Panta Bhat: What Makes This Bangla Dish So Healthy?
Image Credit: Panta Bhat

Panta bhat is the most popular comfort food in almost every Bengali home, especially during the summer. This simple rice and water dish is so extraordinary that it created ripples in MasterChef Australia, when a Bangladeshi contestant made it for one of the rounds. In the Eastern states of India, versions of the fermented rice dish are the ultimate summer food for cooling the gut. It is a summer staple known as Basi Bhat in Bihar and Pakhala in Orissa. Panta Bhat is popular for its simplicity, but it also has a long list of health benefits. Here are some fascinating facts and reasons why Panta Bhat is so popular and well-liked in the Eastern states.

The leftover rice from the night before is saved to make the most delicious Panta Bhat for the next day's early lunch or brunch. The rice is fermented after being soaked in water overnight to make the perfect Panta Bhat. This summer delicacy can be eaten alone with green chillies or with a side of fish fry, aloo chokha, papad, and pickles. Because of its cooling properties, it is the most popular breakfast choice not only in West Bengal, but also in neighbouring states such as Odisha and Assam.

Why You Should Eat Panta Bhat?

The fermenting bacteria present in the rice breaks down the carbs and makes it easily digestible while it soaks overnight. Panta bhat is high in iron and can help you increase the oxygen level in your blood. This Bong delicacy is low in calories and cholesterol, making it ideal for your weight loss journey. It is the best food to eat on a hot afternoon because it helps to cool down the body and relieves heartburn and ulcers.

Making Panta Bhat At Home

Soak the boiled rice in a closed food container overnight to ferment. The rice will be soft and pulpy the next morning, ready to serve. While serving, drizzle with hot mustard oil and season with salt to taste. To get the most out of the meal, keep some achaar and papad on hand. It can also be served with potato fritters and fish fry, but most people prefer it just as it is. It is served with Kadhi, Papad, roasted red chillies, Flaxseed, and raw mango chutney in Bihar.