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close this book Boiling Point No. 22 - August 1990
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Puffing Rice

A Use of Domestic Stoves for Commercial Food Processing in Bangladesh

by Mike Battcock - Food Technologist, ITDG

In Bangladesh, domestic stoves are used for commercial food processing. One of the many examples of this is the production of puffed rice/muri. This is produced on a traditional two pot stove made from mud.

To make muri, the paddy needs to be parboiled (steamed) twice and then husked. It is said that to produce the best muri the paddy needs to be threshed using the traditional huller, the dheki, a see-saw device. However, mechanically hulled rice is acceptable.

Muri production requires the use of both the stove potholes. On one the rice is cooked in a shallow ceramic pot and on the other in a large, narrow necked, ceramic pot a quarter full of sand is heated.

When the rice starts to pop, the rice is poured into the second pot with the heated sand. A lid is placed on the pot which is shaken vigorously. All the rice pops immediately. The popped/puffed rice and sand are poured through a sieve to separate the sand and puffed rice. This is now ready for sale in the markets as a snack food.

Puffed rice can be produced at home and requires very little capital outlay for equipment and the husk removed from the rice can be used as a fuel. This enables the poorest of the poor to produce this to generate income.