Panta bhat – A Forgotten Recipe
In my childhood ,My mother use to soak all leftover cooked rice in water overnight and I used to have panta bhat daily in breakfast. I love this and use to mix so many variant like pickle,dal, leftover curries ,chillis ,onion and mint leaves etc. Main taste was in water after eating rice i took that water in a glass and drink that heavenly “khatta and chatpata” (tangy and spicy) water .
Traditionally it served in morning with chilly, salt , onion and consumed in Bangladesh and the eastern Indian states of West Bengal and Assam. It is popular and main dish in Bengali New year and “Rana Puja” festival. Panta bhat has more micronutrients than fresh rice. After fermentation it will have little amount of alcohol as well , not harmful. You can find Almost similar dish in the Indian states of Orissa , Chhattisgarh & South Indian States is known as Pakhal, Pokhalo, Pakhala , Pakhal Bhat & Palaya Sooru. It is the staple food of Odisha from older generations. they celebrate Pakhal Divas in summer too.
A Line from Bengali poem “Shashuri nai nanad nai kar ba kori dar , Agey khai panta bhaat sheshe lipi ghar”
- Add cool water in leftover cooked rice about 2 inch water above to the rice layer.
- Cover it with light cotton cloth
- Leave it for full night for fermentation
- Traditionally, It should be serve with green chili or dry roasted red chili or burnt red chili and onion
- Before serving remove extra water
- There so many optional side dish for panta bhat listed below :
- Add them all and mix or mash well using clean hand and have this healthy food