What is Mapillai samba rice – Bridegroom rice ?

What is Mapillai samba rice | Bride groom rice ?

Mapillai Samba rice is traditional red rice from Tamilnadu. I was awestruck when I learned about the amazing varieties of rice we have in our country. It has been a few months since I dived into exploring and documenting the rice and using it at home. I have used 14 varieties of rice which I have never used before. I was presently surprised when I counted the number yesterday.

Here is a story behind the interesting name “Mapillai Samba ” or Bridegroom rice“.

In olden days the a bride groom to be had to show off his abilities and skills before the girls accepts him to be her groom. How would he do that ? By lifting a heavy rock also called the ilavatthakal in tamil. The rock is lifted to show his valour and the groom is fed the Mapillai samba before to get him the strength to pick it up. Some claim many grooms participated in the challenge for a girl. Now you see what mapillia samba is capable of ? It gives you the fibre.

Even today lifting the ilavattha kal is a traditional game in Madurai and surrounding places during the Pongal festival.


In the real world, a product from the farm is very much controlled by the demand from the public. If we as people understand the diversity our country has in rice varieties and opt to make them part of the kitchen, more farmers would farm them and reach it to us. This mapillia samba rice is hardy rice which can be very easily grown organically and in all seasons. So please subscribe to my channel as I promise to bring together many amazing recipes using these heirloom varieties of rice with so many amazing health benefits. Do make it an essential ingredient in your kitchen.

Benefits of Mapillai samba – Bridegroom rice

Aids digestion

Strengthens muscles and nerves

Supplies instant energy to the body

Increases Hemoglobin

Low in GI, glycemic index which in other words means it helps releasing Insulin slowly, keeping the sugar levels in check

How to store Mapilli samba rice or Bridegroom rice ?

Heirloom rice stays good for a longer duration in an air tight ziplock or box. Rice is highly prone to insects like Weevils also known as pantry beetles or flour bugs and ghuns in hindi.


More about how to protect your grains and staples from Weevils in my next post.

Adding a. bay leaf to the airtight container, or adding cloves to it also repels the insects.

Where to buy Mapilli samba rice and other heirloom rice


I have provided links to procure this rice varieties online in the link below.


Other recipes using mapillai samba rice …

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