Recipe for Panta Bhaat:
- 1 cup leftover cooked rice (preferably parboiled or fragrant variety)
- 2 cups water (approx.)
- 2-3 tablespoons yogurt (preferably sour)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped (optional)
- A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- A few slices of raw green mango (optional)
- Sliced red onions, for garnish
- Fried or roasted fish (e.g., hilsa or any preferred fish, optional)
1. Prepare the Panta:
- Take the leftover cooked rice in a bowl.
- Add water to it, enough to submerge the rice completely.
- Let it sit at room temperature overnight or for at least 6-8 hours. This allows the rice to ferment and develop its unique flavors.
2. Season the Panta:
- After soaking, you will notice that the rice has absorbed most of the water and has softened considerably.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of yogurt to the soaked rice. You can add more if you prefer a tangier taste.
- Mix the yogurt and rice well.
- Add chopped green chilies (if using), chopped coriander leaves, and sliced raw green mango for a tangy kick (optional).
- Season with salt and mix everything thoroughly.
3. Garnish and Serve:
- Garnish with sliced red onions for a delightful crunch and extra flavor.
- If desired, serve Panta Bhaat with fried or roasted fish for a classic Bengali pairing.
4. Enjoy the Traditional Delight:
- Panta Bhaat is typically enjoyed as a breakfast or brunch dish in Bengal.
- It's a refreshing and cooling dish, perfect for hot summer days.
- Savor the unique taste of this traditional Bengali specialty, which combines the subtle sourness of fermented rice with the freshness of herbs and the zing of green chilies.
Panta Bhaat is not only a delicious Bengali dish but also showcases the sustainable practice of repurposing leftover rice into a delightful, refreshing meal. It's a culinary tradition that has stood the test of time and continues to be a beloved part of Bengali cuisine.
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