Stored with many micronutrients, probably much more than freshly cooked rice, Panta Bhat has high nutritional value and is a super immunity booster. Consumed mostly in Bangladesh, Odisa, Assam, Tripura and West Bengal, this dish is still hugely popular in rural parts. Sadly, we the urban people hardly consume it and the knowledge is limited to what we have heard from grandmas and grandpas. Thanks to some top-notch restaurant brands, this forgotten dish is now coming back to our kitchen and yes, no one can have it just once. It is utterly delicious.
Internet is flooded with the history and benefits of Panta Bhat and thus, I am not going to repeat the same. In my home, Panta Bhat has always been eaten with great joy and satisfaction. Growing up, I have seen Maa soaking cooked rice in water overnight. The next morning she used to serve the same to us with bhajas (fries), bhartas (mash) and dry roasted coconut. Before starting for school, this was one of the most common dishes that we used to have, specially in summer.
The process of making Panta Bhat is too simple. Have it in breakfast or in lunch, choice is yours. Serve it with different bhajas, specially, mach bhaja (fish fry) or dim bhaja (egg fry). While most of the people relish Panta Bhat with mach bhaja, I always prefer it with dim bhaja. Here I explain you quickly how I make it.
- 1 cup (250 gm approx) small grain rice (preferably gobindobhog)
- 2 onion, chopped
- 4 green chilli, slitted
- 1 slice lemon (preferably gondhoraj lebu)
- 3 roasted dry red chilli
- 1.5 table-spoon mustard oil
- salt, according to taste
- Soak the cooked rice overnight in normal water. The water level should be just sufficient enough to soak the entire rice – neither less, nor too much.
- The next morning (or afternoon), take the rice and crush the rice by using your hand. Do not discard the water.
- Now, add onion, green chilli, roasted red chilli, oil, lemon juice and salt to it. Use your hand once again to crush everything and mix properly.
- Your highly nutritious Panta Bhat is ready to be served now.
While the summer is slowly approaching, you are ready to beat the heat with this super delicious probiotic summer cooler. Panta Bhat or Poita Bhat or whatever else you call it goes amazingly well with bhaja and bharta. Try it and your gut will definitely thank you.
Do try this and let me know in comments about how you like it. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks. Happy Eating!