Adan, the Sultan Rice from Krayan

The appearance of ready-to-eat adan rice and grains.

Krayan, located in Nunukan Regency, North Kalimantan, was created by God with a smile. Whatever natural bounty there is, it can be found in the land of Krayan.

One of the thousands of local advantages of Krayan's nature is adan rice. It's a local premium variety that only thrives, bears fruit, and tastes delicious in Krayan.

The Sultan Rice from Krayan

Adan. Have you ever heard of a type of rice called "sultan rice"?

If not, listen to this narrative carefully. Dubbed "sultan rice" for its fragrant aroma and delicious taste, this rice can only grow in the Krayan region of North Kalimantan.

1. Scenic views of organic paddy fields in Krayan. The farming system utilizes fresh mountain water flowing through, accompanied by releasing buffaloes into the fields after harvest to plow and prepare the fields for the next planting season.
2. The weather, natural surroundings, rice food sources, and organic farming system with buffaloes are what make rice thrive and bear fruit only in the land of Krayan.

Dubbed "sultan rice" because besides its fragrant and delicious aroma, it stimulates a high appetite. Just a warm serving of adan rice, accompanied by a piece of salted fish and a slice of meat, makes one devour it eagerly, capable of finishing off two plates of rice.

So delicious that eating the rice, locally known as "Padai rat Krayan," can be addictive. The name of this aromatic rice, both the grain and cooked rice, is adan, unique to the land of Krayan, Nunukan Regency, North Kalimantan.

The Danger of Eating Adan Rice!

"Dangerous to eat this rice!" commented a neighbor. As I shared the joy of receiving it for free, I also shared it freely.

What's the danger of eating adan rice? Once you've tasted adan rice, other rice becomes: not tasty.

In July 2019, returning from the "Traces of Human Civilization in the Krayan River" expedition and research with Dr. Yansen TP, the author was gifted with a hundredweight of adan rice. (Imagine, 100 kilograms!)

The distinctive aroma of adan rice is unique and enticing. Without any additives, its fragrance and taste come from within. Adan rice and grain may only be meant for the soil and land of Krayan.

I shared this sultan rice with neighbors and friends. Their comments were the same: "Dangerous to eat this adan rice!"

I was surprised and wondered, "What's the danger?" One person I gave 3 kilograms to said, "Yes, it's dangerous. After eating adan rice, other rice tastes bad!"

I laughed at this comparison. They're clever in choosing words to describe adan rice compared to others.

Adan - the unique rice of the land of Krayan

Adan rice is truly unique. Its cultivation technique, utilizing buffalo, is characteristic of the people of the Krayan River. From interviews with elders and local farmers over 70 years old, they stated that this technique has been around since ancient times.

This integrated rice farming system is native to Krayan. In the past, one's wealth was measured by the number of their buffaloes. This tradition still exists among the Dayak people who adhere to Kaharingan, where they raise buffaloes integrated with rice farming, especially in wetlands.

The irrigation system is simple, just open and close as needed. During the planting and harvesting seasons, buffaloes are tethered where there's plenty of grass. After harvest, buffaloes are released into the fields to fertilize the soil.

Adan Rice as a Local Specialty

There's something unique. After harvest and land plowing, buffaloes are released to fertilize the soil. This tradition is still practiced, as confirmed by interviews with the elders. The integrated rice farming system with buffaloes in Krayan has been around for a long time.

According to Naftali, born in 1914, this farming system using buffaloes has been around since the 1920s. Yuni Ade (69) and Daud Ipid (84) also confirm that this system is original to the Krayan River.

This unique farming system of the Dayak people of the Krayan River is only found here, where Krayan rice grows with its distinctive aroma. There are people from Malaysia and Brunei who have tried planting Krayan seedlings in their land, but the results are different, not as fragrant and tasty as Krayan adan rice.

60 - 120 Stalks per Cluster

Darius Khamis, Chairman of the Tana Tam Cooperative, confirms the existence of various adan rice varieties. The cultivation system of adan rice utilizes organic farming techniques inherited from ancestors integrated with buffalo farming. If fertilized, it doesn't yield well.

Rarely does rice have 60 - 120 stalks in one cluster.

At least 3 varieties of adan rice are known: white, black, and red. Locally, they're called pade adan buda, hitem, and sia. Research by Dolvina Damus found 24 types of pade adan.

Indeed, there is something quite remarkable. No variety names had been found on other islands; the people of Krayan named it "pade YTP" (YTP rice) after Yansen Tipa Padan, a Lengilo Dayak born in Pa' Upan, Krayan. Now, botanical naming avoids foreign names, preferring local ones. Remarkable!

Adan rice and the integrated buffalo farming system are unique to Krayan and cannot be cultivated elsewhere with the same results. Due to the excellence of Adan rice, local communities are striving for Geographical Indication ownership. The Directorate General of Intellectual Property issued a patent certificate on January 9, 2012.

Dolvina Damus found 24 types of pade adan.

The habitat of adan in the land of Krayan is very unique. Rarely does rice have 60 - 120 stalks in one cluster.

In Tanjung Selor, the price of adan rice reaches Rp100,000 per kilogram due to its special taste and aroma. For culinary enthusiasts, warm adan rice with salted fish and shrimp paste can empty two plates of rice.

What are its benefits?

On the packaging of adan rice, it is written "Good for consumption for diabetics and cholesterol patients." Darius Khamis added that red adan rice contains vitamin B2 and black adan rice contains minerals such as iron, phosphorus, and calcium, making it a healthy rice choice.

Adan Tana Tam Rice, sold in 1 kg packaging, has obtained a brand certificate from the Directorate General of Intellectual Property. This packaging is produced by the Tana Tam South Krayan Cooperative, Long Layu, Nunukan Regency, North Kalimantan.

Minister of Home Affairs Gamawan Fauzi once tried planting adan rice in Bogor, but the results were not the same. Adan rice only grows optimally in Krayan.

The appearance of adan rice resembles glutinous rice, smooth and oblong. However, when cooked, it's not sticky like glutinous rice. The secret water ratio for cooking adan rice is a thumb-sized amount above the rice surface. The distinctive aroma of adan rice is unique and enticing.

Dr. Yansen Tipa Padan.

Adan rice and grain are only created, and exist, for the soil and land of Krayan.

The adan rice doesn't thrive when planted outside Krayan. Dr. Yansen Tipa Pada shared a unique experience about this rice with the author. 

"Adan rice indeed thrives in Krayan. It grows lush and fruitful in its natural soil. Its water flows clean, and its organic fertilizer comes from buffalo manure. It's become a trademark and uniqueness of Krayan," explained Yansen.

Yansen recounted an incident when Gamawan Fauzi, the Minister of Home Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, visited Krayan. 

Fauzi greatly admired and enjoyed the distinctive aroma of adan rice. He wanted to cultivate it in Java. 

"I sent him adan rice seeds. However, what happened? The adan rice refused to grow and flourish in Java's soil," Yansen explained.

- Masri Sareb Putra

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