As a recipe developer, I am always on the lookout for interesting ingredients – ones that are healthy and not extremely popular. Black rice posed as an inspiration when I started reading about its versatility and health benefits. Being a north Indian, I had to search for this distant cousin of white rice. Thanks to online shopping sites. I could connect with a seller in north east India where it is organically produced.
When it arrived in my kitchen, I instantly fell in love with its colour and texture. And when it was cooked like a normal rice dish, its rich taste, purplish hue, sweet nuttiness and chewy texture inspired me to try out this Black Rice Tart recipe.
Although black rice is ideal for dishes such as puddings, desserts or risotto, I tried to bring in the tart dough kind of consistency by clubbing it with sorghum flour (jowar ka aata), a millet that has huge amount of macronutrients and dietary fibre.
Black Rice Tarts with Mango-Chia Seed Topping recipe
Yield: 12 Tarts
Ingredients: ½ cup – Black rice (washed and soaked overnight) ½ cup – Sorghum flour ¼ cup – Salted butter or ghee A pinch of salt Water to knead
Method: * To begin with, cook the soaked black rice with double the amount of water. Once done, let it cool down to room temperature. Now add sorghum flour, butter (or ghee), salt and start kneading. Try to bring in the dough kind of consistency. Add water only when required. Once the dough is ready, cling wrap it and let it rest for a while.
* Roll out the dough and cut circles with the help of a round cookie cutter or a small size steel bowl. Spread them on greased tart moulds. You can choose any shape.
* Adjust them on a baking tray and bake at 150 degree celsius for 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven.
* Once baked, let them rest and demould only when completely cooled.
* For toppings, I chose something that’s seasonal, quick and easy. Mango chunks with loads of chia seeds. You can also add fruit cream, chocolate ganache, lemon curd, custard, caramel or just a dollop of whipped cream.
Health benefits of black rice: Black rice is a powerhouse of nutrition. It’s incredibly healthy, and was primarily consumed by Chinese royals for the smooth functioning of stomach, liver and kidney. It has powerful antioxidant properties that are beneficial for people with diabetes and heart disorders. Moreover, it’s loaded with Vitamin E, which improves skin and hair.
If you wish to eat something low on calories, but tasty, serve yourself a platter full of black rice, which is rich in dietary fibre and iron content. You will love it.
Shalini Rajani is the founder of Crazy Kadchi and holds innovative and healthy cooking workshops for all age groups.
The greeting, “Have you eaten”, is as Malaysian as it gets. We love our food, and we are not afraid to show it.
We are proud of the many different types of cuisine that is available in this country, and we partake as often as we can, at all times of the day, and night, and into the wee hours of the morning.
Unfortunately, there is often a price to pay for such an indulgence. And it does not just come in the form of a pot belly.
Good gut health is a crucial part of overall health and well-being. If digestive problems persist, and recur frequently, or occur for no discernible reason, then they should be treated as an indicator of a more serious problem.
One of the worst case scenarios would be colorectal cancer (CRC). In 2016, CRC in Malaysia was calculated with a lifetime risk 1 in 56 for men, and 1 in 74 for women. It is the most common cancer among men and the second most common cancer among women.
Data from the Malaysian National Cancer Registry (MNCR) released in 2018 showed that two in five people were diagnosed at advanced stages (Stages III & IV).
The five-year survival rate for CRC patients was recorded at 48% in a recent study. Thus, early screening is critical in order to detect CRC as quickly as possible.
Screening is also the only sure method of detecting CRC as its symptoms are very general and can also be attributed to other causes, thus making it difficult to pinpoint whether or not colorectal cancer is the culprit.
It is imperative that we take better care of our gut health immediately, rather than wait for a more serious symptom to develop.
So, continue enjoying our amazing Malaysian cuisine, but keep a very close eye on digestive health at the same time. After all, prevention is infinitely better than cure.
● Look out for the next article which focuses on digestive health problems that we tend to take lightly.
This article is courtesy of Digestive Health Malaysia and Vitagen Healthy Digestion Programme, in conjunction with their World Digestive Health Day 2019 awareness campaign. Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan is a Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist and Hepatology. He is also the Chairman of Digestive Health Malaysia (DHM) society. He is not associated with, and does not endorse any brand or product. For more information, contact 03-5632 3301.
The Spring/Summer 2020 menswear shows bowled through Europe this month, hitting London, Florence, Milan and Paris. We take stock of the season’s hit runway beauty trends.
Wet Hair, Don’t Care
A major beauty trend across all four cities was for gelled, wet-look hair: it appeared in London at Oliver Spencer, where it was slicked-back and chic, at Pitti Uomo in Florence at MSGM, where wet-look bangs stole the show, and in Milan with an extreme side part at Versace, and a retro edge at Dolce & Gabbana. In Paris the designers championed the look with abandon, with AMI Alexandre Mattiussi, Off-White and Ludovic De Saint Sernin all shining a spotlight on glossy waves.
