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Cook up some Panta Bhaat with a dash of lime and onions this summer

29 May, 2020 05:02:19
Cook up some Panta Bhaat with a dash of lime and onions this summer

If you wish to cool yourself from within this summer and keep your stomach healthy and happy, then try out Panta Bhaat or fermented rice. This is a dish which is unique and extremely popular in rural Bengal, Assam and Odisha. But it has tremendous health benefits too and hence are even a part of the platter of many five-star restaurants as a summer dish. 

Made from leftover cooked rice soaked in water and left overnight to ferment, Panta Bhaat can be relished as breakfast along with various side dishes like potato fry or any other curry, green chilies, onion, roasted red chilies, lime, fish fry, papad or pickle. The water in which the rice is soaked along with lime etc, cools the digestive system and protects your body from heat. Incidentally Panta Bhaat has been described in documents since 17th century in Bengal. 

It is said to have more micronutrients than fresh rice. It is traditionally considered as beneficial in feverish conditions. During the Mughal era members of socio-cultural organizations performed open air concerts, the audience listening to the concert and eating traditional food, particularly panta bhaat. Friar Sebastian Manrique reported from his visit of Bengal in the 17th century that the people of all communities, were contented with a daily meal of panta bhaat, salt and green vegetable (saag). The better-off elements of the society consumed ghee, butter, milk and various sweetmeats along with them.

Even today, Panta bhaat is especially popular in rural areas of Bengal. It is usually served as breakfast, though noon or evening consumption is not uncommon. It is so much a part of Bengal’s daily life, that there are even folk rhymes about panta bhaat, like: ‘Shashuri nai nanad nai kar ba kori dar/Agey khai panta bhaat sheshe lepi ghar’ (No mom-in-law, no sister-in-law whom do I fear/ Shall first eat panta bhaat and then clean the room). 


Leftover rice
Chili –  green chili or roasted dry chili


Soak the leftover boiled rice in water overnight at room temperature for fermentation. The rice should be ready by the next day, soft and pulpy. Add salt and chilies to taste.

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  • Panta Bhaat

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