Kerala Matta rice (also known as Rosematta rice, Palakkadan Matta rice, Kerala Red rice, or Red parboiled rice) (Malayalam: കേരള മട്ട) is an indigenous variety of rice grown in Palakkad District of Kerala. It is different from brown rice. It is popular in Kerala and Sri Lanka where it is used on a regular basis for idlies, appams and plain rice. The robust, earthy flavor of Red Matta makes it an enticing companion to lamb, beef or game meats.
The “Kerala Matta” rice has been very popular from early days because of the richness of rice, its unique taste and use in preparations of rice-snacks like “Kondattam,”“Murukku” etc. The “Palakkadan Matta ari Kanji” ('ari' in Malayalam means Rice) is also famous for its rich nutrient qualities. The Kerala Matta rice is referred to in the work “Rice in Kerala” authored by Sri.P.C. Sahadevan and published by the Government of Kerala in 1966. The unique rice is mentioned in Tamil Classics like Thirukkural. During the ancient times Palghat District was part of Tamil Nadu. Rice in the days of Chera/Chola Kingdoms was considered as a royal food. The commoners were happy with ‘Chama’ (an inferior variety of cereal). One adventurous farmer chanced upon this unique rice variety in the king’s farm and carried it away in a “Matta” meaning “Areca Leaf’. The rice variety fell into the public domain and was sown by the farmer and soon became a regular rice crop in Palakkad. This rice was popularly referred to as “Matta” and exclusively cultivated in Palakkad and later came to be known as the Kerala Matta Rice. Some of the old and popular varieties of Kerala Matta are “Chenkazhama”, “Chettadi”, “Aruvakkari”, “Aryan”, “Vatton”, “Ilupappoochampan”, “Chitteni”, “Thavalakkannan” and the newer varieties like “Kunjukunju’ and “jyothi”. In page 65 of the 2nd volume of “KRISHISASTRAM”, a book authored by Mr. J.V. Akkarappatti (a Retired Agricultural Officer) in 1957, there is a special reference to the Kerala Matta rice.
Cultivation and trade
Kerala Matta Rice is grown in Karnataka and Kerala in South India. Matta rice gives Kerala farmers a premium of Rs. 300 for 500 kg of paddy. A three-year ban on the export of matta rice was partially lifted in February 2011, allowing 25,000 tonnes to be exported in 2011.
Kerala Matta rice is a unique cereal having high content of nutrients and is indispensable for those who do hard physical work. It is also rich in fibre. Kerala Matta Rice is the rice having the outer bran being removed. The grains are yellowish pink from being parboiled with the reddish out layers. Rose Matta Rice maintains a pink hue as well as its flavor on cooking. Like all brown or par boiled rice, Red Matta has a lengthy cook time and requires extra water.
Palakkadan matta rice is registered under the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 by the Palakkad Matta Farmers Producer Company Ltd. It is a coarse variety of rice with bold grains and red pericarp. The rice has got a unique taste. The coarse rice with red pericarp by itself ensures high content of nutrients. “Par-boiling” of the rice further ensures retention of nutritional value. The grains is grown on unique black cotton or regar soil, derived from rocks rich in lime peculiar to Palakkad also in “Poonthalpadam” where the soil is heavy, containing 60-80% of clay and silt and possess low permeability and high water holding capacity. These soils, the humid weather of Palakkad, easterly winds that blow through the Palakkad gap and the rivers that flow from the Western Ghats, and the bright sunshine determine the unique taste and quality of the Kerala Matta Rice.
The Rosematta rice is washed in a large pan and drained. In a pot with a tight cover and 1 part rice to 4 parts water the rice is boiled then simmered for 1/2 hour, drained and left covered for another 15 minutes.
- Nutritional facts
As on Daksh Farm Rice Pack for serving size of 100 gm
Protein 8.5 gm, Mineral 0.9gm, Carbohydrate- 77.4gm, Energy 349 kilo calories, Calcium 10mg, Phosphorus 280mg, Iron 2.8 mg, Vitamins B, Thiamine 0.27 mg, Riboflavin 0.12 mg, Niacin 4 mg, Magnesium 157 mg, Zinc 1.4 mg
(As on Durbar rice pack) Serving Size 50g Calories 180 Total fat 0g; cholesterol 0g; Total Carbohydrate 42g; Sugars 0g; Protein 3g; Vitamin A 0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 0%
Quality Matta Rice
Adulteration have become one major concern in getting good quality Palakkadan Matta. Lot of instances of normal rice being treated with chemicals and red oxides to give artificial color is reported. PDS rice smuggled from other states added with coloring agents poses serious health hazards.
Matta Rice online
Daksh Farm a small family operated farm based out of palakkad have been pioneers in e-commerce platform for selling whole grain rice online. The farm currently sell its products online at www.dakshfarm.com and have also created a smart phone application to sell its products. 
Whole Grain Matta Rice
Matta Rice is now available in whole grain format with few e-commerce sites selling the same.
- Recognition for two rice varieties
- Travel Thursday #12: Rosamatta Rice – A Secret of Kerala
- Rosematta rice and dal
- Kerala exporters appeal against rice export ban
- Chandrasekharan, P. "Page 191 High Yielding Rice Varieties Developed Using Landraces of Palakkad for Kerala". MS Swaminathan Research Foundation. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- "Govt lifts export ban on certain rice, onion varieties". The Hindu Business Line. 11 February 2011. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
- Kochhar, Sudhir (July 2008). "Institutions and Capacity Building for the Evolution of Intellectual Property Rights Regime in India: IV– Identification and Disclosure of IP Products for their IPR Protection in Plants and Animals". Journal of Intellectual Property Rights (CSIR): 336–343. ISSN 0975-1076.