Another key hair trend was for kaleidoscopic colours, with London’s Liam Hodges showcasing vibrantly-colored hair, and JordanLuca sending one model down the runway sporting bubblegum blue locks. The trend continued in Paris, with a hint of colour in the hairstyles displayed at Celine and neon pink locks seen at Vetements.
The Eyes Have It
Statement red eye makeup on some of the female models stole the show at Fashion East in London, and at Salvatore Ferragamo in Florence, where gold foil eyeshadow gave the beauty look an ornate aesthetic.
There was still space for the theatrical and the abstract, with Philipp Plein leading the way in Milan with dramatic, heavy-metal themed makeup, such as Gothic black lipstick and a chalky white base. In Paris the Belgian fashion designer Walter Van Beirendonck provided drama on the runway, with a beauty look that featured primary colours painted on to the hair and face in blocky shapes and stripes.
Bangs are officially back: they were seen in Florence at Givenchy, where they were grungy and laidback, and in Paris at Fumito Ganryu, where they were shiny and parted neatly down the center. – AFP Relaxnews
The Singleton recently released the oldest single malt expression in Glen Ord distillery’s over 180 year history.
The second edition of The Singleton’s Forgotten Drop Series, only 600 bottles of this limited edition single malt whisky was released exclusively in Asia, of which 18 bottles is available in Malaysia, priced at RM14,737.
The Singleton Forgotten Drop Series is a highly sought after collection of natural cask strength releases crafted by Maureen Robinson, Singleton master of malts. The first expression in the series was The Singleton of Glen Ord 41 Year Old, released in 2017.
The 42-Year-Old was finished for four months in two hand-selected American Oak Hogshead casks before being conditioned in a cask that previously held Amontillado sherry, before being bottled at a natural cask strength of 49.3% ABV, resulting in a whisky that contains the sweet and aromatic oak notes gained the Amontillado influence.
Singleton also recently launched the limited edition The Singleton of Glen Ord 14 Years Old. Part of Diageo’s Special Releases expressions, the whisky was triple matured in five wooden casks.
First, it was aged in refill ex-Bourbon American oak hogsheads and ex-sherry European oak butts, then further finished in charred Ex-Pedro Ximenez and Ex-Moscatel wood cask, and finally being married in European oak Puncheons casks. Only 516 bottles were available in Malaysia.
For more information, regarding the Singleton of Glen Ord 42YO, call Moet Hennessy Diageo Malaysia at 03-2053 8688.
A high-quality rear bike rack should be easy to install on many different types of bike frames, durable enough to handle your loads in any type of weather, and versatile enough to accommodate a variety of baskets, bags, and panniers.
The Topeak Explorer Rack is our top pick because it’s made of durable 6061 aluminum alloy, can hold up to 55 pounds of cargo, and is backed by a two-year warranty.
If you are interested in commuting, touring, running errands, or otherwise hauling gear with your bike, you’ll need a good rear bike rack. Rear bike racks attach to the back of your bike and feature rails that you can use to secure panniers, bags, baskets, and other items. They also accommodate bungees and netting for attaching items.
Without a rack, hooking a basket, pannier, or trunk bag onto your bike is incredibly difficult. Fortunately, many bikes that are designed for commuters come with racks already installed. However, if you don’t have a rack and are interested in using your bike to haul cargo, instead of your car, this guide is for you.
Rear bike racks are often just called “bike racks” but that’s problematic since the term “bike rack” can refer to the rack you put on your vehicle to transport your bike from one spot to another or the rack you lock your bike to when out and about. This guide is about the rack you install on the back of your bike to help you carry items around. If you’re looking for a car bike rack, you should check out this guide.
Not all rear bike racks work with all bikes so be careful when shopping. For example, if your bike has disc brakes, you need to make sure you choose a model specifically designed to work on disc brakes. Most racks feature stays that attach to braze-on mounts or eyelets near the bottom rear of your frame. Yet, this is not always the case.
If your bike doesn’t have eyelets, which are found on most bikes designed for commuting and adventuring, look for options that work without eyelets. For instance, seat post-mounted racks are a solid solution for most styles of bikes. Though, their main downfall is they cannot hold as much weight.
You may want to consider buying panniers and trunk bags from the same company that makes your rack. The advantage of this is the bags will clip onto and off of the rack seamlessly – a great convenience.
While researching the best bike cargo racks, we examined hundreds of buyer and expert ratings and reviews of dozens of models. Our guide features racks with a track record of durability, performance, versatility, and ease of installation.
Here are the best rear bike racks you can buy in 2019:
Keep scrolling to check out our top picks.
The best overall
If you want a cargo rack that is durable, fits a wide array of bike frames, and can handle heavier loads, the Topeak Explorer Rack is the best solution.
