Sunday, 18 October 2015

Panta Bhat served with Ilish Mach Bhaja, Murgir Bharta, Aloo Bhaja, DalBhate & Aam Tel

Panta Bhat 
Panta bhat known in Bengal or Poitabhat in Assam is a rice-based dish. It is prepared by soaking left over rice in water overnight. Traditionally served in the morning with salt, onion and chilli.It is traditionally considered as beneficial in feverish conditions.It is consumed in Bangladesh and the eastern Indian states of West Bengal and Assam. Panta bhat is especially popular in rural areas and amongst the poorer community. It is a popular dish on the day of Bengali new year. It is often served with fried fish or vegetable curry. Panta bhat or poita bhat is often garnished with Mustard oil, Onion, Chilli, Pickle, and served with Shutki mach (dried fish), Machher jhol(fish curry), especially Shorshe Ilish (Hilsa cooked with mustard), Aloo bhorta or Aloo pitika (mashed potato), Begun bhorta (mashed brinjal) and other Bhorta or pitika (mashed food). A similar dish consumed in the Indian states of Orissa and Chhattisgarh is known as Pakhal, Pokhalo, Pakhala or Pakhal Bhat. It differs from Panta bhat in seasoning as yoghurt is sometimes added prior to the fermentation process. This cold and wet food, is suitable for summer mornings, but in winter dry foods, such as Chira (flattened rice) and Muri (puffed rice) are more preferred.
It has been described in documents from 17th century.During the Mughal Era, members of socio-cultural organizations performed open air concerts, the audience listening to the concert preferred eating traditional food, particularly Panta bhat. Friar Sebastian Manrique a Portuguese Catholic priest of the Augustinian Order reported from his visit of Bengal in 17th century that the people of all communities, according to Manrique, were contented then with the daily meal of rice, often panta bhat, salt and green vegetable (shak). The better-off elements of the society consumed gh, butter, milk and sweetmeats.
In Bangladesh, it is a part of the Pohela Boishakh (Bengali new year festival) festivities. On that day it is consumed as breakfast by urban people. Panta is also served at high-end eateries in Bangladesh and West Bengal. Among Hindu Bengalis, it is consumed during the Ranna-Puja (Bengali cooking festival). In Assam, offering Dudh Panta(milk with stale water-soaked rice) is a part of the marital ritual. In Northeast India, there is a belief that taking painta or panta bhat gives the strength of a tiger.
Panta Ilish - a traditional platter of Panta bhat with fried Ilish slice, supplemented with dried fish (Shutki), pickles (Achar), dal bhate, green chillies and onion - is a popular serving for the Pohela Boishakh festival.
Information from the Net...


My Panta Bhat platter consist of
Ilish Mach Bhaja (Hilsa Fry)
Murgir Bharta (Chicken Bharta)
Aloo Bhaja (Potato Fry)
Dal Bhate (Mashed Dal)
Aam Tel (Mango Pickle)
Sliced Onions
Green chillies
Kagaji Lebu
PantaBhat
Ingredients
Leftover Rice
Water
Salt to taste
Drizzle of Mustard Oil
Method
Take a earthen pot or any vessel. Add the rice and water. Cover with a thin cloth and leave it over night to ferment. While serving add salt and drizzle with mustard oil.

Ilish Mach Bhaja (Hilsa Fry)
Ingredients
2 Pieces of Hilsa
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
Mustard Oil to fry
Method
Marinate the fish with salt and turmeric powder. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Heat the mustard oil till smoking point, reduce the flame and fry the fish till brown on both the sides.

Murgir Bharta (Chicken Bharta)
Ingredients
1/2 cup fine Chicken minced
1 big size Onion sliced
2 to 4 Green chillies minced
4 to 5 Garlic cloves minced
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Mustard Oil
Method
Take a wok, add oil, heat it. Add the onion slices, garlic and green chillies. Sauté the onion till translucent. Add the chicken minced, salt and turmeric powder. Sauté and stir the chicken occasionally. Cook till the chicken is done.

Aloo Bhaja (Potato Fry)
Ingredients
2 Potatoes cut into small strips
1 big size Onion sliced
2 to 4 Green chillies slit
Salt to taste
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
2 to 3 tbsp Mustard Oil
Method
Take a wok, add oil, heat it. Add the onion slices and green chillies. Sauté the onion till translucent. Add the potatoes, salt and turmeric powder. Sauté and stir the potatoes occasionally. Cook on medium high flame till the potatoes are done.

Dal Bhate
Ingredients
1/2 cup Massor dal
1 Green Chilli chopped
1/2 Onion sliced
Salt to taste
Few drops of mustard oil
Method
Wash and boil the dal with very less water. Once the dal is boiled and if any water remains then drain the water and boil till all the water dries up, take it off the gas. Add onions, green chilli, salt and mustard oil. Make it into a ball.

Aam Tel (Mango Pickle)
Ingredients
1 kg Raw Mango cut into medium pieces
Salt to taste
1 tbsp Turmeric powder
2 tbsp of Chilli powder
3 tbsp Mustard Powder
1 tbsp Ginger grated
1 tbsp Nigella seeds
2 to 3 cups of Mustard Oil
Method
Wash and wipe the mangoes, cut into pieces. Add salt and 1/2 tbsp turmeric powder. Put it in a glass or a porcelain bowl and leave in the sun for a couple of days until the mango pieces are quite soft. Lightly squeeze and drain the excess liquid from the mangoes. In a mixing bowl add the mangoes, chilli powder, remaining turmeric powder, more salt to taste, ginger and  mustard powder. Mix thoroughly. In a large wok heat the oil. Add the Nigella seeds. Let it crackle. Add the spiced mango pieces.
Stir and mix thoroughly with the oil and remove from fire. Allow to cool and then pour into an airtight glass or earthenware jar. Keep it in the sun for 7 to 15 days. This can be kept through out the year.