Rice is the staple food for most Asian countries including the Philippines. Some of us Filipinos even eat rice four times a day, including merienda. It is even claimed that almost 80 percent of the Filipino population spends one-fourth of their income on rice alone. In line with the Food Staple Self Sufficiency Program of the Department of Agriculture, adlai is now being introduced as one of the alternative staple food crops.
Adlai, scientifically known as Coixlacryma-jobi L. is a freely-branching upright herb that can grow as tall as 3-10 feet, bearing sword-shaped leaves, beadlike fruits and propagates through seeds. Adlai is said to have originated in Southeast Asia and it comes from the family Poaceae, the same family that wheat, corn and rice belong to.
Adlai has various local names such as abukai, agagai, agda, alimudias, apagi, balantakan, bitogan, dalai, glias, kudlasan, lamudias, lias, palias, tiogbitiguas, etc. What is good about adlai is that some locals and tribes in Mindanao areas have been planting and eating it just like rice.
There are two adlai varieties that have been known as to date. One is Coixlacryma-jobi var.lacryma-jobi which has shelled pseudo carps which are very hard, pearly white, with oval structures and are used by craftsmen as beads formaking rosaries, necklaces and other objects. The other one is Coixlacryma-jobi var.ma-yuen which is harvested as a cereal crop and is also used as medicine in some parts of Asia.
Uses of Adlai
A. Adlai as food and feeds.
As food and drink, it is widely cultivated as cereal in Asia. In some countries like India and Vietnam, it is pounded, threshed and winnowed as a cereal. Pounded adlai were mixed with water like the use of barley in making barley water. It is also boiled and eaten in the same manner as rice.
Adlai can be cooked as majablanca, sinukmaning, champorado and polvoron. Grains are also used in soups and broths because... [continues]
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