Topeak got its start in 1991 making multitools and toolboxes for cycling enthusiasts. Since then, the company has expanded its line-up to include bike pumps, safety accessories, baskets, panniers, and more. The Topeak Explorer Rack is designed to work with bags from any manufacturer, but the rack works best for fast mounting and removal of the Topeak MTX series of bags.
The Explorer rack comes in three styles: the popular spring-free version that fits most bikes, the spring-free version designed for bikes with disc brakes, and the spring version that allows you to secure smaller items without using bungees.
Each style is made of 6061 hollow aluminum, a strong, yet lightweight material commonly used in building aircraft. The rack only weighs one-and-a-third pounds. Topeak backs the quality of the rack with a two-year limited warranty.
The Wirecutter recommends the Topeak Explorer Rack because it felt the most stable carrying heavy panniers and was the easiest to install on several types of bikes. The reviewer liked that there are flexible attachment arms and a significant amount of wheel clearance, which makes it great for just about any bike frame. It also carried four gallons of milk without a problem.
The Topeak Explorer Rack has positive reviews from about 87% of the buyers who rated it on Amazon. For the most part, reviewers are thrilled with their purchase. There are several comments about how easy it is to install and how sturdy it is. A few buyers also bought the Topeak MTX Trunk Bag, which slides onto the rack with ease. The biggest complaint was that the rack did not fit some buyers’ bikes out of the box. However, these buyers were able to find workarounds and found the added hassle was well worth it.
Pros: Versatile, easy to install, fits a broad range of bike frames, heavy-duty construction, holds up to 55 pounds of cargo
Cons: Expensive, may require additional hardware for some bike types
Buy the Topeak Explorer Rack Without Spring on Amazon for $44.95
The best budget
The Schwinn Folding Rear Rack is a well-made, affordable cargo rack that can help you transport lighter loads from point A to point B.
Perhaps no name is better known in the cycling world than Schwinn. Now a sub-brand of Pacific Cycles, which is owned by Dorel Industries, Schwinn has been manufacturing bicycles and accessories for well over a century.
The Schwinn Folding Rear Rack fits 26, 27, and 700c bikes using its fully adjustable seat stay arms and struts. The lightweight aluminum alloy gives it a weight of around one pound. A built-in bracket allows you to attach a rear light or reflector for added safety.
We could only find one expert review of the Schwinn Folding Rear Rack. Jen Reviews recommends it because the reviewer found it fits numerous types of bikes. She appreciates that it can handle heavy loads despite its light weight. And, it has remained rust-free.
Approximately 67% of the buyers who reviewed the Schwinn Folding Rear Rack on Amazon gave it four or five stars. Riders with several different bike frames remark that they enjoy this rack, including one buyer who has a folding bike with a 20-inch wheel. On the flip side, the cargo rack accommodates a broad range of bags.
There are other reviews that mention that the aluminum alloy appears to be quite durable, and the rack has an attractive look. The most common complaint is that the rack doesn’t support a lot of weight. It’s rated for 26 pounds.
Pros: Adjusts to fit many different bike types, inexpensive, durable aluminum alloy construction
Cons: Only holds up to 26 pounds
Buy the Schwinn Folding Rear Rack on Amazon for $21.99
The best for heavy loads
Not only can the Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack support heavy loads, but it’s also backed with a lifetime warranty from a company focused on sustainable practices.
We like Planet Bike because the company is committed to providing sustainable solutions, including free parts. So, if one of its products breaks, it can be fixed rather than tossed into a landfill and replaced.
The Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack is made of heavy-duty, oversized 6061 aluminum, which is an alloy known for stability and strength. It fits 26-inch, 650b, 700c, and 29-inch bikes. The bike is rated to hold up to 55 pounds, but many buyers assert it can handle more.
The Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack is one of two bike racks recommended by The Wirecutter, the other being our top pick. The reviewer was impressed with how easy it was to install and that it performed well under heavy loads. However, she would have liked it if the rack had another stay to support the platform and provide more stability.
More than 220 Amazon buyers have left four- or five-star reviews of the Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack. Barry G., the most helpful reviewer, was surprised that he was actually able to sit on the rack with his whole weight (180 pounds). Overall, he likes it, but he noted that he had to modify the front steel braces to fit his bike right.
Several buyers mention that the rack is quick to install, especially on standard modern hybrid frames. A few reviewers mention that you may need to bend the rack a bit to fit your frame just right.
Pros: Rated to hold 55 pounds, quick install, made of oversized 6061 tubular aluminum, limited lifetime warranty
Cons: May require additional hardware to install, not compatible with disk brakes
Buy the Planet Bike Eco Bike Rack (Black) on Amazon for $36.40
The best seat post-mounted rack
Thanks to its seat-post mount, the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier works with most bikes without additional hardware.
