vatana) are known for lowering cholesterol and regulating blood sugar level. Because of its high potassium, it is also good for lowering high blood pressure. Turmeric is a powerful medicine long used in TCM and Ayurvedic Medicine as an anti- inflammatory agent.