Manipur is a rice variety that is named after the state of Manipur, in northeastern India. The Khasi communities believe that the seed was brought by Manipuri people a long time ago. There are two types of the Manipuri rice: one is white in color and the other is red in color. The grains are thin and tall, and the stalk of the rice is weak as compared to the other rice varieties. Communities have often reported that during strong winds the stalks bend over to the ground, which make it more difficult for the farmer during the harvest. This reason in particular has been one of the contributing factors to why this rice is disappearing today.
Manipuri rice is used to prepare all kinds of different local snacks such as pu-tharo, pu-sla, pu-khlein, pu-maloi and others that are usually served along with tea. To prepare these snacks the grain of the rice is ground until it becomes rice flour. Then the rice is mixed with water and in some cases sugar, depending on the type of snacks. They are then either deep fried in oil, steam cooked or dry baked on a cooking pan.
In the past, Manipuri rice was produced by many households in the Khasi region. By the mid-2010s, though, it could be found only among a handful of households in Kyrdem Nongthemmai village of the Ri Bhoi district. These producers cultivate the rice for personal use, or for the creation of snacks that are shared among the villages. Due to its vulnerable rootstalks and its height, this easily wind-damaged variety is not easy to harvest by hand. Much of the crop goes unharvested, and due to the lower yield, many farmers have switched to producing other rice varieties instead.