The Randhuni Pagal is one of the most aromatic strains of rice from West Bengal. The fairly strong aroma, can make the cook go mad – hence the name. Light on the stomach, sleek and tasty, it’s a perfect as a table rice.
The Bengali daily Prothom Alo, featured a farmer called Yousuf Molla in 2013. Yousuf hails from Duboil village in Tonor sub-district of Rajshahi (Bangaladesh), and has been quietly conserving 60 strains of aromatic rice for his personal consumption. Most of the rice varieties are drought tolerant, pest resistant and do not require chemical fertilizers and pesticides for growth. Like his father, Yousuf cultivates these variants and enjoys serving it for his guests. He has been doing this for the last 30 years. One fine day, a group of farmers met him and collected the seeds of Randhuni Pagal – they came to know of its sweet scent, and believe that it could fetch a better market price than a basmati. Besides the price, Yousuf, explains that the speed at which heritage strains are becoming extinct, it has only further inspired him to cultivate these grains and share it with more farmers.