The attractive design of the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier is what makes it stand out. Rather than relying on a frame’s eyelets, this model is easily mounted to your seat post using a bolt and held in place tight with rubber shims.
Therefore, it’s ideal for bikes with disc brakes, which can get in the way of installing most cargo racks. The seat-post mount also gives your rack a floating-in-thin-air look. Because it is mounted in this way, there’s a somewhat-low 22-pound weight limit. The rack is made of extruded, die-cast, heat-treated anodized aluminum, which is known for its durability.
Jen Reviews recommends the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier as the best rear bike rack. The reviewer found the anodized aluminum held up well in all sorts of weather without rusting. She also had an easy time installing it and noted that it was ideal for light loads. However, the main downfall is that it didn’t seem as durable as bolt-mounted racks.
More than 280 Amazon buyers gave the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier five stars. There are a few complaints about the weld and clamp failing published about four years ago. This issue does not come up in any of the more recent reviews, which suggests Ibera has fixed this problem.
Other than that, buyers appear to enjoy their experience with this cargo rack. There are a few commenters who recommend purchasing the Ibera Bike Trunk Bag to go with it for easy attachment and removal.
Pros: Attractive design, seat post-mount, easy installation, compatible with most bike types
Cons: Durability concerns, only carries up to 22 pounds
Buy the Ibera Bicycle Seatpost-Mounted Commuter Carrier on Amazon for $27.99 (originally $30)
The best quick-release rack
The Lumintrail Bike Commuter Carrier Rack features a quick-release design so you can easily remove it and reinstall it on your bike or another.
The Lumintrail Bike Commuter Carrier Rack is unique because it has a quick-release clamp that makes it simple to put on and take off without the use of tools.
It’s designed to be mounted to seat posts with diameters between .85 and 1.3 inches and comes with spacers and shams to ensure a tight fit. The seat tube mount makes it easy to use the rack with wheels of any size.
The rack is made of anodized aluminum and weighs 1.5 pounds. An elastic cord is included so you can immediately start securing items without the need of a pannier. It’s easy to mount and remove thanks to the quick-release design.
Around 66% of the Amazon buyers who reviewed the Lumintrail Bike Commuter Carrier Rack gave it five stars.
The most helpful reviewer, Chase A., appreciated how sturdy the rack is for being so light. He also noted that it’s made from excellent materials and looks great on his bike. However, he wasn’t impressed with the silver handle that screws the mount tighter since it stopped working after a few spins. This caused the rack to fly off. He fixed the problem with an M6 x 20 Hex screw and an M15 washer.
Other buyers mention that it takes a little finessing to put the rack on, especially when using the spacers.
Pros: Quick release makes it easy to remove, rugged construction, attaches to the seat post
Cons: Hard to mount quickly, the quick release has questionable durability, maximum load weight of 20 pounds
Buy the Lumintrail Bike Commuter Carrier Rack on Amazon for $28.99
What else we considered
While researching this guide, we considered dozens of products. There were a few that barely missed the cut. Here are some excellent alternatives we also examined:
Outtag Retractable Rear Seat Post Rack ($18.99): There is a lot to like about this Outtag rack. It costs less than $20, installs effortlessly, and adjusts from 14.2 inches to 19.7 inches from your seat post. A few expert sites also recommend this cargo rack. We chose not to include it because there are several buyer complaints about it breaking easily under weights well below the 22 pounds it is rated for.
Dirza Rear Bike Rack ($27.99): The Dirza rack comes with a lot of extras, including a reflector you can mount on the back, cargo net, and a bungee-like wire. The company also claims that it can hold up to 120 pounds. We chose not to include it because there is a broad array of bike types it won’t fit, and we weren’t able to find any firsthand expert reviews.
Axiom DLX Streamliner Disc Cycle Rack ($45.60): With a 4.6-star average customer rating, this is one of the highest-rated racks on Amazon. It’s made of heavy-duty 10.2mm tubular 6061 T6 aluminum alloy. However, the rack requires modifications to fit some types of bike frames, and we couldn’t dig up any useful expert reviews of the rack. As we update this guide, the Axiom rack may make the cut.
Schwinn Alloy Rear Rack ($14.96): Schwinn is excellent at making affordable bike accessories, and this seat post-mounted option is no exception. We like that there are durable side rails on the rack so you have an extra spot to tie down panniers. The reason we chose not to include it is that it has a relatively low rating on Amazon (3.8-star average), which is apparently due to buyers experiencing installation issues.
Thule Unisex Pack ‘n Pedal Tour Rear Bike Rack ($114.95): This is another rack we chose to pass on because there were so many negative buyer reviews. Despite the ultra-durable construction (it can support 55 pounds), we were turned off by the high price, more than twice as much as our top pick. However, Thule is a trustworthy name in the cycling world, and the company backs its rack with a five-year warranty.