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Puffed rice is a type of puffed grain made from rice, commonly used in breakfast cereal or snack foods, and served as a popular street food in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It is usually made by heating rice kernels under high pressure in the presence of steam, though the method of manufacture varies widely. It is widely used in countries like India.
A traditional puffed rice called muri is made by heating rice in a sand-filled oven. Muri is to rice as popcorn is to corn. The processing involved makes rice less perishable. Mandakki is a staple food in many parts of Rayalaseema, North Karnataka, Odisha, Tripura, West Bengal and Bangladesh. Jhalmuri or Masalemandakki is a very popular preparation made from mandakki (muri).
Puffed rice is formed by the reaction of both starch and moisture when heated within the shell of the grain. Unlike popcorn, rice kernels are naturally lacking in moisture and must first be conditioned with steam. Puffed rice can be created by heating the steam-conditioned kernels either with oil or in an oven. Rice puffed in this way is crisp, and known as "crisped rice". Oven-crisped rice is used to produce the Rice Krispies breakfast cereal as well as the crisped rice used in Lion Bars, Nestlé Crunch, Krackel, and similar chocolate bars. Though not as dramatic a change when compared to popcorn, the process and end result are the same.
Another method of puffing rice is "gun puffing", where the grain is conditioned to the correct level of moisture and pressurised to around 200 PSI. When the pressure is suddenly released, the pressure stored inside the kernel causes it to puff out. This method produces a puffed rice which is spongy in texture.
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